As announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in September 2012, Ontario Parks will change the designation of a number of provincial parks from operating to non-operating. In deciding which parks to re-designate, we looked at many factors including low visitation rates, low cost recovery, and the upcoming need for investment in capital upgrades to remain operational.
These decisions were difficult to make, but they were necessary to ensure the ministry’s financial sustainability and to help the government balance its budget.
For 2013, in addition to Springwater Provincial Park, the following five camping parks were re-designated as non-operating:
- Caliper Lake – south of Nestor Falls on Hwy #71 (northwest of Fort Frances)
- Greenwater – northwest of Cochrane on Hwy #668
- Obatanga – half way between Wawa and White River on Hwy #17
- The Shoals – northwest of Chapleau on Hwy #101
- Tidewater – Moosonee – no road access
MNR is currently in the process of negotiating an agreement for Mississagi Provincial Park which, if approved, could see the park remain open in 2013.
Here are some nearby camping options that you may wish to consider:
- For Caliper Lake: Sioux Narrows.
- For Greenwater: Kettle Lakes and René Brunelle.
- For Obatanga: Nagagamisis, White Lake and Lake Superior.
- For The Shoals: Wakami Lake and Lake Superior.
- For Tidewater: Tidewater is geographically isolated from other parks – it’s a six hour train ride from Cochrane and an hour flight from Timmins. The closest operating park to Tidewater is Kettle Lakes to the South of Tidewater.
While access to these parks will remain free for day-use visitors, vehicle access and camping will no longer be allowed. Services such as washrooms, running water and grass cutting will no longer be provided.
These parks are natural areas that will continue to contribute to Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. They will continue to be protected areas under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act for future generations.
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