You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

6/22/2023 4:13 pm  #1

Big Wind Lake Provincial Park

"The Ontario government has announced plans to transform a 5,000-acre park in the Muskoka region to include campsites and year-round recreational activities. In a news release issued Thursday, the province said Bigwind Lake Provincial Park, located about a half hour east of the Town of Bracebridge and nearly 200 kilometres north of Toronto, is set to undergo upgrades to offer overnight and electrified campgrounds, back country camping, and recreational activities including cross-country skiing, canoeing and hiking." ...

"This non-operating provincial park used to be a junior ranger camp in the 1960's. Our task over the next few years will be to turn it from a non-operating park into an operating park." ..."

In 2021, over 12.4 million people visited Ontario Parks. To continue to meet this demand, Ontario is currently completing baseline studies, consultation, and design work to create the first new operating provincial park in 40 years." ...

"We would like to hear your thoughts on what facilities and services are important to you. This survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete, and your answers are completely anonymous. ...

Environmental Registry of Ontario
"... the development of:

The above links should provide good background info for understanding the initial situation. However, I'm wondering how this might affect the Algonquin Park experience. Any thoughts or questions in that regard?


6/22/2023 4:33 pm  #2

Re: Big Wind Lake Provincial Park

Well, I took the survey and emphasized the following comment ...

"This park's central location north of the GTA could fulfill an important educational role as a "skills center". It's purpose would be to establish qualifications for new backcountry campers, hikers and canoeists. John Winters, the past superintendent of Algonquin Park, was a proponent for such a facility at the west gate of that park. I believe that this new park could meet such a challenge .. offering education and qualifications in a full range of backcountry skills, by providing a modern educational facility promoting affiliations with a number of established educational organizations. I strongly recommend that John Winters be asked for his professional input."

     Thread Starter

6/23/2023 6:47 am  #3

Re: Big Wind Lake Provincial Park

With a projected total of only 25 backcountry campsites, it probably won't do much to take direct pressure off Algonquin Park's backcountry. However, if it is developed as an 'introductory' educational experience for inexperienced campers, it could reduce negative impacts on Algonquin Park's backcountry.

     Thread Starter

6/23/2023 7:08 am  #4

Re: Big Wind Lake Provincial Park

with it's proximity and ease of access to Toronto, plus the extra roofed bookings, it could potentially take some pressure off the hwy 60 corridor, and in turn, the most heavily used access points. I like the idea that it could serve as a sort of kindergarten for new campers and trippers too and serve to teach them the basics before venturing farther afield
I have 2 major concerns though- this government's compulsion to make any venture a money-maker at all costs may see it turn into a massive tourist trap, and the possibility that it could cause the formation of a graduated system where it becomes a prerequisite to going farther into the wilds, forcing people to learn rather than encouraging and mentoring them.
I remember when John Winters first proposed the "learn to camp" program and the backlash it caused when some people believed it would become a forced certification program, stalling the launch for several years, and wouldn't want to see that happen again.


Board footera

LNT Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.