View topic - Ontario Backcountry Camping Now Open

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PostPosted: May 30th, 2020, 2:33 pm 
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As of June 1, limited backcountry camping will be available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails. Those with reservations made for backcountry camping beginning June 1 and onward will be allowed to proceed.

Following current provincial restrictions no more than 5 people can occupy a backcountry campsite during their stay, unless from one household.

The closure of all other overnight camping and some day use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserves and backcountry camping at Charleston Lake, Fushimi Lake, Grundy Lake, Halfway Lake, Mississagi, Murphy’s Point, Restoule and Wakami Lake will continue to be reassessed and has been extended up to June 14 at this time. Buildings and facilities including, campgrounds, roofed accommodations, visitor centres, park stores, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and beaches remain closed. Washroom facilities may be available at some parks – visitors should check their individual park page at http://www.OntarioParks.com to see what facilities are available before visiting.

To ensure the safety of visitors and park staff, Ontario Parks has been conducting critical maintenance and other start-up procedures and ensuring operational and safety protocols are in place so that more recreational activities and facilities can open when it is safe to do so.

Please review FAQs for additional details and continue to check back and follow Ontario Parks social media channels for the most up-to-date information.


Woohoo! :thumbup:

https://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19
https://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2020/05/ ... une-1.html

edit: this should really be in the Ontario discussion forum... could someone move it?

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PostPosted: May 30th, 2020, 10:36 pm 
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Is this for Ontario residents only?


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PostPosted: May 31st, 2020, 8:00 am 
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Doesn't say that, so I assume that if you drive from Manitoba or Que you can camp. You could e-mail them to verify.

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PostPosted: May 31st, 2020, 5:07 pm 
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So perhaps a crazy question. Does anyone know if the rest stops (like for example the Big Stop in Pembroke) , and Tim Horton's along the highways are open for washroom breaks? I've heard that none are.

MikeD.


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PostPosted: May 31st, 2020, 5:55 pm 
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Not that you'll be passing through Deep River -- well maybe you are if you're going to Brent -- but our local Tim Hortons has a port-a-potty.

If you're going to Achray, I suspect that you'll have to walk the last km to Grand Lake.


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PostPosted: May 31st, 2020, 8:15 pm 
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I travelled from Toronto to Thunder Bay and back in the worst of it on both highways, and never encountered a closed bathroom. Chip shacks were open, coffee shops were open, etc. I even bought fresh baked bread and butter tarts along the way.

All with warnings and new rules, but they were all open. All the first nations lands were totally closed though - to the point of first nations police staking out the accesses. But, I had no issue driving for days through Ontario with finding a place to poop, or a place to eat.

This was NW Ontario, though.

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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 10:17 am 
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So we Ontarians of the Ford Nation can go into the back-country, which has a site max of 9 people at most parks, but the general rules on congregating in groups of >5 still apply. Would people (you, esteemed forum dwellers) have a problem / be upset if they saw a group of 9 on a campsite? Would it make a difference if they seemed to be observing social distancing properly (not that you'd likely get close enough to tell)?

My friend booked a trip for June 13-15 and we have 3 couples, but also 3 toddlers in tow. We know the adults could socially distance and we aren't tripping hard so planning to pack separate food, separate cooking implements, etc., to be fully isolated. However, toddlers add risk given they don't understand the situation. Also, perception is more important than reality and rules are more important than good intentions - I expect someone may get upset to the point of complaint. I don't want to upset anyone, and especially not break bylaws and run afoul of park rules, but nothing seems specific beyond the province-wide rule of not greater than 5, which looks today to be getting extended until June 30.

Thoughts on this situation? Over-thinking it?


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 10:53 am 
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Best you check with the park in question. They may be enforcing the >5 rule at check in.

MikeD.


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 12:45 pm 
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http://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19 just clarified it - "Following current provincial restrictions no more than 5 people can occupy a backcountry campsite during their stay, unless from one household."


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 12:56 pm 
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Sooo, your option might be to book two sites on a lake, close together. This would facilitate a shared campfire (while social distancing of course :)


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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 8:23 pm 
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Returning to your campsite after a night of libations could be... ill-advised, though, depending on the phase of the moon and the size of your whiskey bottle.

Actually, Frontenac may be perfect for something like this. The sites there are in clusters, so you'll find 4 sites on a lake, but all with a shared outhouse, and within easy midnight walking distance of each other. I did a first aid course with 15 or so people there last September and it was perfect for it. It's surprising that Frontenac isn't on the list of exceptions.

But to warn you, the enforcement in Frontenac is apparently a revenue positive affair, so they do make regular checks.

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PostPosted: June 9th, 2020, 7:16 am 
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you are now allowed gatherings up to 10 people, so you will be fine for your trip now.

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PostPosted: June 9th, 2020, 4:40 pm 
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There's no guarantee that the Parks will update their policies in lockstep though (bureaucrats can be... slow, at the best of times), and they may limit sites to 5 people regardless.

Make sure you call the park first.

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PostPosted: June 12th, 2020, 4:23 pm 
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Here's a new addition of information, http://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19

Of note is ...Week of June 22

'We will start gradually opening campgrounds and more facilities and services including providing washrooms, drinking water and opening trailer sanitation stations. The remaining backcountry camping will also now be available at all provincial parks and conservation reserves.'

My read of prior ones was backcountry at the provincial parks was open but conservation reserves were still closed. You never quite know if who crafts the news release has a clue. Seems they did and mention it in today's release. Quite a few of my fav spots are actually the CR's that we short hand call Crown land. There we go.


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