Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 68

Kevin Pinkerton is the Area Ontario Parks, Superintendent, Temagami Cluster of Provincial Parks; he provided some statistics on back country usage.

“Park visitation for the five operational interior parks has remained stable over the past five years. Based on overnight interior camping permit sales over 4700 visitors enjoy these parks annually. Temagami has been a tourist destination for over a century and with over 2400 kilometers of interconnecting canoe routes and portage trails it is considered one of North America’s premier canoeing destinations. The area attracts local residents as well as visitors from provincial, national and international markets. The five parks became operational in 2004 with the introduction of interior overnight camping fees and the hiring of interior wardens to undertake maintenance, education and compliance work along the canoe routes. Fees collected cover the costs of maintaining portages, campsites, privies and overall compliance throughout all five parks.” (I witnessed the ongoing maintenance program; the clearing of historic portages. With historic, indigenous tree blazes still discernible on the trunks of over mature trees.)

The majority of travel into the one wilderness and four waterway parks occurs from access points a considerable distance away. Many canoe routes start or finish well outside park boundaries on adjacent Crown lands. Often recreational users travel in and out of parks, Conservation Reserves and Crown land continuously, unaware of the land use designations they cross. (Adjacent MNRF districts, surrounding the parks in all directions, have not necessarily implemented an ongoing summer maintenance program of clearing portages on Crown land, their responsibility; so don’t be surprised with windfall.) You can access Florence Lake via canoe routes that start: northeast of Sudbury/Wanapitei, along the Sturgeon River; north of Field via Lake Obabika; west of Temagami via a number of routes; south from Elk Lake and the Gamble Rd (Chance Lake) and west of Haileybury to Mowat Landing (Lady Evelyn Lake).

Park Usage