Provincial parks open - but not for overnight stays

·2 min read

Provincial parks in Ontario remain open; however, if you are considering an over night visit you will have to wait a little lon-ger.

The parks are open and continue to offer safe and local outdoor recreational activities for day use with some modifications or restrictions to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.

Provincial Parks announced on May 20 that due to the Province-wide stay-at-home order, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, is extending the temporary closure of campground and backcountry campsites and roofed accom-modations, like cabins, yurts, and cottages in its parks until at least June 2.

Earlier, Ontario Parks said it was hoping to open up overnight accommodations on May 20, but they extended the restriction in keeping with the provinces stay-at-home order.

“We understand this temporary closure of overnight stays in provincial parks and conservation reserves may impact your plans, however, the health and well-being of Ontarians is our number one priority,” Ontario Parks said in a statement.

While the parks stay open and continue to provide facilities and services like walking and hiking, modifications and restrictions will apply.

Recreational amenities like multi-use sports fields are closed.

Park stores and visitors’ centres remain closed to the public, so if you go, you should bring your owns supplies like hand sanitizer, extra water, soap, and other necessities.

The Park’s websites have a list of what is available at each park.

If you do want to visit a park, you should check ahead as the number of daily vehicle permits is being reduced and you may not be able to get it if you just show up at the gate.

“Ontario Parks is also asking for the time being to only visit parks in the region where you live,” the statement said. “We know how much people love to visit Ontario Parks for day use as a way to spend time outdoors, get fresh air and stay healthy, but we continue to ask that, you only visit and enjoy a provincial park or conservation reserve close to home and only with members of your own household. Limiting your travel is essential in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, staying safe and saving lives.”

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times

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