Developing a management plan for Bigwind Lake Provincial Park

ERO number
019-6666
Notice type
Policy
Act
Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Proposal Updated
Proposal posted
Comment period
June 22, 2023 - September 4, 2023 (74 days) Closed
Last updated

Update Announcement

The proposal was originally published on June 22, 2023 for 45 days comment period ending August 6, 2023. On July 17, 2023 we extended the comment period for another 29 days (to September 4, 2023).

This consultation was open from:

June 22, 2023
to September 4, 2023

Proposal summary

Ontario is committed to providing families with more opportunities to get outside and enjoy more time in nature, including improved access to greenspaces throughout the province. To achieve this, the province is exploring the creation of the first new full-service operating provincial park in 40 years at Bigwind Lake Provincial Park.

Proposal details

With more than 12 million visits annually, Ontario Parks is the largest provider of outdoor recreational opportunities in the province, which provides significant spin-off benefits to local communities and the wider Ontario economy.

Ontario’s provincial parks and conservations reserves are important protected natural areas that promote the importance of healthy, natural spaces and provide Ontarians with more ways to get outside and enjoy more time in nature.

That’s why the Ontario government is proposing to create the first new full-service, operating provincial park in 40 years. This would provide new opportunities for recreational activities and camping, as well as expected spin-off tourism benefits to nearby communities.

Bigwind Lake Provincial Park Management Plan

In order to make the park operation, we are proposing to develop a new management plan for Bigwind Lake Provincial Park.

The proposed management plan would include:

  • the creation of a purpose and vision for the park
  • zoning options to determine the location of facilities that support recreational activities, including overnight camping, hiking, paddling and cross-country skiing
  • direction for the development of:
    • a campground with approximately 250 campsites
    • up to 25 roofed accommodations (camp cabins)
    • up to 25 backcountry campsites
    • a visitor services hub to serve as a centre for day-use and recreational activities
    • a recreational trail system
    • support facilities such as an access road, comfort stations, water and waste treatment facilities and maintenance facilities
  • updates to park policies to protect important natural and cultural values, including species at risk and their habitats

If the proposed facilities are developed, the park would become operational. An operating park designation means that visitors will need permits to enter the park.

The new management plan would:

About Bigwind Lake Provincial Park

Bigwind Lake Provincial Park is a 4,860 acre (1,967-hectare) natural environment class park located approximately 20 kilometres east of Bracebridge. The park protects upland forests of sugar maple, hemlock and yellow birch, and low-lying swamps, marshes and meadows.

The park is currently non-operating, which means it offers low-intensity, self-guided recreational opportunities, such as nature appreciation and paddling, but does not have staffing or maintained facilities.

We have summarized background information about the natural, cultural, and recreational values of the park. The background information is attached to the Supporting Material section of this notice.

We’re also gathering updated information on the values of the park. All of this information will help us develop the new managament plan for Bigwind Lake Provincial Park.

Opportunity to provide feedback

As we prepare a new management plan for the park, we would like to hear what facilities and services are important to you.

You can share your feedback by submitting a comment about this proposal.

You can also provide input by completing the Bigwind Lake Provincial Park Survey.

The feedback we receive will help us develop a preliminary management plan.

Other public consultation opportunities

If you are interesting in receiving direct notice of future opportunities to comment on this management planning process, please contact us at bigwindlakeprovincialpark@ontario.ca.

Direct mailing will ensure that provincial stakeholders and government organizations will be advised of the process.

The following are the opportunities for the public to participate in the planning process (dates beyond Stage 1 are tentative):

Stage 1 – Invitation to comment on the proposed development of a new operating provincial park at Bigwind Lake Provincial Park: June 22, 2023 – August 6, 2023

Stage 2 – Preliminary Park Management Plan: Fall 2023

Stage 3 – Inspection of the Approved Management Plan: Winter 2024

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Ontario Parks - Protected Areas Section
Address

300 Water Street
6th Floor
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

The comment period was from June 22, 2023
to September 4, 2023

Connect with us

Contact

Laura Bjorgan

Phone number
Email address
Office
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks - Land and Water Division - Ontario Parks - Protected Areas Section
Address

300 Water St, Peterborough
6th Flr S
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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