Canoe Camping in Quetico Provincial Park


Quetico Provincial Park
NW Ontario, Canada, North America - Part of the Quetico Superior Wilderness

Quetico Park Map - in greenQuetico Provincial Park:
Covering over 4750 square kilometers and having only 2,200 backcountry (interior) campsites scattered on over 600 lakes, it's no wonder Quetico is considered a world class wilderness canoe camping destination. Canoeists can only enter Quetico Park via six ranger stations, of which, only two are accessible by road.

Quetico Maps with highlighted points of interest (bolding designates large digital files)

Nym Lake / Dawson Trail
Cache Bay / Prairie Portage
Lac Lacroix / Beaverhouse

Quetico Fire History Map
Ranger Stations

Quetico has been in existence since 1913, although an actual road coming close to it wasn't built until 1954. The heart of Quetico has been protected from logging since 1943. While all logging within park boundaries stopped on May 13th 1971, stumps and other remnants of logging and mining history can still be found today.

Quetico Park History:

  • 1909 - Knowledge people became so alarmed at the slaughter of moose for trophies and for food by logging and mining camps they urged the establishment of the Quetico Game Preserve. Frank Cochrane, Minister, promised to set aside the reserve IF the United States set aside a similar area. It didn't take long for President Roosevelt to create the Superior National Forest. The Minnesota Game and Fish Commission then established the Superior State Game Reserve. Two months later, Ontario created the Quetico Forest and Game Reserve. It's boundaries were slightly different than they are today but the idea was planted.

  • Logging ends in Quetico1913 - Quetico Forest Reserve of Ontario DPW became Quetico Provincial Park under Ontario Department of Lands, Forests and Mines.

  • 1917 - Shelvin-Clark were logging Quetico. By 1919 five lumber camps were well established in the Quetico Lake area.

  • 1925-1926 Logging occurred at Pickerel, French, Marion, Jesse, McAlpine, Quetico, Oriana and Batchewaung by Shevlin-Clark.

  • 1928 - By now so many people were disturbed by the destruction of the wild character of Minnesota and Ontario the US formed the Quetico Superior Council which was established to obtain a treaty between the US and Canada "to defend and extend the roadless wilderness area along the boundary waters and to protect and expand the rare public values in Rainy Lake watershed".

  • 1941 - Crooked Lake was logged by J.A. Mathieu but due to lobbying by the Quetico Superior Council, 300 foot shoreline reserves and 200 foot portage reserves were established.

  • 1943 - Wartime Order-in-Council permitted prospecting and recording of mining claims in Quetico.

  • 1956 - Prospecting and mining banned in Quetico Park.

  • 1959 - A commercial fishing license was issued to the Lac La Croix band - up to 23 men were involved - sturgeon was dressed and sold in the Winnipeg market. There was a steady decline in the catch and fishing was discontinued by 1962.

  • 1970 - The Quetico Park Advisory Committee held public meetings regarding logging in Quetico.

  • 1973 - Minister Leo Bernier announced acceptance of the Advisory Committee's report of Quetico's goal, "it's preservation, in perpetuity, for the people of Ontario as an area of wilderness not adversely affected by human activities and containing a natural environment of aesthetic, historical and recreational significance".

  • 1977- Quetico Park Master Plan is accepted with the stated goal "to preserve Quetico Provincial Park, which contains a natural environment of recreational and historical significance, in perpetuity for the people of Ontario as an area of wilderness that is not adversely affected by human activities". A total ban on motors was to be implemented in 1979.

  • 1978 - Regulations changed to prohibit motors on Pickerel and French Lakes, the Wigwiag river and the International Boundary Waters.

  • 1979 - Motors Banned in Quetico - with one exception: "members of the Lac La Croix Guides Association may operate a power boat with an engine not exceeding 10 horsepower on Quetico, Beaverhouse, Wolseley, Tanner, Minn and McAree Lakes; including the Maligne River from Lac La Croix to Tanner Lake.

  • 1991 - Minister Bud Wildman reviews the Lac La Croix band's historical circumstances and makes an apology in the provincial legislature "for the lack of respect that has been shown for it's people and for it's rights". Lac La Croix guides granted interim permission to use motors of 10 horse or less on Cirrus, Jean and Conk Lakes.

Credits - Ontario Ministry of National Resources
and the
Lac La Croix First Nation

Here's another historic timeline for Quetico Provincial Park
The paragraph about Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) Permits only applies to visitors who plan to paddle across the border.

Permits, entry points & daily quotas
Quetico forum

Links to other Quetico Provincial Park information

Entry > Quetico Park

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