Quetico Park 2007
The Quetico Provincial Park is Ontario’s rare jewel and a paddler’s dream. It is rugged land once covered by glaciers and is awe-inspiring. The glaciers receded leaving behind lakes, bogs, rivers, and rocky cliffs. Over the years many people traveled this vast canoe country including Native Americans, Fur Traders, and Explorers. The Quetico Park is a wilderness of over 1 million acres and has some 600 lakes to explore. It lies along the border of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness beckoning to the adventure seekers of today.
Every summer visitors look forward to their trek into the Quetico Provincial Park. There are numerous entry points and routes to choose from for canoe camping in the expansive Park. While it may be called a “Park” there is nothing “park like” about the Quetico. The lakes are connected by wilderness portages and the campsites are primitive. Some travelers are looking for fish to catch, others are hoping to catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife, some search for paintings on the rocks but all are on a quest for solitude.
The Quetico Park is a wilderness area that only allows a certain number of people to enter each day at each entry point. Even once you enter the Park you must travel and camp in the area specified by your permit. This disperses groups and keeps them spread out to enhance the wilderness characteristic of the Park. A canoe camping experience in the Quetico is one most people never forget and all long to repeat.
A wilderness paradise awaits those who are willing to plan ahead and properly prepare for a trip to the Quetico. There are special rules and regulations that must be followed in order to partake in such an experience. The Quetico lies entirely within the Country of Canada so proper documentation is needed to enter.
The recent passport laws have added some confusion to groups wanting to paddle in the Quetico Park. For the summer of 2007 a passport is not needed to travel into Canada via the wilderness entry points in Minnesota. If you were flying into Canada via a major airline then you would need a passport but paddling your way into Canada from the border of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness without a passport is fine in 2007.
The uniqueness of this wilderness area allows a person to cross into Canada without checking into Customs. A Remote Area Border Crossing Permit allows a person to travel into Canada in this remote area and these applications can be downloaded from the Canadian Immigrations Website. The permit must then be mailed to Canadian Immigrations where it can take from 3-6 weeks to process.
An entry point permit is required to enter into the Quetico Park and can be reserved 5 months to the start date of the trip. The fee to reserve a permit is $12.00 plus an additional $100.00 deposit is taken at the time of the reservation. Overnight camping permits must be purchased as well. The cost of overnight camping fees has been increasing and for the 2007 the rates are $20.00/person/night for guests 18 years of age and older and $8.00/person/night for guests 6-17 years of age. For trip planning information you can contact an outfitter or call the Quetico at 807-597-2735. An outfitter can reserve your permit or you may do so yourself by calling 877-550-6777.
The process to take a canoe trip into the Quetico Park may seem like a hassle. Believe me, once you are out on a wilderness lake, listening to the call of the loon as you relax by a campfire, all of the hassles of everyday life will be long forgotten