Ontario Parks announces the opening of its first new operational provincial park in 40 years

02 July 2023 | Patrick Myler

Exciting news for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers! The Muskoka region is getting a new addition to its already stunning landscape. Construction is set to begin in fall 2024 on the 5,000-acre Bigwind Lake Provincial Park, located just 2.5 hours outside of downtown Toronto.

This long-awaited development promises to enhance the recreational offerings in the area with campsites, year-round activities, and upgraded facilities. Let’s dive deeper into what this new provincial park has in store for visitors.

A Recreation Haven

Bigwind Lake Provincial Park will soon be transformed from a non-operating provincial park into a thriving hub for outdoor adventure. The upgrades will include overnight and electrified campgrounds, backcountry camping options, and various recreational activities suitable for all seasons. Visitors can look forward to engaging in cross-country skiing, canoeing, hiking, and more activities.

Expanding Ontario Parks

In line with its commitment to enhancing outdoor experiences, the province plans to incorporate 250 new campsites and up to 25 cabins into the Ontario Parks system. This expansion enriches the offerings at Bigwind Lake and contributes to the overall growth and diversity of Ontario’s provincial park network.

Boosting Local Economy

The opening of Bigwind Lake Provincial Park is expected to bring significant economic benefits to Bracebridge and the surrounding areas. The province predicts an annual revenue of approximately $16 million. This influx of tourism and spending will support local businesses and create employment opportunities, positively impacting the region’s economy.

Sustainable Features and Visitor Input

Bigwind Lake Provincial Park aims to incorporate environmentally friendly elements into its design. The park will feature low-energy buildings, amenities like electric vehicle charging stations, and green technologies. Moreover, the province seeks public input on the park’s design features through an online survey open until August 6th. This approach ensures visitors have a say in shaping the park to best suit their needs and preferences.

Nature’s Abundance

Bigwind Lake offers breathtaking landscapes and diverse ecosystems in the picturesque Muskoka region. With its five stunning lakes, meadows, marshes, and upland forests comprising Sugar Maple, Eastern Hemlock, and Yellow Birch, the park will provide visitors unparalleled opportunities to connect with nature. Its proximity to Arrowhead Provincial Park and its natural splendour make Bigwind Lake an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an authentic wilderness experience.

Anticipated Park Features

The new design of Bigwind Lake Provincial Park will ensure a memorable experience for all visitors. The envisioned plans include a central visitor services area acting as a hub for park activities, a park store with rentals, ample space for camping and roofed accommodations, and designated areas for hiking, paddling, and cycling. These thoughtful amenities and infrastructure upgrades will transform the park into a modern and accessible destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

The upcoming development of Bigwind Lake Provincial Park heralds a new era of outdoor recreation in the Muskoka region. As construction begins in the fall of 2024, visitors can anticipate various camping options, year-round activities, and upgraded facilities. With its stunning natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and sustainable features, Bigwind Lake Provincial Park is poised to become a destination for nature enthusiasts all over.

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