Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting to Algonquin Park during the G8 Summit

Unless you have been on a canoe trip for the last year, you have no doubt heard that our fair town of Huntsville is hosting the G8 Summit from June 25-27. Hot on the heels of that event is the G20 in Toronto. Needless to say, there will be some major security in place and disruptions to everyday life in both places. My suggestion? Leave town! Go on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park!

Having said that, you will need to think about a slight detour if you are traveling from southern Ontario to our Oxtongue Lake or Opeongo Stores and popular Hwy 60 access points like Smoke lake, Rock Lake or Opeongo Lake. The G8 meeting is at Deerhurst Resort, just east of Huntsville off Hwy 60, and there will be traffic restrictions in that area. While the official word is a bit vague, it is safe to assume that the normal route along Hwy 60 to Algonquin Park from Huntsville will not be accessible from June 21 through the 27th. Downtown Huntsville will be very busy as well, with traffic control points at various intersections (yet to be revealed) sure to cause slowdowns.

The map below shows various road restrictions expected to be in effect. Roads highlighted in red and pink are the ones to avoid. You can download the full-sized version here. If you do need to drive in or around Huntsville, there is a good outline of the various restrictions and alternate routes here.

The best route for traveling to Algonquin Park, from Hwy 11 to Hwy 60, will be to take Muskoka Road 117 east from Bracebridge to Dorset, then Hwy 35 north to Hwy 60. According to my calculations using Google Maps, using this very scenic route adds only seven km of extra distance, and due to more winding roads, maybe 20 minutes of extra driving time. Not a big deal. And the best part is that it is a really pretty drive, you can stop in the charming village of Dorset, take in the fabulous view at the Dorset Fire Tower Lookout and see new sights along the way.

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