Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Ontario Parks reservation system is up and running today!

Are you looking forward to this? Then read on! Photo by Steve Baker.
The long-awaited "new and improved" Ontario Parks permit reservation system just went live this morning. The parks folks claim it is a faster and more efficient system and early reports from my spies inside the park confirm that this is the case. For full details, click here. The FAQ page is worth reading as well.

Don't forget about these! Photo by Brad Coultes.
Since OP has gone back to CAMIS, the service provider prior to the 2010 season, it's kind of a "plus ça change, plus ca reste la même chose" situation but here are a few highlights:

1) As before, Algonquin Park Interior reservations can only be made by phone: call 1-888-668-7275 with your access point and the names of the lakes you intend to camp on each night at the ready. If you live outside of North America, you can call: 1-519-826-5290.

2) Woohoo! "Reservation and camping fees will remain the same for the 2011 season. There will be a $1 savings if the reservation is made online."

3) The five month in advance reservation window remains in effect. Start counting the days!

If you are not sure about where to start with this process, there are a number of sources of reliable information about canoe routes. The first step is to get a map, It is difficult to give specific route advice without knowing whether you have a park map and what previous experience you have in Algonquin Park.

PDF versions of two different Algonquin Park maps are available on line:

Algonquin Park has this too! Photo by Martin Jordan
A somewhat dated version of the "official" Algonquin Park Canoe Route Map, useful for for general route planning, is available here.

Jeffrey McMurtrie's much more detailed and recently updated map is available here and for on-line viewing at our web site.

If you want a real map that you can hold in your hands, lay out on the table and make notes on, you can order the Algonquin Park Canoe Routes Map (along with guide books and many other useful park publications) on-line from the Friends of Algonquin Park Bookstore. The highly detailed Adventure Maps for Algonquin Park are available from our friends at Chrismar Mapping Services.

For the most comprehensive unofficial site, lots of trip planning information, route ideas, trip logs and other related links, check out Algonquin Adventures.

Descriptions of many Algonquin routes can also be found at the Canadian Canoe Routes Algonquin page:

Fine dining awaits on every campsite! Photo by Bob Hansen.
There are guidebooks available that can help you with your canoe trip planning. "A Paddler's Guide to Algonquin," by Kevin Callan, has some excellent route descriptions and canoe trip tales. Don Lloyd's fine book, "Canoeing Algonquin Park," is another very useful resource for trip planning. Different areas of the park are described and mapped so that you can put your own trip together. A great deal of historical information and natural history is also presented. You can order both these books on-line at the Friend's bookstore.

1 comment:

  1. Great post about the new Ontario Parks reservation site:

    For some links and how to videos you can also see another post about the new reservation system on the AO Sales & Events Blog: