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Ontario opening up backcountry camping

Ontario Parks to start collecting fees again June 1
2020-05-30 camping MH
Backcountry camping at Ontario Parks and on Crown land is opening up again June 1. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

If you've been dreaming of camping this summer, the province is easing some restrictions at Ontario Parks and on Crown land.

Ontario is reintroducing some recreational camping starting June 1. 

Backcountry camping will be available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails. Day-use activities are being expanded to include picnic and off-leash pet areas. Crown land is also re-opening for camping,

As of June 1, Ontario Parks will start collecting regular fees for day-use and backcountry camping.

The closure of other overnight camping and day-use activities at Ontario Parks and conservation reserves is in effect until at least June 14. While buildings and facilities, playgrounds and beaches are closed, some washroom facilities may be available.

"We are all eager to get outside this time of year, and backcountry camping will give people a low-risk way to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors while following physical distancing rules," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, in a news release. "We're counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks and continue to follow all of the public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19."

These measures include physical distancing, wearing a mask or face covering when staying two metres from people outside your immediate household is a challenge, and to wash your hands often.

Due to the provincial emergency order, no more than five people are allowed on a back country site, unless they live in the same household.