Ontario to overhaul provincial park, bring in year-round sites and cabins

The government says this will be the first operating provincial park in 40 years

Ontario is revamping a provincial park in Muskoka, turning it into a year-round site with cabins and full-service facilities. 

Minister David Piccini says construction at Bigwind Lake Provincial Park is expected to start next fall.

The minister of environment, conservation and parks says that will add 250 campsites and 25 new cabins to the park system. 

The park, about 40 kilometres east of Bracebridge, Ont., is currently non-operating, meaning it can be used by day for self-guided hikes and paddles, but has no facilities, staff or publicly maintained access. 

The government says the revamped nearly 2,000-hectare park will mark the newest all-season, full-service provincial park in over 40 years.

Although Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park was made operational in 2011, a spokesperson for the minister says it’s a backcountry park “that doesn’t provide roofed accommodations and other services that will be available at Bigwind Lake Provincial Park.” 

Banner image: Bigwind Lake Provincial Park is shown in this handout aerial photo provided by Ontario Parks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ontario Parks 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2023.