|Quetico Provincial Park|
|Area:||1,180,000 acres (4,760 square km)|
|Governing Body:||Ontario Parks|
Quetico Provincial Park is a large wilderness park in northwestern Ontario, Canada, renowned for its excellent canoeing and fishing. This 4,760 km². (1.18 million acre) park shares its southern border with Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which is part of the larger Superior National Forest. These large wilderness parks are often collectively referred to as simply the Boundary Waters.
The park includes over 2,000 unofficial, unimproved wilderness campsites spread throughout more than 600 lakes. Canoeists require permit reservations and may only enter the Quetico via six Ranger Stations which serve 21 specific entry points. It is possible to drive to three of these Ranger Stations: Dawson Trail, Atikokan, Lac La Croix. One must portage and paddle to Beaverhouse, and paddle or take a tow from an outfitter to Cache Bay or Prairie Portage. Drive-in camping is available only at the Dawson Trail campground; yurt camping is available in this campground.
Quetico Provincial Park was created in 1913, although road access wasn't built until 1954. The origin of the park's name is a mystery. Locals say the park is named after the "Quebec Timber Company", however no such company existed. The name may also be a version of the French words quête de la côte which means "search for the coast". It may also be from an Ojibwa name for a benevolent spirit who resides in places of great beauty. The park has been completely protected from logging since 1971. Motor vehicles, including boats, were banned in the Quetico in 1979, with the exception of the Lac La Croix Guides Association, part of the Lac La Croix First Nation, which is allowed to operate power boats with engine no more than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) on Quetico, Beaverhouse, Wolseley, Tanner, Minn and McAree Lakes. The official plan (Agreement of Coexistence) is to phase out motorized guiding activities by the Lac La Croix First Nation in Quetico Provincial Park through simple attrition by the year 2015.
As Quetico is a wilderness park there are restrictions that users must be aware of. Group size may not exceed 9 members. Containers of fuel, insect repellent, medicines, personal toilet articles and other items that are not food or beverage are the only cans or bottles that may be brought into Quetico. Non-burnable, disposable food and beverage containers are not allowed. Mechanized devices such as power saws, generators, ice augers, or portage wheels are prohibited. It is furthermore illegal to damage live trees and other plants.
The new fishing regulations previously planned to go into effect January 1, 2007 are not effective until January 1, 2008 and until that time the 2005-2006 regulations apply. According to the 2007 Quetico Provincial Park Wilderness Guide, no baitfish is allowed and leeches must be purchased in Ontario. Hold on to the receipt for proof of purchase location. Effective 2008, barbed hooks and the use of organic bait will be prohibited in the Quetico Provincial Park. However, manufactured organic baits will be allowed. In effort to encourage park visitors to switch to "green" tackle, manufactured organic baits, barbless hooks and lead-free tackle will be sold at all Quetico entry stations.