Algonquin Park Ice Conditions Update: Backcountry Permits To Be Issued May 15th

With warmer weather and rain in the forecast, Ontario Parks is now saying that there will be no backcountry canoe camping permits issued In Algonquin Park until the morning of May 15, 2019*. This means if you are interested in backcountry canoe camping you may purchase a backcountry canoeing permit starting on the morning of May 15, 2019* (*subject to change by Ontario Parks). Anyone with a backcountry canoe camping reservation prior to May 15, 2019* can cancel or adjust their reservation without penalty by contact the Ontario Parks Reservation Service.

According to the official Algonquin Park website:

A satellite image taken on May 8, 2019 and a corresponding flight to assess ice conditions has found lingering ice on large lakes in high elevation areas of Algonquin Park. As a result, Ontario Parks will be issuing no backcountry canoeing permits until May 15, 2019* (*subject to change).Reservation holders with arrival dates before May 15, 2019 will be contacted by Ontario Parks and offered a full refund or the possibility to change their reservation without penalty. Or you may contact the centralized Ontario Parks reservation service at 1-888-668-7275.

Environment Canada has issued a Rainfall Warning forecasting 30 to 50 millimetres of rain associated with an approaching low pressure system passing Algonquin Park on May 9 and 10, 2019. Winds associated with this weather system are forecast to gust to about 40km/h and will help remove fragile ice on Algonquin Park’s lakes.

Opening May 10th:
• Rock Lake, Tea Lake, Whitefish, Achray, Brent, and Kiosk Campgrounds
o Achray and Kiosk Campgrounds will not have potable water.
o Some sites at Rock Lake, Tea Lake and Whitefish Campgrounds will be
closed due to localized flooding or poor condition.
• Eastern Pines Backpacking trail
o Expect spring conditions of snow patches, flooded areas and possible
• Barron Canyon Road and Rock Lake Road
• Booth’s Rock hiking trail

ice out algonquin
Image: Fisherman’s Point at Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park on May 9, 2019 (click to enlarge). Many small and medium sized lakes are now ice free. High winds associated with a Rainfall Warning is expected to help remove ice, but some large lakes, especially those at higher elevations, may have ice potentially persisting into the double digits of May.


Opening dates to be determined:
• All backcountry campsites (interior permits) and ranger cabins.
• Arowhon Roads and Centennial Ridges Road are closed at Hwy 60 due to poor
road conditions and snow covered sections.
• Western Uplands and Highland Backpacking trails are closed due to flooding.
• Whiskey Rapids hiking trail and Tea Lake Dam Picnic Area are closed due to
• Kingscote Lake Road is closed due to washouts.
• Basin Depot Road is closed at km 33.5, just before the hydro-line, due to a

Lakes still have ice on them but is going quickly. Park Rangers have scheduled a flight on
Wednesday to conduct an aerial survey to determine interior/backcountry lake
conditions and will update accordingly.

Mew Lake Campground is open year-round, and camping is available. Day use is
permitted in all areas of the Park that are open and accessible. Conditions are being
monitored and we will update this information regularly.

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