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Quetico Provincal Park
Quetico Provincal Park is a protected, pristine wilderness retreat of international acclaim west of Lake Superior on the U.S. - Canada border. The park's tangled network of lakes once formed water routes traveled by Ojibway and fur traders. Now it is primarily the destination of experienced canoeists seeking solitude and rare glimpses of wildlife by cascading waterfalls, glassy lakes and endless forests. The park is accessible at five points by canoe and one by car (to the Dawson Trail Campground).
The park abounds in wildlife with one area boasting four moose per square mile, one of the highest densities in the province. The canoeist stands an excellent chance of seeing moose, beaver, otter, marten and the bald eagle (common in Quetico, but rare elsewhere). There are red squirrels, chipmunks, beaver and mink as well as 90 species of birds nesting here.
Motorboats are not permitted on the lakes and waterways of Quetico Park, except in the Lac La Croix and Beaverhouse area. Only the Lac La Croix Guides are permitted to use motorboats, limited to 10 horsepower motors or smaller, a maximum of four per day, and only on 10 lakes.
At Dawson Trail Campground, visitors can swim at beaches along the shore of French Lake. Of course, visitors to the interior will find many opportunities to take a dip.
Cycling is permitted in Dawson Trail Campground but not on hiking trails.
Quetico is being used more and more for winter camping, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing. There are no groomed trails and snowmobiles are prohibited.
The Dawson Trail Campground at French Lake is the only entrance for drive-in camping. The 107 campsites, 49 of which have electricity, are close to comfort stations, showers, a laundromat and other amenities.
- Picnic and Day Use - Yes
- Electric Sites - 49
- Visitor Centre - At Dawson Trail campground
- Barrier Free Access Visitor Centre, Pickerel River Trail, Dawson Trail, Laundromat, shower, flush toilet
- Park Store - Friends of Quetico sell park souvenirs at stores in Dawson Trail Campground and Prairie Portage.
- Showers - At Dawson Trail Campground
- Flush Toilets - At Dawson Trail Campground
- Laundromat - At Dawson Trail Campground
- Play Area - There is a playground in Pickerel Beach day-use area at Dawson Trail Campground.
- Rentals - Local outfitters can provide supplies necessary for a canoe trip into the park interior.
- Off Season - Self-serve (Cash only - Canadian or U.S. dollars accepted)
Quetico Park Backcountry
Quetico is primarily a wilderness canoeing park. There are 2,200 backcountry (interior) campsites, accessible by canoe, scattered around the park on over 600 lakes.
Canoeists can enter the park at six access points, where ranger stations sell park permits and offer more information, including detailed maps of the park.
Each of the six entry stations offers a different park experience: Dawson Trail Ranger Station (40 km east of Atikokan) and Atikokan Ranger Station (in the town of Atikokan) are the only park stations accessible by car. Cache Bay and Prairie Portage Ranger Stations border Minnesota. Lac La Croix Entry Station is right by the Lac La Croix First Nations Reserve, and both Beaverhouse and the Lac La Croix entry stations are staffed by members of the Lac La Croix First Nations Band.
Contact the park at (807) 597-2735 in advance to receive trip planning information by mail. Each park access station can issue a limited number of camping permits.
Visitors entering Quetico directly from the United States must obtain a Remote Area Border Crossing Permit from Canada Immigration (or by mail from Canada Customs) before crossing.