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PostPosted: March 8th, 2019, 9:28 pm 
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Joined: March 13th, 2004, 8:11 am
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Location: Northern Edge of Vermont
Everything I have read about paddling the shore of Lake Superior from Hattie Cove to Michipicoten indicates that one can expect to be windbound at unpredictable intervals. Yet, according to the park website, all back country campsites must be reserved and, ironically, the car camping campground at Hattie Cove is "first come first served".

Isn't this completely backwards????

"Pukaskwa National Park does not have backcountry sites available on a first come first served basis. If there are no sites available for the dates selected, you can either select different dates or amend your trip plan accordingly.

Hattie Cove campground (Pukaskwa):
A short drive from the Trans-Canada Highway
For more information, please call Pukaskwa National Park at (807) 229-0801.
67 Sites. Hot showers, electrical hook-ups and free WiFi in the nearby Visitor Centre.
First Come- First Served."

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/pukaskwa/activ/camping/arriere-back

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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 7:57 am 
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Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:50 pm
Posts: 333
Location: Toronto
I'd hope that that far north, fellow travellers would give each other a bit of leeway? and if you got caught out by weather it wouldn't be a big deal. But I wouldn't know so my own little anecdote of backwards comes from Killarney, part of the provincial park system and much closer to the centre of the universe. There, the park rules state that in the event you arrive at your bookedfivemonthsinadvancetotheday site and it is occupied by others, you don't get your reservation fee refunded and no you cannot divert to occupy another unoccupied site, because if you did that, you could potentially displace yet another party! No, you must not hack out a new campsite either, but instead bivouac in a low impact way (no campfire for you!) on available rocky open space wherever it may be found. And so I duly found myself in that very situation. Killarney being well within the orbit of Toronto however, I churlishly held the claim jumper scenario in my mind as being more likely than the injury/emergency/storm scenario (well it was a fine day so forget the storm altogether), but I did go into the encounter with at least a partially open attitude. But when I saw the beers cooling in the lake, all remaining benefit of the doubt vanished. What to do? Rules are rules, up to a point. After that, common sense must prevail. Hope you find your way to a great trip in pukwaska!


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 9:06 am 
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Joined: August 19th, 2007, 5:40 pm
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Location: Timmins
We were windbound in Pukaskwa this summer. The spot we ended up staying at had evidence that someone else had camped there prior; sawed branches on the cedars, in this tucked away nook. They don't really take issue if you have to pull in to a campsite you didn't reserve so long as you're respectful of any other occupants. When you go through your mandatory backcountry info session at the start of your trip, they make mention of this.

Most spots typically have a plethora of tent pads options, either on the beach or in the woods. In 10 days paddling from Hattie Cove to Wawa, we only saw a kayaker at Pukaskwa Depot and a canoeist at Dog River. It's not a high trafficked area.

The reservation system helps you identify if others are going to be around pre-trip. The paddle areas are sometimes separate from the hike-in areas, and they're really just a large empty beach, sometimes with a pit privy, sometimes not. We stayed at 3 trail side sites, never ran into anyone. In a way, you kinda of just book the area. At Fisherman's Cove, we stayed at the nicer southern cove (for hikers) instead of the northern cove (for paddlers). The reservation system pre-trip showed us they would be empty. Of course we would make way for any surprise hiker if 2 parties showed up.

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Last edited by Stajanleafs on March 10th, 2019, 12:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 12:09 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Reservations kind of do make sense where some of the campsites are restricted in size or are also part of the Coastal Hiking Trail.

Most of the sites are huge.. but not all; example Cascade Falls.

Of course just as in the Everglades where you reserve your site too it must be understood safety comes first. I need more than one hand to count the times I have gone "off permit" down there due to strong winds. It just is bad form to crash on an otherwise occupied chickee ( 12x12..a constricted size).. Beaches are fine.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2019, 6:49 pm 
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Joined: June 16th, 2011, 2:10 am
Posts: 98
Location: Ontario North
The shore line north of Killarney all the way up to Thunder bay is full of a million coves where one can camp , take shelter etc without the need of reservations

Between LK Superior Ntl Park and Pukaskwa and then north of Pukaskwa there's a lot of accessible crown land we've been using for 40 years without reservations :wink:


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