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 Post subject: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 11:59 am 
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Location: Woodstock, Ontario Canada
Noticed that Massasuaga pp(46.05 per night) and the Temagami cluster(36.72 per night) have a set campsite fee instead of a per person fee. Better for groups of four or more but more expensive for singles and couples.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 1:41 pm 
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Agreed! At those prices you've gotta question if they'll be providing electric hook ups too like they do in the front country parks. I mean the prices are equivalent to an electric site now. Do you think they'll be servicing the area more since they'll have additional funds from the increased fairs?

In all seriousness though, I understand that the reasoning for the increase is due to the funding cuts (thanks Thug Ford) from the CON-servative government. However, at these rates, I know that myself and plenty of others will be choosing other destinations to book. Even for couples, this is an outrageous price increase and almost twice the price! For solo people its almost four times! Hopefully they see a decrease that encourages them to change the prices back though.

However, here are my two fears. First, is this the start of a provincial wide roll out? I don't want to be paying such astronomical prices to go to a non-operating park. Second, and more conspiratoraly, could this be an effort by the government to reduce recreational usage so they reacquire the land and change the usage of it to resource extraction instead? Wouldn't put it past our current government.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry feespe
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 2:24 pm 
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Well it depends how you look at it. I an going to Temagami with two other couples so we will save about half of the old fee structure. I am also taking 3 adults and four grandkids into Killarney and it will cost me 64 dollars a night for a campsite. Ontario parks is still getting my money.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 3:05 pm 
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I don't mind fare increases. The two noted above are particularly busy - I think it's near impossible to get a site on Massasuga (at least whenever I've checked it's always 100% booked).

Perhaps it will free up some space for those who don't mind paying a little more. I actually think the parks should do an uber style billing and have it higher on peak weekends and lower mid week.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry feespe
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 3:48 pm 
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Bill P wrote:
Well it depends how you look at it. I an going to Temagami with two other couples so we will save about half of the old fee structure. I am also taking 3 adults and four grandkids into Killarney and it will cost me 64 dollars a night for a campsite. Ontario parks is still getting my money.


Being able to go out with a group is a luxury that not everybody is capable of though. I know for myself, even the one time managing to get four people out on one trip was a logistical nightmare in terms of people flaking and/or not having the right gear and etc. I just feel that this fee structure disproportionately affects solo and couple campers. Do we not want our great outdoors accessible to all, regardless of class or whether they are introverted or extroverted?

The idea of a per person fee that flexes during heavy use times does sound more ideal to me, but I don't make the rules so that doesn't matter.

Another point of concern, that was pointed out on the FB backcountry group on this topic, is that by increasing the price to a point that makes it so its only financially worth it if you take a group of 4 or more, you are also increasing the environmental damage. Larger groups tends to increase the chances of garbage left behind (more people, more garbage), and besides that, even if all precautions are taken, large groups of people crushing small plants around the periphery of campsites is not good for the environment. Thats not to say that large groups should be banned, but if you make the conditions right so that way its mostly large groups going, then I think there will be problems.

The price itself is pretty outrageous. Like if I wanted to do a ten day trip in Temagami now, I'd be looking at paying almost $400. You can get plane tickets out of the country for that price!


Last edited by dadadrop on February 12th, 2020, 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry feespe
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 4:00 pm 
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dadadrop wrote:
[quote="Bill P"
The price itself is pretty outrageous. Like if I wanted to do a tend day trip in Temagami now, I'd be looking at paying almost $400. You can get plane tickets out of the country for that price!


That's a good point - I hadn't considered the total cost of a 10 day trip... time to get out the crown land maps!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 8:15 pm 
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re: Crown Land. What will the aftershocks be of the Temagami park system price hikes? Will increasing numbers avoid these parks and trip the Crown Lands instead? I don't trip with a group so I find these new prices too steep for solo or tandem tripping. I wasn't aware there was a crowd problem in the Temagami parks. Is dinging them with punishing prices the answer? Or maybe it's a case of lazy thinking and low hanging fruit. In any case there may be consequences I hope some of us do not regret. Park maintenance is already at a minimum and nearly nonexistent on CL. How will that change?


Last edited by Odyssey on February 12th, 2020, 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 12th, 2020, 8:54 pm 
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then there is the French R "park"----'don't get me stahted'! :D Crown land camping with a price, esp in the delta!!

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 8:38 am 
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Seems to me there has been a general decline in the attitude of Ontario Parks regarding the camping experience. There seems to be a lack of any attitude about providing decent service, and an abundance of attitude regarding raking in dollars and finding rules to enforce. Typical centre-of -the universe,big-organization thinking, perhaps?

Or maybe a nefarious plan to flush people out of the bush.....

At prices exceeding $40 a night, I don't see why folks wouldn't head for crown land or just take their chances without a permit. I'll bet these decisions are made in downtown Toronto by MBA's who have never seen the bush!


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 8:58 am 
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Don't forget that at least in the two parks they have become more family and group friendly. For myself when we tripped as a family we did mostly crown land, as even ten years ago we had to pay over 60 dollars a night in PP. Seems that a good solution would leave the per person fee the same along with maxing the fee per night for Families and groups.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 9:39 am 
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Per campsite rates make great sense for the various summer canoe camps -- which have a strong presence in Temagami. I believe Camp Hurontario is located adjacent to the Massassauga?


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 3:20 pm 
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I would think an easy fix for youth camp fees might be for camp directors to apply for and receive special priced permits annually, otherwise the regular per person per night fees could remain for all other users. Camps could have their own ID number to streamline this. Shouldn't take a whizz kid to make this work.
I wish someone from Ontario Parks would fully explain the rationale for this fee change.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 13th, 2020, 8:29 pm 
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This link to the gov site might be of help( since their site structure is pretty much garbage)

https://www.ontarioparks.com/fees/backcountry/2020

The bulk of the parks are what we were used to for say solo tripper roughly $10 a night or each for a couple. Temag and Massassauga are the only two I see that got jacked up to send the 'solo' types away or at least pay for 'displacing' others. Helps groups but not so nice on the couples or solo. Could be worse, some win some lose like usual with da gov ment


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 14th, 2020, 2:20 am 
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Bill P wrote:
Don't forget that at least in the two parks they have become more family and group friendly. For myself when we tripped as a family we did mostly crown land, as even ten years ago we had to pay over 60 dollars a night in PP. Seems that a good solution would leave the per person fee the same along with maxing the fee per night for Families and groups.


Seconded. This seems the fairest way to go, for both solo and family groups, although it is often difficult to just 'show up' now and expect to be able to book sites in busy areas without a lot of portaging. I suppose these new fees will encourage more people to share. I am a solo backcountry camper. The new expense will make it difficult to justify going to these places now.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry fees
PostPosted: February 14th, 2020, 7:42 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
I've sent an email asking why the regular per person fees couldn't have been retained. Maybe there will be some kind of explanation sent rather than a canned response. Emailing the park superintendent is the next step.

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