Pukaskwa National Park Celebrates Trail Re-opening


National Park
photo supplied by Parks Canada.
THUNDER BAY – The 60-kilometre long Coastal Hiking Trail winding along Lake Superior’s shore in Pukaskwa National Park will be re-opening on July 15, 2011. The re-opening of the trail marks the completion of significant infrastructure upgrades, including complete reconstruction of the White River and Willow River suspension bridges and trail improvements such as replacement of boardwalks, footbridges, and stairs and enhancements to campsites, pit privies and bear boxes.

Pukaskwa’s Coastal Hiking Trail is a premier backcountry hiking destination in Northern Ontario.

The new suspension bridges have an estimated lifespan of 75 years, allowing generations of future hikers and backpackers to explore and discover the Wildshore of an Inland Sea. A guided hike to the White River suspension bridge is planned for July 16, Parks Day.

Energetic visitors interested in taking a hike are asked to meet at the Visitor Centre at 9 am for the 15-km round trip. Be sure to pack a lunch, bring lots of water and wear sturdy footwear. For more information call the park at (807) 229-0801.

Pukaskwa National Park is Ontario’s only wilderness park administered by Parks Canada. At 1878 square kilometres, it protects and presents the hilly boreal forest terrain of the Canadian Shield – broken by ridges and cliffs, riddled with rock-rimmed lakes and clothed in shallow soils. It lies adjacent to Lake Superior, which exerts its sometimes warming, sometimes cooling influences upon the shore.

Saturday, July 16 is Parks Day and that means free admission to all Parks Canada sites. Visit the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and Fort St. Joseph National Historic Sites for a day of adventure and celebrate the “Parks side” of these special historic places!

The Sault Canal will be kicking off Parks Canada’s new Xplorers program with exploration activities for children 6 to 11 years old and their families. Are your children
curious and active? Are they artists, dreamers, budding naturalists or journalists? If so, then Parks Canada’s Xplorers program is for them! Participants receive an Xplorers program booklet filled with fun activities that will guide their discovery of the Canal. When they complete the activities they will be recognized as an official Xplorer with a certificate and a special souvenir! Guided site tours are being offered at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.

And remember, no program fees apply on this day!

Also happening on July 16 is the Bio-Blitz, a unique celebration of art and biodiversity inspired by iconic Canadian artist and naturalist Robert Bateman! Feeling disconnected from nature? Want to rediscover the wild side of the forest? This event is a short, intense team effort to discover as many different life forms as possible at the Sault Canal and Fort St. Joseph. Youth of all ages are invited to join site staff and take part in unique activities: discover how to identify plants, trees and birds, find your own way through various trail systems and take notice of the signs of life all around you!

Channel your creativity while discovering the “Parks side” of these national historic sites! Bio-Blitz activities are being run by a Parks Canada guide at 10 am and 1 pm at both sites. For more information on these Parks Day activities, please contact the Sault Ste. Marie Canal at (705) 941-6205 and Fort St. Joseph at (705) 246-2664.

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