Mikisew Provincial Park is a natural haven in northern Ontario. Located on the south shore of Lake Athabasca, this provincial park offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty of northern wilderness while still being close enough to civilization that they can enjoy the beach area with all the comforts of home.
The park features many hiking trails through the lake, provincial parks, and its boreal forests and wetlands, allowing visitors access to some of Canada’s most pristine landscapes.
It also has several small beaches and two campgrounds that offer basic amenities such as camping, fire pits, and pit toilets but no hookups or showers; perfect for those looking for an authentic camping experience!
1. Mikisew Provincial Park’s Past
Northern Ontario’s Mikisew Provincial Park is a sanctuary for the environment. It came into existence when the Canadian government purchased the property from the First Nations inhabitants who had been utilizing it for centuries.
Chief Mikisew (also spelled Michikazee), who led his people in their struggle against European settlers during the 19th century, is honored with a park bearing his name.
The original inhabitants of all the trails of the provincial park were nomadic hunters who traveled across northern Canada following migrating animals like caribou and moose.
They lived off of what they could hunt or gather from nature; especially berries and fish and used tools made out of wood or stone that they found along their route through all the trails and forested areas surrounding Lake Athabasca (which covers much all the trails of this region).
2. Exploring the Park
Mikisew Provincial Park has a full beach area and a wide range of activities available to engage in, including hiking the south river, canoeing the south river, dog beach as well as kayaking.
The recommended hike for beginners is the 1km trail that leads from the hardwoods campground up to “The Pines” campground, where you, your friends, family, and dog can camp and enjoy the lake and some great views of Lake Athabasca and surrounding mountains.
Try one of these longer treks if you want something more difficult:
2.1. 3 km Turtle Lake Trail
This trail takes you through beautiful forested areas with many lakeside views before reaching its end at eagle lake at Turtle Lake Campground.
Eagle lake camp here is perfect if you want somewhere quiet away from crowds but still close enough so that once finished exploring there’s still plenty left on offer within the park and eagle lake itself.
2.2. 5 km Mikisew River Trail
For those wanting to explore the quiet beach or something longer than 3km yet shorter than 10km then this may be right up your alley as it offers both quiet seclusions while still being close enough to play so that your friends do not feel isolated either!
Mikisew Provincial Park offers many facilities and services and a variety of accommodations for visitors.
Campers can choose from RV sites, which have electricity and water hookups, or tenting sites, complete with fire pits and picnic tables.
There are neighbouring lodging facilities and services available as well if you’re looking for something less rustic than pitching your canvas or camping out but more luxurious than sleeping on the ground under the stars.
4. The Park’s Setting
With over 200 different bird species, including bald eagles and ospreys, the area is a haven for wildlife.
Numerous mammal species, such as elk, wolves, and black bears, call its two parks home.
As a consequence of local First Nations people’s conservation attempts to safeguard their traditional hunting grounds from logging companies searching for timber resources, the Mikisew Park was created in 1959.
5. Traveling Suggestions for Mikisew Provincial Park
Due to the park’s location on Lake Athabasca’s western shore, north bay, and south river, there are numerous chances for canoeing, canoeing, swimming, dog beach, boating, and paddling.
While you’re there, make sure to pack:
A tent or hammock if you plan on camping (there are no campsites available).
If it’s the rainy season, wear boots and clothing that are waterproof. (which runs from May through October).
The camera! All of those stunning views should be recorded while they are still available.
6. Getting to Mikisew Provincial Park
The best way to reach Mikisew Provincial Park is by car.
There are no airports in the area, but you can fly into either Edmonton or Calgary and rent a vehicle there.
If you’re coming from elsewhere in Canada or the United States, it’s easiest to take public transportation through Ontario’s Highway 11 corridor (the Trans-Canada Highway).
7. Nearby Attractions
- Mikisew Park is a park located in northern Ontario, just north of Fort McMurray.
- There are many natural treasures in the park, such as lakes and rivers that are great for swimming and fishing.
- There are also many hiking trails throughout the park where you can see wildlife such as moose or deer.
- There are many possibilities close by if you’re seeking activities outside of Mikisew Park. You could take a relaxing day trip to Fort McMurray to visit one of their museums or go shopping at one of their malls (there are two!).
- Or maybe you’d prefer something more adventurous, like a trip of whitewater rafting down the Athabasca River? Whatever it may be, there’s no shortage when it comes to fun things here in Alberta!
8. Events at Mikisew Provincial Park
- The Mikisew Park is also home to the beach park, the top dog beach, and the location of several annual festivals and special activities in the beach area, including:
- The Mikisew Summer Festival, which takes place every July, boasts live music, artisan vendors, and food trucks. Winterfest – a celebration of winter sports that includes cross-country skiing and snowshoeing events as well as skating on the lake.
- Ranger-led programs such as night hikes or bird walks are offered throughout the year at different times throughout the day (check their website for details).
9. Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting the Park
If you are planning a visit to Mikisew Provincial Park, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Permits: For overnight stays in the area, you must have a valid camping permit. At the Mikisew Provincial Park headquarters and on the Ontario Parks website, permits can be purchased both in person and online.
- Boating: Kayaking, canoeing, and motorboating are just a few of the types of boats that can be used in the provincial park make sure to follow all the rules and regulations on boating.
- Hiking: Numerous hiking trails, from simple to difficult, can be found in the park. The appropriate attire should be worn, and plenty of drinks should be brought.
- Angling: A very popular spot for angling, some of the species that can be found in Mikisew Provincial Park include walleye and Northern pike. It is a must to have a fishing license, and the rules and regulations must be followed strictly.
- Weather: Bring clothing that can be worn in a variety of climates because Mikisew Park’s weather can be unpredictable.
Wildlife: Moose, black bears, and wolves are just a few of the animals that can be found in Mikisew Provincial Park. Bear safety precautions should be followed, and food and trash should be stored safely.
Respect: Keep in mind to show respect for the environment by removing all signs of your stay. Be considerate of other park guests and watch your noise level, particularly at night.
Mikisew Provincial Park is a natural retreat in northern Ontario and is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an escape from the city or a great place if you want to reconnect with nature.
The park has many different types of wildlife, including moose and black bears; several hiking trails lead through this beautiful landscape.
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