BWCA Will Quetico open? Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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QueticoMike
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04/16/2020 05:49AM  
What do you think are the odds of Quetico being open before June?
 
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Jackfish
Moderator
 
04/16/2020 06:06AM  
This is not a smart aleck answer, but seriously... with all the crap going on, who knows? I hope it does. Have to get the border open first.
Argo
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04/16/2020 06:56AM  
Jackfish: "This is not a smart aleck answer, but seriously... with all the crap going on, who knows? I hope it does. Have to get the border open first."
Just my opinion but It's most unlikely the border will re-open before intra-provincial barriers are lifted. At present, the provincial parks and crown land are closed to camping. If you live in Canada, that's your issue. If you live in the USA, the border is your issue. Even if Quetico re-opens, I think you can forget about using an RABC until the border is officially opened for non-essential movement.

President Trump just recently made some sanguine comments about the border reopening.

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/restrictions-at-canada-us-border-could-soon-be-eased-trump-suggests/ar-BB12GJRr?li=AAggNb9&ocid=iehp
04/16/2020 07:09AM  
I'm trying to get my group to discuss alternatives to our June 1 Quetico entry. No one wants to make back up plans as any back up plan may not even pan out.

I think June 1, Quetico will be closed.
04/16/2020 07:46AM  
I believe the odds are slim to none. Hope I am wrong...
tumblehome
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04/16/2020 09:26AM  
It is true. We are all guessing.

I am guessing that the borders will open by June. Both the governments and their citizens are growing increasing uncomfortable with the economic losses.
My trip is for June 10 and I am full steam ahead.
Tom
dentondoc
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04/16/2020 10:27AM  
tumblehome: "It is true. We are all guessing.

I am guessing that the borders will open by June. Both the governments and their citizens are growing increasing uncomfortable with the economic losses.
My trip is for June 10 and I am full steam ahead.
Tom"


Of course, I hope you are correct (since my entry date is about 2 weeks later than yours), but I'd put MY chances of a late June trip at about 70/30 against.

My feeling is that WHENEVER our constraints are relaxed we are very likely to see a Covid-19 rebound which will cause us to constrict again. Based on that, I suspect you'll see an upward bounce of new Covid cases in about 10 days to 2 weeks based on Easter events.

dd
MichiganMan
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04/16/2020 07:35PM  
dentondoc: "Of course, I hope you are correct (since my entry date is about 2 weeks later than yours), but I'd put MY chances of a late June trip at about 70/30 against.

My feeling is that WHENEVER our constraints are relaxed we are very likely to see a Covid-19 rebound which will cause us to constrict again. Based on that, I suspect you'll see an upward bounce of new Covid cases in about 10 days to 2 weeks based on Easter events."

Man I hope you're wrong Doc.
Minnesotian
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04/17/2020 12:45PM  

I think this one will really depend on Canada and not necessarily the United States. I think by June 1st, the United States government will be saying everything is fine and that the border should be opened, but my guess is that Canada will be a bit more cautious and will still have the border closed.
24kGold
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04/17/2020 07:50PM  
Yesterday, Trudeau said the border won't be opened anytime soon. That's vague, much like everything else right now, so who really knows. My trip is the second week of August, however, I would still need enough time to get the RABC processed in time for the trip. Since they're not even processing permits right now, I don't feel very good about a trip across the border this summer.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Terry
GraniteCliffs
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04/17/2020 10:24PM  
This is a depressing thread! I keep thinking the Q will be open in six weeks. Wishful thinking perhaps. But I hope not.

I suspect that I have entered the park at least once a year for the past 45 years. I can’t imagine a year without passing thru Prairie at least once. I guess that I enter at the north side again just to keep the streak alive. I guess not a bad problem to have.
billconner
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04/18/2020 05:52AM  
24kGold: "Yesterday, Trudeau said the border won't be opened anytime soon. That's vague, much like everything else right now, so who really knows. My trip is the second week of August, however, I would still need enough time to get the RABC processed in time for the trip. Since they're not even processing permits right now, I don't feel very good about a trip across the border this summer.


Keeping my fingers crossed.


Terry"


In case timing gets tight, you still have the option of getting an RABC at a border crossing. From Canada Border Services Agency:

In Person
Applications can be made in person at any of the following ports of entry:

Fort Frances
Rainy River
Pigeon River
Sault Ste. Marie
Emerson West Lynne

Applications can also be made at the Thunder Bay CBSA office, located at 201 North May Street.
cyclones30
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04/18/2020 05:22PM  
I saw a headline saying they just agreed to extend the non-essential border crossings for another 30 days.
GraniteCliffs
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04/18/2020 11:12PM  
Looks like at least late May now. Perhaps longer if it is extended again in another month.
@$”&:!!!
gymcoachdon
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04/20/2020 06:04AM  
My guess is that the border will open June 1. I am guessing that because I have a June 5th French Lake permit!
cburton103
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04/20/2020 07:00AM  
June 1 would be great! We have a Man Chain permit set to start June 4. We’ll probably go to the bwca as a backup, but we would much prefer sticking with our Quetico plans.
Luckee
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04/20/2020 06:11PM  
Yup, I just got a BWCA Fall Lake permit as backup for early June. Paddling around Basswood Lake and environs would be far preferable to a stick in the eye, but I'm still holding onto a slim hope of driving a rental car across the border and doing my planned Quetico trip.

Of course my older sister, an MD, tells me it would be crazy to fly in a plane any time before next winter. I'm trying to balance that against the certainty that I'll go crazy if I can't do some summertime paddling trips.
felknerj
 
04/22/2020 09:43PM  
I’m curious if anyone has cancelled their reservation and gotten a full refund? I have a reservation to Carp for June 6 and have all but decided that we won’t be going this year.
billconner
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04/23/2020 06:47AM  
Start to open things in Ontario in mid May perhaps.
Ontario
Argo
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04/23/2020 10:31AM  
billconner: "Start to open things in Ontario in mid May perhaps.
Ontario "


I'm trying to square this with the park closing ban and the campfire ban. I don't know for sure but I don't believe they are related. The parks are closed until April 30. The declaration of emergency appears to be something different - related to businesses and schools.

I expect that an announcement regarding the parks should coming shortly. I camp in French River PP every May 1. The one thing that's for sure is that it's no-go if campfires are banned. It's impossible to stay warm enough in the evening otherwise.
billconner
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04/23/2020 11:23AM  
Well, I hope reopening is reopening of parks as well.

(Off this topic - where can I learn more about French River PP - beyond the FRPP website? Much closer to me - like 6 hours versus 20 to Quetico and BWCAW. Of course Algonquin is closer but cool on reserving every campsite - if I have that right.)

GraniteCliffs
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04/23/2020 05:59PM  
It seems the park could possibly reopen. However, it does not seem likely the border will be open by mid May. That means, for all intents and purposes, the park is out of reach for americans. Sort of like the BW being open but not open to anyone outside the country---like Canada. That seems to be my take.
Caboose
member (9)member
 
04/24/2020 09:39AM  
As of right now, it appears Quetico park will reopen after April 30th (https://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19).

But the Canadian border is closed until May 20th. Hopefully that won't be extended (again). We have a trip planned on May 27th and are crossing our fingers tightly!
Argo
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04/24/2020 01:02PM  
Caboose: "As of right now, it appears Quetico park will reopen after April 30th (https://www.ontarioparks.com/covid19).


But the Canadian border is closed until May 20th. Hopefully that won't be extended (again). We have a trip planned on May 27th and are crossing our fingers tightly!
"


I don't read April 30 as the date the parks open. Only a standby date. My hope is that the one-size-fits-all park closure status is at least amended to accommodate interior camping. Almost all of the large interior camping parks have car camping facilities too. These two types of camping should not be married under the same policy in my opinion.
Johnh
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04/24/2020 08:20PM  
Justin Trudeau said the border closure will “undoubtedly” be extended beyond the current 30 day closure. Confidence of a Quetico trip happening in June is low.
HangLoose
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04/24/2020 09:02PM  
Johnh: "Justin Trudeau said the border closure will “undoubtedly” be extended beyond the current 30 day closure. Confidence of a Quetico trip happening in June is low."

I don't doubt this but do you have a source for this announcement? A Google search for anything related to Trudeau on the border turns up nothing in the past few days. Where'd you see this remark from Trudeau?
Johnh
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04/25/2020 12:02AM  
I saw it in The Guardian. I think it was from remarks he made on the 18th when he announced the 30 day extension. I looked back and could not find the quote but did find where he said it will be in place for “many, many weeks”. CTV also covered his remarks.

Generally it looks like The White House wants to get it open and the Canadians are not eager to do so and making remarks to signal that. I expect the WH can apply economic pressure or offer incentives so they might agree to an early opening.

Here is an AP story

AP Story
peleechickadee
member (6)member
 
04/25/2020 06:46AM  
For those interested when Ontario Parks may reopen, Premier Doug Ford is expected to make an announcement early next week outlining the framework in reopening the province. It will be a "gradual and measured approached." as quoted by the premier. I'm not even sure if the topic of Ontario Parks will even be part of this announcement, but it is something to stay tuned to in getting a possible update.

Personally, I can't see any Ontario Parks being open by our holiday weekend (May 18th) as it may cause overcrowding as people escape from the city. We also have a fire ban in the province currently, and no camping is even allowed on Crownland.
This basically leaves your own backyard (if you have one) as the only place to camp currently in Ontario. Hopefully we hear something soon, I have a two week canoe trip planned.
toothmiester
senior member (91)senior membersenior member
 
04/26/2020 09:29PM  
I thought everyone would like to know I just received a cancellation notice from Quetico Park for my May canoe trip and the park is closed util May 30th. Darn
04/27/2020 07:54AM  
toothmiester: "I thought everyone would like to know I just received a cancellation notice from Quetico Park for my May canoe trip and the park is closed util May 30th. Darn"
My cancelation says May 31. Which was my entrance date.
toothmiester
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04/27/2020 12:43PM  
Bummer isn't it
QueticoMike
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04/27/2020 12:47PM  
The park is closed until at least May 31st at this time. If you have a reservation before June 1st, you need to get on the web site or call the office and cancel the permit, it does not automatically cancel.

So maybe if you live in Canada you might be able to visit Quetico on June 1st. Americans still do not know if the borders will be open on June 1st.

I cancelled my permit today. Maybe I will go late June or late August if the borders are open.
toothmiester
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04/27/2020 01:16PM  
Are you sure Mike. My e mail says my reservation will be automatically canceled and a refund issued and it says there is no need to call. And yes I rechecked and it is closed all the way thru May. Toothmiester
SummerSkin
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04/27/2020 08:53PM  
That is what mine said as well:

“Reservations for arrivals up to and including the extended closure date will be automatically cancelled and you will receive a full refund with no penalty. There is no need for you to cancel your reservation online or through the call centre or contact Ontario Parks to receive your refund.”
QueticoMike
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04/28/2020 11:02AM  
They sent out two emails to me one on the 25th and another on the 27th. I guess since my reservation extended into June that I needed to cancel the reservation. I assume if your trip was in May entirely and not extending into June you would not have to do anything? So I went ahead and made the cancellation.

Here's what the one I received yesterday said.......

This email is in follow up to our email of April 25, 2020 which advised that the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is extending the closure of Ontario Parks to May 31, 2020.

This message is regarding your reservation for an arrival date up to or including May 31, that extends into June 2020. To ensure you have the opportunity to retain the portion of your reservation beyond the closure date of May 31, 2020, your reservation will not be cancelled automatically. Please log in to your account at reservations.ontarioparks.com to change your arrival date to June 1, 2020 or cancel your reservation altogether. No fees or penalties will apply.
SummerSkin
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04/29/2020 07:47AM  
That makes sense. My stay was scheduled to begin and end before June.
deancal20
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05/04/2020 09:03AM  
We are scheduled for June 2 but the burn ban maybe the real problem. Even if the border opens and Canada lets us come in, no fires including stoves is no fun and for us not even possible. I think it is a way for the gov. to keep our permit money because they can say it is open but we chose to stay home. Just my opinion...
Banksiana
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05/04/2020 11:31AM  
The burning ban (and supposed stove ban) is for Superior National Forest (USA) not Quetico (Canada- Ontario). Though if we don't start getting rain I assume a fire ban will be in effect- though camp stoves (not wood burning) are allowed during a fire ban.
Argo
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05/04/2020 12:38PM  
deancal20: "We are scheduled for June 2 but the burn ban maybe the real problem. Even if the border opens and Canada lets us come in, no fires including stoves is no fun and for us not even possible. I think it is a way for the gov. to keep our permit money because they can say it is open but we chose to stay home. Just my opinion..."

There is a campfire ban but I believe it is part and parcel of the camping ban.

Fire bans are always a possibility regardless of covid-19 considerations. There's a lot of objectionable ways the government reaches into our pockets but your complaint is a bridge too far for me.
05/04/2020 02:17PM  
As others have stated, a fire ban typically excludes camp stoves.
TominMpls
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05/06/2020 02:45PM  
There was a fire ban (with several active fires, though not too close to our route) when I was up in the Q last in August 2018. Gas stoves were permitted, of course - they always are. No issues at all.

Honestly I like going during fire bans because other members of my group can't talk me into having a fire, which is lots of work for little payoff and a headache the next day from ingesting the smoke. But regardless of your opinion about fires, it's a big stretch to argue that a fire ban is an attempt by the government to take your money.
Eyedocron
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05/06/2020 06:01PM  
I have been on several trips when they called me ahead and said there was a fire ban due to dry conditions. Camp stoves never banned. Couple of times they even wanted to see my MSR bottles at Prairie Portage to be sure I had enough fuel. No ulterior motives there.
 
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