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DescriptionOn the north shore of Lake Superior, 320 kilometres (199 mi.) northeast of Thunder Bay, Pukaskwa (PUCK-a-saw) National Park encompasses 1,878 square kilometres (725 sq. mi.). The park is mostly wilderness that is accessible only by canoe, boat or trail. The entrance at Hattie Cove in the northwestern corner of the park can be reached via Hwy. 627, which extends from Hwy. 17 south and east of the town of Marathon.
Pukaskwa's rocky terrain is covered by forests of spruce, fir and cedar mixed with birch and aspen. Thick, fragrant moss blankets the thin layer of soil. The microclimate close to the lakeshore supports a variety of plants. The coves and weathered headlands along the rugged shore embrace cliffs, cobble beaches and pristine stretches of sand. Among wildlife are black bears, moose, wolves and woodland caribou.
General InformationThe park is open all year. The visitor center at Hattie Cove offers interpretive programs, displays, information and a detailed park map; it is open daily, July-August. Campgrounds, beaches, picnic areas and hiking trails are nearby. A fee is charged for camping; electric and non-electric sites available. In the back country, a hiking trail follows the coastline for 60 kilometres (44 mi.) and has several primitive campsites along the way. All visitors to the back country and winter campers must register, attend a safety orientation and pay fees before venturing out.
In winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and back-country camping are permitted. In the spring the Pukaskwa and White rivers offer challenging white-water rapids. The adventurous can paddle or boat along the coast, but lake conditions can be unpredictable. Boats can be launched on the Pic River near the park entrance.
ADMISSIONADMISSION is free in 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. Otherwise $5.13; $4.34 (ages 65+); $2.57 (ages 6-16); $13.01 (family, up to seven people in a vehicle).
PETSPETS are permitted in the park only if they are leashed, crated or otherwise physically restricted at all times.
ADDRESSADDRESS inquires to Pukaskwa National Park, P.O. Box 212, Heron Bay, ON, Canada P0T 1R0; phone (807) 229-0801.