Letter: Island visitor dismayed by lack of public spaces on Manitoulin

It’s time for a provincial park that allows for overnight camping

To the Expositor:

I am a frequent visitor to Manitoulin (just finished three days fishing for rainbow in Manitowaning Bay) and like everyone else who visits the Island, I appreciate the beauty of the panoramic sweeping bays, spectacular view of the La Cloche mountain range spread out along the North Shore, beautiful beaches, and scenic winding country roads. However, on our recent tour, I felt that something was missing in this scenario. Travelling to Mindemoya and further west I realized that there was no public property or Crown land along the route. Mile after mile of fencing attested to private property and First Nations signage demarcated First Nation land. I had the sensation that I was visiting a gated community. The wife and I are wanderers and therefore are able to indulge in our passion for wandering into the bush around Elliot Lake and the North Shore of Huron just to explore, forage for edible wild plants and enjoy our all-consuming interest in mushroom hunting. Maybe I don’t know the Island well enough, but it seems to me that there is very little public land on the Island to enjoy. I realize there are historical reasons for this and that large tracts of land are purchased by private individuals and corporations. Maybe it’s time for a provincial park on the Island or some public layaway to at least pitch a tent for a few days of overnight camping.

Don Baby

Elliot Lake