Gibson River/McCrae Lake -- ACCESS HAS NOW BEEN RESTRICTED -- and why this has come about
The trails around the Gibson River and McCrae Lake have been in existence for close to 60 years and have been enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts with its pristine environment , but over the last few years (and McCrae over a longer period of time), these areas have seen significant overuse, total disregard on where people park, garbage, property damage, increased calls to emergency personnel by lost hikers/campers (these are wilderness areas--no "You Are Here" signs; no one picks up your garbage at campsites, along trails or parking areas; there are no outdoor facilities), cutting down of live trees, unauthorized trails and uses, setting up campsites wherever people feel like it (There are designated campsites around McCrae Lake, many with thunder boxes, and only a couple of campsites found close to the trail. Please don't camp at the lookout at Crowe's Cliff. Camping is not allowed along the river of the Gibson River Reserve). McCrae Lake and the Gibson area are Conservation Reserves which have additional restrictions on use. Township, OPP, Fire, Emergency Services, Parks Canada/MNR and area residents have all raised concerns which have led to these restrictions.
Our club welcome these changes which are designed to protect the land, water and wildlife.
NO PARKING" signs have been posted in the following areas:
McCrae Lake: You can only park "in" the parking lot, not along the sides of the roads leading down. There is limited space.
South Gibson Lake Road: Leads towards Gibson Wilderness Trail ("Long Falls"). No parking, period.
Fines start at $85.00 along with towing and storage fees beginning at $310; and once you find your car towed, don't forget to add the cost of a taxi to Midland or Parry Sound to get your vehicle back. This is being monitored aggressively.
NOTE: These restrictions do not affect the club's ability to run our bus as parking has never been a requirement since we drop off groups along roadways, and the bus comes back at the end of the day to collect people along the road.