Ontario has yet another new provincial park, this time in the eastern part of the province. The amendment to the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act to create Alfred Bog Provincial Park came into effect on July 27, after an Environmental Registry of Ontario posting late in 2022.
The park is 7,878 acres (3,067 hectares). It is a non-operating, natural environment, class park located 20 kilometres southwest of Hawkesbury and 70 kilometres east of Ottawa.
The new park protects the largest peat bog in southern Ontario and is home to provincially and regionally rare animal species, including insects, birds, and reptiles.
The non-operating designation means there will be minimal facilities and services, if any, within the park and no user fees. The designation will, however, provide greater protection to this sensitive, ecologically important area.
It provides outdoors opportunities such as its Bog Walk Trail, hunting, and bird watching, though the wetland habitat limits most recreational uses. The park designation means all-terrain vehicle use is now prohibited.
There were some public comments expressing concern regarding hunting in the new park. However, it was determined that existing hunting opportunities, which are by hunters on foot do not appear to have any negative effects on the ecosystem and diversity of the bog. It was also noted that most hunting is on the edge of the bog and access to its interior is limited. Some hunters partake in an archery-only controlled hunt for moose within its bounds, but Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry harvest information indicates that this activity is low.
The ERO posting indicates that changes could be made to activities should they threaten the values of the provincial park. Any changes would be considered through a park management planning process which would include public consultation.