Approval statement

July 18, 2016

I am pleased to approve the Lake St. Peter Provincial Park Management Plan as the official policy for the management of this protected area. The plan reflects the intent of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Parks to protect the natural, cultural and recreational features of Lake St. Peter Provincial Park and to maintain and develop opportunities for high quality ecologically sustainable outdoor recreation experiences and heritage appreciation for the residents of Ontario and visitors to the province.

This document outlines the site objectives, policies, actions and implementation priorities related to managing the park’s natural, cultural and recreational values and summarizes the involvement of Indigenous communities, the public and stakeholders that occurred as part of the planning process.

The management plan for Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will be used to guide the management of the park over the next 20 years. During that time, the management plan may be examined to address changing issues or conditions, and may be adjusted as the need arises.

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to all those who participated in the planning process.

Yours Truly,
Bruce Bateman
Director, Ontario Parks

1.0 Introduction

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is a recreational class park located in Hastings County, approximately 40 km north of the town of Bancroft and 30 km south of the east gate of Algonquin Provincial Park (Figure 1). The park is situated between the northern shoreline of Lake St. Peter and the southern shoreline of McKenzie Lake.

The campground area of the park was originally an American owned Boy Scout camp. This camp was closed due to lack of funds and in 1942 became a summer resort known as Komewa Inn. After the Inn closed, the building was dismantled by the Department of Lands and Forests (now the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)) (OMNR 1980). In the early 1950's, the site became a popular destination for unorganized camping. In 1956, the camping area was established as a provincial park. The 25 ha Lake St. Peter Provincial Park was regulated in 1971. A Crown land addition in 1989 increased the park area to 478 ha.

Earth and life science surveys were completed in preparation for the park management planning process. The earth science values were described as having local significance (Kor 2005, Webster 2015). The life science survey identified two significant areas, upland deciduous forests and a wetland complex. The wetland complex, which was at least partially created by the presence of glaciofluvial deposits, was described as being potentially provincially significant. Wetlands created by glacial deposits are poorly represented elsewhere in Ecodistrict 5E-9 (White 2004). The wetland complex has not been evaluated using the provincial wetland evaluation system.

Recreational activities popular at the park include camping, family-oriented day use, swimming, boating and scenic walking. The park area is also a popular destination for anglers and hunters. A comparison between park visitation from 2000 to 2004 and 2010 to 2014 indicates a slight decrease in the number of visitors to the park, the number of campers visiting the park, and the number of campsites occupied. (Ontario Parks 2004-2014).

Infrastructure at the park includes a park office; a campground with 65 sites; a comfort station with toilets, showers and laundry facilities; a trailer sanitation station; a wood yard; a boat launch; a day use area; 4.5 km of hiking trails; and two beaches.

Figure 1: Regional Setting

This map provides detailed information about Regional Setting.

Enlarge Figure 1: Regional Setting

2.0 Planning context

The Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 (PPCRA) requires that management direction is prepared for each protected area in Ontario. This management plan fulfils this requirement, and provides direction for managing Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, including the purpose and vision, objectives, zoning, protected area policies and implementation priorities. This management plan is written with a 20 year time horizon in mind.

The PPCRA has two guiding principles for park planning and management:

  1. Maintenance of ecological integrity shall be the first priority and the restoration of ecological integrity shall be considered
  2. Opportunities for consultation shall be provided

Other legislation (e.g., Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA), Ontario Heritage Act, 2005 (OHA)), policies, initiatives (e.g., climate change, invasive species) and best practices (e.g., adaptive management, landscape level planning) also provide additional direction for protecting Ontario’s biodiversity and contribute to guiding protected area planning and management.

This park management plan has been prepared consistent with all relevant legislation and provincial policies. The implementation of projects in this provincial park will comply with the requirements of A Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (Class EA-PPCR). This may include further opportunities for consultation, as required.

2.1 Ecological integrity

Ecological integrity is a concept that addresses three ecosystem attributes – composition, structure and function. This concept is based on the idea that the composition and structure of the protected area should be characteristic for the natural region and that ecosystem functions should proceed normally. Simply stated, ecosystems have integrity when their lands, waters, native species and natural processes are intact.

All planning and management activities for Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will consider ecological integrity first and foremost in their implementation.

3.0 Indigenous communities

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is located within the area of the Algonquin land claim being negotiated by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Algonquins of Ontario at the time of the preparation of this plan.

The park is located within the consultation area as defined by the Consultation Process Interim Measures Agreement (2009). The Algonquins of Ontario have expressed an interest in Lake St. Peter Provincial Park through their communities.

A Stage 1 archaeological assessment for the park was completed in 2014 for the MNRF (McRae and Paauw, 2014). The report concluded potential for pre-contact and historic First Nations archaeological resources within the park, based on landscape features including water features, topography, geology, and possible temporary use post-contact (Section 7.1.3 ).

Examples of Aboriginal rights, values or areas of interest throughout Lake St. Peter Provincial Park and environs may include: medicinal and sacred plants; Indigenous hunting, gathering and fishing; historical canoe routes.

Opportunities for Indigenous involvement in the planning process have been provided and the content of this document has been influenced as a result.

Additional Indigenous related content can be found in:

The PPCRA provides for the disposition of park lands as part of a settlement of a claim in respect of Aboriginal rights (c. 12, s. 9 (5)).

Nothing in this plan shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for the existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada as recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

The Algonquins of Ontario have informed Ontario Parks of the intention to assert and exercise Aboriginal rights to hunting, gathering and fishing within Lake St. Peter Provincial Park.

4.0 Park classification

Through park classification, Ontario’s provincial parks are organized into broad categories, each of which has particular purposes and characteristics.

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will continue to be classified as a recreational class park. Recreational class parks provide a wide variety of compatible outdoor recreation opportunities in attractive natural surroundings. All of these attributes are found at Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, with its lakefront opportunities for camping and day use, sandy beaches, woodland hiking trails and scenic vistas.

5.0 Boundary

The park was established in 1971 and classified as a recreational class park. Originally 25 ha in size, a 1989 addition of 453 ha from the McKenzie Lake Park Reserve brought the park area up to its current 478 ha.

Lands adjacent to the park are predominantly owned by the Crown; however, private lands are common along the shorelines of Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake. A 0.5 km section of Township road providing access to private lands on Lake St. Peter bisects the southern portion of the park. Land uses adjacent to the park include forestry, tourism operations, seasonal and permanent residential dwellings, and recreational camps.

The park boundary currently ends at the shoreline of Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake. These boundaries will be extended into the lake bed a distance of 30 m in order to better protect shoreline communities. This proposed boundary amendment will increase the park area to an estimated 485 hectares.

Approximately 260 ha of Crown land in McClure Township abutting the east boundary of the park are identified in the proposed Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) between the Algonquins of Ontario, Ontario and Canada as a recommended addition to Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. Regulation of this area within the park boundary and adjustment of the park management plan to address the addition would occur pending a Final Agreement.

Ontario Parks is committed to an ecosystem approach to park planning and management. The PPCRA, which governs activities within provincial parks, pertains only to lands and waters within park boundaries. An ecosystem approach allows park managers to consider the relationship between the park and the surrounding environment.

Ontario Parks will support, in principle, the acquisition of property for the purposes of addition to the park, if acquisition will enhance park values. If suitable lands within, nearby or adjacent to the park become available for addition they will be evaluated with regard to their contribution to park objectives, willing seller/willing buyer and other factors including available funding. Any park addition would require a change to regulation and an amendment to the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas.

6.0 Purpose and vision

The purpose of Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is: to provide high quality recreational experiences for people of all ages, and protect the park’s natural heritage.

A vision statement for the park was not prepared as part of the management plan process. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is identified in the proposed AIP as a park with Level 3 involvement with the Algonquins of Ontario in planning. A proposed vision would be developed in consultation with the Algonquins of Ontario during a future amendment process for this management plan and would be subject to public consultation.

7.0 Objectives and values

Ontario’s protected areas system has four objectives for establishing and managing provincial parks, as stated in Ontario’s PPCRA:

Protection: To permanently protect representative ecosystems, biodiversity and provincially significant elements of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage and to manage these areas to ensure that ecological integrity is maintained.

Recreation: To provide opportunities for ecologically sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities and encourage associated economic benefits.

Heritage Appreciation: To provide opportunities for residents of Ontario and visitors to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage.

Scientific Research: To facilitate scientific research and to provide points of reference to support monitoring of ecological change on the broader landscape.

7.1 Protection

Ontario’s provincial parks play an important role in representing and conserving the diversity of Ontario’s natural features and ecosystems within the broader landscape. Protected areas include representative examples of life science, earth science, and cultural heritage features. The park’s resources will be used in a manner that is ecologically sustainable. Ontario Parks will play an important role in maintaining the ecological integrity of Ontario’s ecosystems.

Ontario’s ecological classification system provides the basis for the life science feature assessment, and the geological themes provide the basis for earth science assessment. Cultural heritage features are assessed based on themes of Ontario’s human history.

Lake St. Peter’s Protection Objective is:

To protect the park’s natural features, including wetland, woodland and lake shoreline, and cultural heritage resources.

7.1.1 Life sciences

A life science evaluation of the park was completed in 2004 (White 2004). The report described the park as consisting of upland sugar maple – dominated deciduous forests; middle elevations supporting a mixture of white pine, red pine, large-toothed aspen, balsam fir, white spruce, and white birch; and lowlands consisting of complex wetlands including bog, fen, marsh, and swamp communities. The sugar maple forest (205 ha) and the wetland complex (83 ha) were identified as the two most significant areas in the park. These two significant zones contain most of the park’s biodiversity and are considered significant park values (White 2004).

The diverse assemblage of wetlands which comprise the park’s wetland complex is a result of glacial activity in the area. Glaciofluvial material, containing course-grained stratified sand and gravel, was deposited as outwash plains by glacial melt water which was channelled through the valleys between Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake (Kor 2004). A wide range of fens, bogs, swamps, and marsh habitats developed on the outwash plains. This geographical feature has resulted in the wetland complex being described as potentially provincially significant (White 2004).

There are several locally significant plant species found in the park. One provincially significant species was found: small-flowered blue-eyed Mary. This species was found at two of the park’s campsites and was likely artificially introduced to the park (White 2004). Species such as white-tailed deer, moose, raccoon, and beaver are common in the area.

7.1.2 Earth sciences

The park lies within the Grenville Province of the Canadian Precambrian Shield, defined by complex, highly metamorphosed rocks formed during a major mountain building period some 1.1 billion years ago. An earth science evaluation was completed in 2005. The earth science features were described as being locally significant due in part to similar larger representations of the Precambrian Shield topography in nearby Algonquin Provincial Park and Silent Lake Provincial Park (Kor 2005). The author of the report identified the accessibility to the variety of geological features, such as the kettle pond as being a good opportunity for educational programming. The kettle pond north of the township road is a significant park value due to its interpretive potential.

The geology is dominated by bedrock topography, consisting of gneisses of granitic composition. The park has generally poor exposures of bedrock, in part due to pervasive cover of lichens and mosses, and dense vegetation. Surficial sediments consist predominantly of glaciofluvial ice-contact sand and gravel occupying the low valleys between bedrock knolls and ridges. Kettles mark the flat surface of these deposits. A small esker trends north-south in the northern portion of the park (Kor 2005).

7.1.3 Cultural heritage resources

A Stage 1 archaeological assessment was completed for the park in 2014 (McRae and Paauw 2014). The report concluded potential for pre-contact and historic First Nations archaeological resources within the park, based on ancient and contemporary primary, secondary, tertiary water courses, including Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake; the presence of raised terraces and plateaux and along the shorelines; the relatively close presence of knappable lithic materials as well as the prevalence of quartz materials; rock outcrops overlooking the number of water sources (lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks); navigable and potable water; and the possible presence of temporary camps associated with the fur trade and logging industry.

Before European settlement, the area served as hunting grounds for Indigenous peoples of the Algonquin nation. Following European settlement, the area played a role in the forestry, fur, and mining industries.

No specific significant post-European settlement cultural resources have been identified in the park. A derelict shanty is a point of interest; however, it does not represent any particular theme in Ontario’s human history. The derelict shanty was built by "Ole Joe", a well-known local resident known for his hand-made musical instruments (Bottos 1973). The derelict shanty is considered a park value.

7.2 Recreation

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is a small park in comparison to other operating parks in Ontario. July to August campsite occupancy rates for Lake St. Peter averaged 67 percent over the past 10 years, slightly higher than the southeast zone average (Ontario Parks 2005-2014).

Tourism in the Bancroft area is a significant part of the local economy. Most of the visitors to the park come from southern and central Ontario. Family groups and seniors represent the largest user groups at the park (OMNR 1997a). The park will need to continue to deliver services that are easily accessible to park visitors in order to benefit from the aging population and growing interest in the environment.

The Bancroft area supports a wide diversity of recreational opportunities including fishing, hunting, camping, boating, golfing, rock climbing, birding, and hiking/motorized vehicle trails. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park supports many of these activities including fishing, hunting, camping, boating, birding and hiking. Visitors come to the park to enjoy the park’s two beaches, boat rentals, picnic areas, 4.5 km of hiking trails, and scenic vistas.

The park also serves as a staging area for visitors travelling to nearby Silent Lake, Petroglyphs and Algonquin provincial parks.

Lake St. Peter’s Recreation Objective is:

To provide outdoor recreational opportunities ranging from high-intensity day-use to lower-intensity backcountry experiences and to encourage visitors to experience this distinctive region of the province through the park’s hiking trails, scenic vistas, interpretive signage and beaches.

7.3 Heritage appreciation

The Bancroft area is rich in natural and cultural history. Outdoor recreational activities are an important part of the area’s heritage. The diversity of recreational opportunities is a major draw for visitors and is the primary means by which visitors build an appreciation for the natural and cultural heritage in the area.

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park contains natural heritage features such as the upland forests and the wetland complex. Earth science features such as the Canadian Precambrian Shield and the kettle pond are also considered natural heritage values.

Lake St. Peter’s Heritage Appreciation Objective is:

To foster awareness of the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

7.4 Scientific research

Lake St. Peter’s Scientific Research Objective is:

To support research in relation to both the natural and cultural heritage resources of the park including species at risk, other significant species and habitats and human history in order that a balance between recreational use and ecological integrity will be maintained.

The results of scientific research and monitoring can be used to help maintain and restore the ecological integrity of the park, by allowing park staff to use the best available scientific information and technology to support planning and management decisions.

8.0 Zoning and zone management policies

Lands within Lake St. Peter Provincial Park are zoned in accordance with their natural and cultural values, and their sensitivity to development. The two zoning categories defined within Lake St. Peter Provincial Park (development and natural environment) are based on the Ontario Provincial Parks: Planning and Management Policies (1992) (Figure 2). The zones differentiate between the sensitivity of the natural and cultural values, and the permissible degree of development, recreational use, and management within the park. The proposed zoning is intended to maintain the ecological integrity of the park.

8.1 Development zone

Development zones contain the areas of the park geared toward the support of intensive day-use and car camping activities. They constitute a relatively small portion of most parks. Development may include roads, visitor control structures, beaches, picnic areas, car campgrounds, commercial service facilities, maintenance facilities, park office and orientation, interpretive, educational, research, and management facilities.

The development zone is approximately 10 ha in size. This zone is largely south of Lake St. Peter Road, with a 0.1 ha area north of this road. Existing facilities include the maintenance compound, park office, campground, comfort station, vault toilets, trailer sanitation station, wood yard, and parking.

  • The main priority for this zone will be to provide access to the park, and support facilities and services needed for day-use and camping activities. The development zone will continue to support facilities and services; and will provide for future infrastructure needs
  • Increased vegetation buffers between campsites and along roadways may be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the zone
  • A group campsite may be developed north of the road, subject to environmental assessment requirements

8.2 Natural environment zone

Natural environment zones include natural landscapes which permit the minimum level of development required to support low-intensity recreational activities while protecting natural and cultural heritage resources. Development generally is limited to back-country campsites, portages, necessary signs, and minimal interpretive facilities.

The majority of the park is within one natural environment zone. This zone comprises approximately 475 ha of relatively undisturbed mature forest, wetland, and shoreline. The zone is largely north of Lake St. Peter Road, with a small shoreline area south of this road.

  • The purpose of this zone is to protect the relatively pristine character of these habitats
  • Only the minimal development needed to support low-intensity recreational activities will be permitted
  • The main priority for this zone is to provide a natural landscape that supports low-intensity recreational activities, while protecting park values
  • The kettle pond is of interest for educational purposes and will be maintained
  • Hunting is permitted, in accordance with regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 (FWCA)
  • Future development will be limited to hiking trails and signage

Figure 2: Park Boundary, Zoning and Development

This map provides detailed information about Park Boundary, Zoning and Development.

Enlarge Figure 2: Park Boundary, Zoning and Development

9.0 Park policies

This section provides site specific management policies and any associated actions required to effectively manage Lake St. Peter Provincial Park in accordance with applicable legislation and provincial policies.

9.1 Industrial / commercial uses

  • Forestry Operations: Commercial timber harvest is not permitted
  • Mining: Prospecting, staking mining claims, developing mineral interests, working mines are not permitted
  • Aggregate and Peat: Extraction of sand, gravel, topsoil, or peat is not permitted
  • Power Generation: Commercial hydroelectric power development is not permitted, except for use in the park
  • Commercial Trapping: There is one active licence that includes the park area. This activity will continue to be permitted. This licence may be transferred. No new operations will be permitted
  • Commercial Fishing: Commercial fishing is not permitted
  • Commercial Baitfish Harvesting: There is one active baitfish harvesting licence that includes the park area. This licence will be permitted to continue. This licence may be transferred. No new operations will be permitted
  • Commercial Bear Management Areas(s) (BMA): There are no existing licences (the park is excluded from surrounding BMAs). No new operations will be permitted

9.2 Adaptive management

  • An adaptive management approach will be applied to resource management activities within Lake St. Peter Provincial Park
  • Adaptive management allows for the modification of management strategies in response to monitoring and analysis of the results of past actions and experiences
  • Adaptive management is a systematic, practical approach to improving resource stewardship

9.3 Resource management policies

  • Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will be managed in accordance with the PPCRA, policies for recreational class parks and all other relevant legislation and provincial policies

9.3.1 Land management

  • The shorelines, wetlands, and upland forests will be managed in a manner that will minimize development and protect ecological communities
  • In order to control shoreline erosion and maintain a quality recreation beach, various rehabilitation techniques may be utilized. Beach improvements are subject to approval by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which is responsible for assessing the impacts of shoreline projects on fish habitat and spawning areas Private recreation camps and boat caches

  • There are no land use permits or other forms of private land tenure within the park. These activities will not be permitted in the future Commercial tourist operations and boat caches

  • There are no commercial tourism operations or boat caches within the park. These activities will not be permitted in the future

9.3.2 Water management

  • There are no dams or weirs in the park. No dams or weirs will be built in the park
  • Wherever possible, new facility development or redevelopment will be undertaken so as not to disrupt natural drainage. Wherever possible, natural drainage will be restored where it has been disrupted by past or present development

9.3.3 Waste management

  • Sewage from the comfort station and other buildings in the development zone will continue to be disposed of in the septic tank tile field systems within this zone. Sewage from vault privies will be removed from the park for disposal
  • Waste consisting of natural materials, such as leaves, branches, small tree trunks and grass clippings, will be reused or composted inside the park where feasible and appropriate. Otherwise, all solid waste will be removed from the park for recycling or disposal

9.3.4 Alien and invasive species

  • Alien species are plants, animals and micro-organisms that have been unintentionally or deliberately introduced by human activity into areas beyond their natural past or present distribution. Alien species will not be deliberately introduced
  • Invasive species are those alien species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy and/or society, including human health. Where possible, actions will be taken to eliminate or reduce the threat of invasive alien species which may be affecting the diversity of naturally occurring populations
  • Where alien species already are established and threaten natural or cultural values, a program of control may be undertaken, if feasible and practical
  • The park will keep records on the status of invasive species in the park and will assist the MNRF Bancroft District with the monitoring of aquatic invasive species

9.3.5 Extirpated native species

  • Existing populations may be augmented, and extirpated native species may be reintroduced, if biologically feasible and desirable for perpetuating park values

9.3.6 Fire management

MNRF recognizes fire as an essential ecosystem process, fundamental to restoring and maintaining the ecological integrity of protected areas in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest Region.

In this region, wildland fires played a complex role in shaping communities. Low intensity surface fires occurred at relatively short intervals and high intensity stand-replacing fires occurred less commonly. Stand replacing fires usually are associated with prolonged drought, wind and ice storms, and insect outbreaks (Van Sleeuwen 2006).

Ontario’s Wildland Fire Management Strategy (OMNRF 2014) provides strategic direction for managing wildland fire across the province. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is located in the Northeast Fire Region according to this provincial strategy.

Fire management objectives within Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will focus on the prevention of personal injury, value loss and social disruption; in addition to managing fire to help restore and maintain ecological integrity.

In particular, fire management will help to:

  • Perpetuate naturally occurring vegetation communities and their underlying ecological processes
  • Enhance habitat for fire dependent flora
  • Improve ecosystem health and reduce vulnerability to insects and disease
  • Reduce fire hazards, including accumulations of biomass that function as fuels
  • Restore the naturalness of the environment through reintroducing fire as a natural process; and
  • Provide opportunities for protected area visitors to appreciate and learn about the natural role of fire Fire response

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is located within the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, falling within the current Municipal Crown Protection Area.

  • A municipal agreement with the Municipality of Hastings Highlands identifies that wildland fires occurring within 300 m of the Township road will be managed by the Municipality of Hastings Highlands
  • The park will pursue a similar agreement with the municipality concerning structural fires occurring within the park
  • Wildland fires occurring elsewhere in the park will be managed by the MNRF

Fire evacuation procedures will be as outlined in the Fire Emergency and Evacuation Plan for Lake St. Peter Provincial Park.

Fire response in the park will be achieved by:

  • Providing a full response and sustained action to fires that pose a threat to public health and safety, property and infrastructure, or other values. Sustained action, if required, will be directed through an approved Fire Assessment Report that is developed in consultation between the Park Superintendent and authorized fire management personnel
  • Exploring opportunities for modified response and monitoring to achieve ecological or hazard reduction objectives in consultation between the Park Superintendent and authorized fire management personnel
  • Prioritizing fires for initial attack and/or sustained action during periods of escalated fire activity when availability of suppression resources may be limited though consultation with senior park and fire managers. Approved Fire Assessment Reports will be used to prioritize fires and identify the appropriate response options Prescribed burning

  • Opportunities for prescribed burning for ecological and vegetation management objectives in the park will be explored
  • Prescribed burning refers to the deliberate, planned and knowledgeable application of fire by authorized personnel to a specific land area to accomplish pre-determined objectives
    • Prescribed burning to achieve ecological or hazard reduction objectives may be considered
    • Plans for any prescribed burning will be developed in accordance with MNRF Policy

9.3.7 Species at risk

  • To date, four provincial species at risk or their habitats have been identified in the park
  • The Algonquin wolf (formerly known as the eastern wolf) - threatened - is known to occur within Algonquin Provincial Park and the surrounding area. Although the Algonquin wolf was not recorded during the 2004 life science survey for Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, it likely utilizes the park
  • Species found within the park that have been identified on the Species At Risk in Ontario (SARO) list by MNRF will be protected in a manner consistent with the ESA and regulations

9.3.8 Vegetation management

  • Planting of vegetation between campsites and along roadways may occur to increase the aesthetic appeal of the park. Where planting or seeding is necessary, use will be made of species native to the park, and sources of these species will originate in the park or as close as possible, where feasible
  • Plants and seeds may not be collected in the park by anyone other than Ontario Parks staff, unless they receive permission through a permit (Section 9.3.12 )
  • Traditional plant collection by Indigenous people in Ontario Parks may be permitted in consultation with park and zone office staff
  • Management of invasive plants, including priorities for control, will be consistent with guidelines and criteria outlined in the Southeast Zone Invasive Exotic Plant Management Toolkit (Ontario Parks 2003)
  • All herbicide use must be in compliance with Ontario Parks Policy PM 2.16, Use of Pesticides and Herbicides in Provincial Parks. Noxious weeds (e.g., poison ivy (Rhus radicans)) may be controlled with herbicides as required in development zones or along trails in the natural environment zone for public protection. Spraying will be done in a manner that minimizes risk to park staff and visitors. Whenever possible, spraying will be completed during non-peak visitation periods
  • The urgent need to reduce or eliminate invasive alien species from the park represents an exceptional circumstance, and localized herbicide applications will be permitted in all areas of the park
  • Only herbicides which biodegrade quickly, have low or no soil activity and for which environmental impacts have been tested and shown to be minimal will be used (e.g., glyphosate, tryploclor). Alternatives to chemical herbicides will continue to be used where feasible (e.g., mechanical removal)
  • Dead standing trees will be removed only if absolutely necessary for public safety, because they provide important habitat for wildlife and contribute to ecological processes. If possible, only broken or rotted limbs or crowns will be removed, leaving as much of the main trunk as possible for wildlife purposes
  • In cases of extreme weather events like ice or wind storms, clean up and salvage operations will follow provincial guidelines

9.3.9 Wildlife management

  • Animal populations or individual nuisance animals may be controlled when essential to human health and safety, the health of the species outside the park, or the values for which the park has been established
  • Where control is necessary, techniques will be used that have minimal effects on other components of the park’s environment
  • Appropriate methods of population control may be undertaken directly by Ontario Parks, or through partnerships under the supervision of Ontario Parks
  • The park is situated within Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 57. Wildlife management decisions for this WMU are led by the MNRF Bancroft District. Ontario Parks will work with Bancroft District to manage wildlife in the park in the context of the surrounding landscape

9.3.10 Fisheries management

  • Fisheries management decisions for Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake are led by the MNRF Bancroft District. Wherever possible, the park will support efforts to maintain and/or enhance native, self-sustaining fish populations in the adjacent lakes
  • Management activities within the park must consider potential impacts on Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake. Management actions will not be permitted if they significantly impact fisheries resources
  • Restrictions on use of bait to protect Ontario’s fisheries from introductions of invasive, alien species are the subject of the Provincial Bait Policy Review underway at the time of management planning

9.3.11 Cultural heritage resources management

  • MNRF/Ontario Parks will work with the Algonquins of Ontario and other Indigenous communities to identify and map native values within the regulated park boundary area
  • A Stage 1 archaeological assessment with an appropriate focus on pre-contact history and culture was completed in 2014 (McRae and Paauw 2014). The report concluded potential for pre-contact and historic First Nations archaeological resources within the park, based on landscape features including water features, topography, geology and possible temporary use post-contact (Section 7.1.3 )
  • The old abandoned cabin in the northern section of the park is a point of interest. This cabin does not represent any particular theme in Ontario’s history and has been partially dismantled due to public safety concerns. Only the walls and plank floor remain. The cabin will not be rebuilt; however, it will remain a point of interest
  • Cultural heritage resources will be protected, maintained, used and disposed of in accordance with the protected areas mandate (legislation and policies) and the evaluation process developed by MNRF consistent with the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties (OHA). Staff will also consult MNRF's Technical Guideline for Cultural Heritage Resources
  • Decisions on activities that may affect cultural heritage resources shall be based on appropriate studies and research (including analysis of physical, documentary and oral evidence) aimed at understanding the cultural heritage resource, including its level of significance (e.g., local, regional, provincial), the impact of proposed activities on the resource and measures to mitigate these impacts

9.3.12 Scientific collecting

  • The collection of fossils, rocks, minerals, archaeological/cultural artefacts, plants, and seeds is permitted only through the granting of a research permit and/or scientific collector permit

9.3.13 Research

  • Scientific research by qualified individuals contributing to the knowledge of natural or cultural history and to environmental management will be encouraged. All research will be conducted by, or authorized by, Ontario Parks
  • Research activities require authorization issued under the PPCRA, consistent with relevant policies. Research must also meet all requirements under applicable provincial and federal legislation, and may require additional permits or approval (e.g., MNRF Wildlife Scientific Collector authorization or ESA permits)
  • Temporary facilities in support of approved research and monitoring activities may be considered
  • Approved research activities and facilities will be compatible with the protection of natural and cultural values and/or with recreational uses in the park. They will be subject to development and management policies associated with the park’s classification unless special permission is given
  • Sites altered by research activities will be rehabilitated as closely to their previous condition as possible
  • Priority research projects should include:
    • Updating knowledge of animal and plant populations within the park, consistent with park needs and provincial initiatives. Focus should include assessing the presence of species at risk in the park

9.3.14 Inventory and monitoring

  • Planning and management decisions are intended to ensure the ecological sustainability of protected areas (which includes social and economic components). Ecological sustainability at Lake St. Peter Provincial Park will involve managing the lands and waters in a manner that protects ecological processes and functions. This includes sustainably managing the park’s biodiversity and ecological productivity over time
  • Ontario Parks will endeavour to make decisions with the best available information. Where this information is lacking, Ontario Parks may conduct inventories and monitoring to provide this information. Such efforts will be undertaken based on established methodologies and best practices. This will foster an adaptive management approach to protected area management
  • Priority inventory and monitoring projects include:
    • Additional faunal studies concentrating on times of year missed during previous surveys
    • Cooperating with the MNRF Bancroft District on aquatic monitoring projects involving Lake St. Peter and McKenzie Lake
    • Assessing the significance of the wetland complex

9.4 Recreation management policies

9.4.1 Services for visitors

  • Services available to park visitors include hiking trails; campgrounds; beach volleyball and horseshoe pits; park store; shower and laundry facilities; paddleboat, canoe and kayak rentals; and boat launch. Additionally, the park store/office sells supplies, such as ice, firewood, souvenirs, and limited groceries
  • The park may expand services available to visitors if it meets the goals and objectives of the park, and if there is sufficient interest/demand

9.4.2 Fees

  • Day-use and camping fees will be collected during the operation season. Landowners and their visitors, who otherwise are not utilizing the park, will be permitted to freely access their private properties via the Township road

9.4.3 Hunting

  • Hunting of game birds, migratory birds and game mammals will continue to be permitted in the natural environment zone consistent with regulations under the FWCA and the Migratory Birds Convention Act. As described in regulation (O. Reg. 665/98), hunting is permitted from the first day of the open season for mammals or birds or from September 15 in any year, whichever occurs later, to the last day of the open season
  • Hunting is not permitted in the development zone (Section 8.1 )
  • Motorized vehicle use to support hunting will not be permitted

9.4.4 Recreational fishing

  • Recreational fishing is permitted in the park
  • Recreational fishing is subject to provincial and federal fisheries regulations (e.g., the FWCA and the federal Fisheries Act) as set out in the Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.

9.4.5 Mechanized travel

  • There are no authorized trails for snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle use. Off-road motorcycle use has not occurred within the park. These activities will not be permitted
  • Power boats are subject to federal boating restriction regulations, which generally limit power boat speeds to 10 km/h within 30 m of shore
  • Bicycles are restricted to established roadways within the development zone

9.4.6 Other recreational uses

  • Horseback riding is not permitted in the park

9.5 Operations policies

  • A park operations plan will be prepared to provide park staff with the necessary direction required to operate the park on a day to day basis
  • In addition to addressing the operations policies that follow, the plan will include such topics as budget, staffing, maintenance schedules, enforcement and emergency services
  • The provisions of the plan are intended to be consistent with the approved Ontario Provincial Parks Minimum Operating Standards, and will be reviewed annually and updated as required

9.5.1 Education

  • Provincial parks have a role in supporting the education objective in the PPCRA. The manner in which that objective is met will vary for each park and may be adapted based on the park’s resources and MNRF's direction and priorities at that time Information

  • The education program will be primarily developed around a self-use system. Visitors will be encouraged to explore and experience the area without organized programming. Information, interpretation and outdoor recreation will be relayed through informal communication with park staff, and interpretive signage, and other products that highlights the natural and cultural heritage of the area and the recreational opportunities available Park interpretation

  • Visitors will be informed of resource management policies, resource stewardship plans and activities, programs related to the protection of species at risk, benefits of parks to society (e.g., education, research, human health, quality of life), recreational opportunities available at the park, and other programs and services in the Bancroft area
  • The predominant natural heritage themes that will be interpreted will include wildlife, such as Algonquin  wolf, white-tailed deer, bear, moose, raccoon, and beaver, which inhabit the park area, aquatic ecosystems and the processes that helped shape the landscape, as well as other opportunities to experience nature
  • Interpretive signage or promotional material recognizing Indigenous history and culture will be developed to enhance appreciation and understanding of the area’s cultural heritage. Ontario Parks will work with local Indigenous communities to prepare mutually acceptable interpretive information

9.5.2 Partnerships

  • In the implementation of the approved park management plan, Ontario Parks may pursue opportunities for partnerships involving other agencies and groups through formal partnership agreements
  • Partners may represent the local community, and local and provincial interests
  • Partners will work with Ontario Parks to assist with the implementation of the approved park management plan and follow provincial park policies and regulations
  • Partnerships that enhance recreational and resource management programs will be encouraged. Partners interested in outdoor recreation and heritage appreciation programs may be used to enhance educational programs
  • Ontario Parks will continue building relationships with the Algonquins of Ontario, through identification and interpretation of Indigenous values and continued engagement during implementation of the management plan

9.6 Marketing and communications

9.6.1 Marketing

  • Lake St. Peter will be operated consistent with the corporate marketing strategy (OMNR 2004). Not all projects outlined in this plan will be able to be funded through the base marketing budget. Marketing projects will investigate the ability to generate new revenues and achieve marketing goals through partnerships, exchanges, or alternate sources of funding

9.6.2 Communications

  • The park will continue to be promoted at nearby Algonquin and Silent Lake Provincial Parks and through Ontario Parks' corporate office and websites

9.7 Development policies

  • All development undertaken by Ontario Parks, or by partners on its behalf, will comply with the Class EA-PPCR (OMNR 2005), ESA, OHA, other applicable provincial legislation and policies, and will be carried out in accordance with approved site and development plans that meet development standards for provincial parks

9.7.1 Internal roads

The park has 2.24 km of roads that service the campgrounds. The development zone is bisected by 0.5 km of Township road that provides access to private cottages on Lake St. Peter. Lake St. Peter Road also bisects the park, and its road allowance serves as a 200 m section of hiking trail (Figure 2).

  • There will be no new roadways developed in the park
  • Until the hiking trail can be rerouted, the Township will be contacted in order to get permission to install signage on the roadway to indicate the multiple uses
  • Park roads will be maintained to provincial parks operating standards, and will occupy only as much of the right of way as required to meet those standards

9.7.2 Parking areas

  • Lake St. Peter has one parking area, located south of the Lake St. Peter Road. No additional parking is being proposed in this plan

9.7.3 Day-use area

Lake St. Peter has one day use area, located south of the Lake St. Peter Road. The day-use area contains a change house, vault toilets, picnic area, and beach.

  • The day-use area facilities will be maintained in order to support day-use activities
  • Beach raking will be permitted in order to maintain a quality recreational experience. The removal of aquatic vegetation will be limited to dead vegetation washed up on the beach. Live vegetation will not be removed unless it is not native to the park or is impacting park values

9.7.4 Campgrounds

Lake St. Peter has one campground, located south of the Lake St. Peter Road. The campground contains 65 campsites, 64 of which are large enough to accommodate trailers. Presently there are 27 campsites serviced by electricity. There are no group or backcountry campsites offered at the park.

  • Additional existing campsites may be converted to electrical sites in accordance with operation policy standards (presently up to 50% of all campsites)
  • Degraded campsites will be closed for site rehabilitation. No new campsites are proposed for the campground
  • No campsites are proposed outside of the development zone. Addition of a group campsite will be explored, and may be developed in the development zone area north of the Lake St. Peter Road, if there is sufficient demand
  • Park managers will work towards increasing campsite privacy, where feasible by planting native plants and shrubs along the roadways and between campsites
  • The park will develop a campsite strategy. This strategy will address degraded sites, campsite privacy, and the feasibility of group camping

9.7.5 Trails

The Lookout Trail (2.4 km) features rugged terrain and a spectacular lookout over Lake St. Peter. Shanty Trail (4.3 km) branches off the Lookout Trail after the lookout and passes by an old abandoned shanty. Both trails begin and end near the park office. The trails experience moderate use from park visitors. There is no interpretive signage at points of interest, such as the abandoned shanty, the kettle pond and the lookout. Existing signs are outdated and not up to current Ontario Parks standards. A 200 m section of the trail falls along Lake St. Peter Road.

  • The park will update signage to meet current corporate standards
  • The park may install interpretative signage, which will be unobtrusive, so as not to detract from an experience of the natural environment
  • The 200 m section of hiking trail along Lake St. Peter Road will be relocated within the park boundary in order to address potential safety concerns and increase the aesthetic appeal of the trail
  • Erosion control devices and routine trail maintenance will be permitted
  • Recreational use of mechanized vehicles will not be permitted. Use of mechanized vehicles for trail maintenance will be kept to a minimum

9.7.6 Maintenance and administrative areas

The maintenance compound is located in the development zone, north of Lake St. Peter Road. The park office is located in the development zone, south of the road.

  • The maintenance compound may be turned into a group campsite, if there is sufficient demand and an alternate location for the maintenance compound can be found within the development zone
  • Administrative buildings may be replaced as required

10.0 Implementation priorities

Park development, operations and resource stewardship will be contingent upon the availability of funding and resources and unforeseeable changes in priorities or policy. Implementation of the management plan and operation of the park will meet the requirements of the PPCRA and all other pertinent legislation and policies.

All aspects of park management, development, and operation will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Class EA-PPCR.

Park development proposals will be phased in as follows, as resources permit:

10.1 Stage one

  • Install signage indicating multiple use along a section of Lake St. Peter Road (Section 9.5 )
  • Install improved trail signage (Section 9.7.5 )
  • Develop an operations plan (Section 9.5 )

10.2 Stage two

  • Develop a Campsite Strategy and investigate group camping options (Section 9.7.4 )
  • Reroute hiking trail away from Lake St. Peter Road (Section 9.7.5 )
  • Improve buffers along roadways and between campsites, where feasible (Section 9.7.4 )

11.0 Plan examination and adjustment

  • This management plan will be examined in accordance with the provisions of the PPCRA to determine whether the management direction is still relevant, effective and current, or if an adjustment is required. In circumstances where this plan is not providing sufficient direction, it can be examined prior to the next scheduled examination
  • External requests for adjustments to address specific concerns may be considered. Ontario Parks can provide further guidance to external parties on the process for requesting an adjustment to this plan and whether specific requests can/will be considered


Bottos, G. 1973. A History of Lake St. Peter. Unpublished. 51 pp.

Endangered Species Act, 2007.

Kor, Phil. 2004. Lake St. Peter Provincial Park: a brief inventory and evaluation of its bedrock and surficial geology. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, 2 pp.

Kor, Phil. 2005. A Brief Inventory and Evaluation of the Bedrock Geology and Surficial Geology of Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. Unpublished, 11 pp.

McRae, L and Paauw, D. 2014. Stage 1 Background Study for Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. The Central Archaeology Group Inc., L'Amable, 60pp.

Ontario Heritage Act, 2005.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1980. Lake St. Peter Draft Master Plan. Unpublished.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1983. Bancroft District Land Use Guidelines. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, 51 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1992. Ontario Provincial Parks: Planning and Management Policies. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997a. Lake St. Peter: Interim Management Statement. 13 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1997b. Ontario Parks, A Research and Information Strategy. Part One: Setting Priorities. 20 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 1999. Ontario’s Living Legacy Land Use Strategy. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, 136 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2002. Crown Land Use Policy Atlas: Policy Reports

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2004. Marketing Plan: 2004-2007. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, 33 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2005. A Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, 120 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2012. Biodiversity: It’s In Our Nature. Ontario Government Plan to Conserve Biodiversity, 2012-2020. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Toronto, ON. 42 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. 2014. Wildland Fire Management Strategy. Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, ON. 24 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. 2015. Horizons 2020: A new strategic vision of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, ON. 10 pp.

Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. 2010. Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties.

Ontario Parks. 1990-2006. Park Statistics/Statistiques Parcs. Queens Printer for Ontario. [various pages].

Ontario Parks. 2003. Southeast Zone Invasive Exotic Plant Management Toolkit. Ontario Parks, Kingston, Ontario, 71 pp.

Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006.

Van Sleeuwen, M. 2006. Natural Fire Regimes in Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen’s Printer for Ontario, Toronto, 143 pp.

Webster, D.N. 2015. Earth Science Inventory: Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, 28pp.

White, David J. 2004. A Detailed Life Science Survey and Evaluation of Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. Ontario Parks, South Eastern Zone, 58 pp.

Appendix 1 – Summary of involvement

Summary and results of Indigenous consultation

  • Notices were mailed to three Algonquin communities and two Provincial Treaty Organizations at the Invitation to Participate stage
  • Opportunities were made at each stage of the planning process for the Algonquins of Ontario to review and comment on the information provided
  • Under the Consultation Process Interim Measures Agreement (2009) Ontario Parks consulted with the Algonquins of Ontario regarding the management planning process. Ontario Parks met with the Algonquins of Ontario in 2010, 2012 and 2013 during preparation of the preliminary management plan. The Algonquins of Ontario reviewed a draft preliminary management plan and provided written comments in 2011 and 2013. Those comments were considered, and changes made to address the comments are reflected in this document
  • No further comments were received following the notice in October 2015 for the 45 day consultation opportunity for the preliminary management plan

Summary and results of public consultation

Public consultation is a very important part of the Lake St. Peter Provincial Park management planning process.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 – Invitation to Participate; Terms of Reference and Background Information File

The terms of reference were first approved on April 14, 2004 and released on July 30, 2004. The terms of reference were amended and re-released on July 21, 2006, along with a background information file.

There were 15 individuals/groups who responded to the 2004 invitation to participate. Of these, 6 provided comments.

Four of the six detailed comments came from individuals/park users. The topics raised included the need to upgrade the comfort station (3), maintain the number of campsites in the existing campground (3), establish a new trail to McKenzie Lake (1), add backcountry campsites on McKenzie Lake (1), highlight Indigenous communities' connection to park area (1), establish canoe route to McKenzie Lake (1), improve campsite maintenance (1), provide an education program (1) and provide more information on Algonquin Provincial Park (1).

Two of the detailed comments came from interest groups. One group was interested in restricting the use of mountain bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles from the northern section of the park. This group was also interested in reclassifying the park as natural environment and expanding the hiking trail network. The second interest group highlighted the long history of ATV use in the area.

In 2006, 5 individuals/groups provided comments during the amended terms of reference/background information file stage. Of these, 3 were general interest comments and 2 provided comments of a more detailed nature. The more detailed comments came from interest groups. The first group was concerned with the method for incorporating cultural heritage resources into the planning process. This group identified additional documents to incorporate into the terms of reference. The second group was concerned with any expansion of the park area. This group expressed opposition to increasing tourism pressures in the northern section of the park due to the extra noise, light and garbage it would create.

Stage 3 – Preliminary Park Management Plan

In October 2015 the preliminary management plan was released for a 45 day comment period. Notice was posted on the Environmental Registry and local media, and mailed to the project contact list. The preliminary management plan was available online. Seven responses were received during the comment period. Comments included general support for the plan, interest in the park’s land acquisition and development policies, concern about lake health and threat of invasive species, and comments about the cultural heritage policies. All responses were considered during preparation of the final management plan. No contentious issues were raised; no changes were considered to be required as a result of comments received.

Ontario Parks will retain on file reference copies of the background information file, the terms of reference, the preliminary park management plan and the approved park management plan.

Appendix 2 - Species list

Scientific names for the species listed by common name in Section 7.1.1 and Section 9.3.7 of the document are indicated in parentheses below. Within each group, species are listed alphabetically by common name.


  • beaver (Castor canadensis)
  • Algonquin wolf (Canis lupus lycaon)
  • moose (Alces alces)
  • raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  • white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)


  • balsam fir (Abies balsamea)
  • large-toothed aspen (Populus grandidentata)
  • red pine (Pinus resinosa)
  • small-flowered blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora)
  • sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
  • white birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • white pine (Pinus strobus)
  • white spruce (Picea glauca)

Copies of this publication can be obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at:

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park
356 Lake St. Peter Road
Lake St. Peter
K0L 2K0

62927 (Print)
62928 (HTML)
ISBN 978-1-4606-7068-2 (Print)
ISBN 978-1-4606-7819-0 (HTML)