Driving time from Barrie
1 highest point in the province
Getting off the beaten track
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater’s remote location adds to its rugged appeal, but makes it a bit of a trek if you’re coming from southern Ontario. There are two main routes to the park, which start where Highway 11 splits from the 400 just north of Barrie. The Highway 11 route, typically a little faster, will take you through Muskoka’s cottage country with potential stops like Santa’s Village (not a Christmas shop) while the 400 route follows the shores of Georgian Bay.
The backcountry sites throughout Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater don’t require reservations, as there’s relatively light visitor traffic throughout the year – but be sure to get the proper permit before you take off.
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park is a wilderness class park, which means that large parts of the park are left to nature and that special regulations apply for those visiting those areas. Make sure to pack out what you pack in, and camp only in authorized campsites.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a canoe, kayak, SUP or a sturdy piece of driftwood, you need to get out on the water if you can. Lady Evelyn is in the centre of 2400km of interconnected canoeing and portage routes. To find the route that’s just right for the time and experience level you have, browse some Temagami Canoe Route maps and books for ideas.
The Canadian Shield bulges to a dome in this park, which forms some of the highest points in Ontario. Ishpatina Ridge is the highest point in the province at 693m in elevation, and Maple Mountain comes close with 642m. Both make for worthwhile hikes with incredible views of the surrounding area.
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater is part of Ontario’s old growth forests, and contains red and white pines that have been dated at over 300 years old. Bring an Ontario field guide to get to know what you’re seeing, or brush up on your ID skills with the Ontario’s Old-Growth Forests guidebook. Binoculars and your camera are a must, along with sticking to the park boundaries, regulations, and Leave No Trace tips as you explore.