Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada

Visitor Safety

For a great outdoor experience

While natural hazards do exist in the park, the risk of personal injury can be minimized by taking reasonable precautions. Parks Canada provides information to help you prepare for your trip and evaluate the potential safety considerations. Your safety is your personal responsibility.

AdventureSmart is a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians and visitors to Canada to "Get informed and go outdoors." We recommend you consult the website to plan your next outdoor adventure.

Keep the Wild in Wildlife

The chance to observe wild animals as they go about their natural lives is one of the most fascinating experiences that national parks have to offer. Along with this opportunity, however, comes the responsibility to treat wild animals with the respect they deserve, and need.

Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake


Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake
© Parks Canada
The Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake is a species at risk and Ontario's only venomous snake. The Massassauga is shy and non-aggressive by nature and is rarely seen in the wild due to its cryptic colouration and ability to camouflage. When feeling threatened the Massassauga will rattle its tail as a warning. If you have the chance to encounter one, it is best to give it space and leave it be.

 

Black Bears

Black bears visit the islands through the warmer months searching for food. Generally they prefer to avoid humans, although food left unsecured can attract them. Store your food and cooking supplies in the campground food lockers (where provided) or on your vessel. Please read You are in Black Bear Country for more information.

 

 

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy
© Parks Canada

This plant can be found throughout the park, usually along trails and in disturbed areas like campgrounds and day use areas. Poison ivy can grow as low-lying ground cover or a small bush, and contact with the plant can result in a painful, itchy rash. Remember: "Leaves of three leave them be!"

 

 

Lyme Disease

There is an increasing number of areas in Ontario where ticks carrying Lyme disease are found. These black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks) attach to birds which migrate from place to place, bringing this health risk. While Lyme disease is easily treated when detected early, it can have serious and permanent health consequences if left untreated.

Going outdoors? Be tick smart.
For more information, visit: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website

 

 

Tips for preventing negative encounters with wildlife:

  • Keep campsites neat and clean.
  • Keep food and all smelly products (i.e. toothpaste, soap, etc.) out of your tent. Store in a secure, animal-proof container or in the campground food lockers.
  • Dishwater is an attractant for raccoons and bears and should be disposed of at the washrooms, not behind your campsite.
  • When hiking, wear long sleeves, pants and hiking boots. Avoid wearing sandals or bare feet.
  • DO NOT feed any wildlife.


Park Regulations

In addition to the Canada National Parks Act and related legislation, the following park regulations are enforced for your enjoyment and safety.

  • Alcohol: Alcohol may only be consumed at your registered campsite. Alcohol is banned within the park during the Victoria Day weekend.

  • Fire: Campfires are allowed in fire pits only. Do not collect natural materials for firewood. Fireworks and explosives are not permitted.

  • Pets: Must be leashed at all times. Stoop and scoop.

  • Resources: Hunting is not permitted in the Park. Camping is restricted to designated sites. Do not disturb, feed or destroy wildlife, plants or cultural objects.