Elk Island National Park is a picnicker's paradise! Visitors are expected to practice safe camping and picnicking practices, obey the camping and other national park’s regulations including keeping pets on a leash, and keep food and garbage secure at all times.

Picnic tables

Picnic tables are located at most trailheads and the following locations:

  1. Astotin Lake Recreation Area
  2. Beaver Bay Picnic Area (along Shoreline Trail)
  3. Tawayik Lake Recreation Area

Wood is provided at the wood boxes. Bring an axe or hatchet and fire starter. Basic washroom facilities are also located nearby and potable water is available in the Astotin Lake Recreation Area and at the Visitor Centre.

Picnic shelters

A winter cookout at the Tawayik Lake picnic area

Enjoy a picnic at one of Elk Island National Park’s picnic shelters all year long!

Picnic shelters are located throughout the Astotin Lake Recreation Area and at the Tawayik Lake Picnic Area. Wood is provided in the wood boxes.

Warm up beside the wood stove at the Tawayik Lake picnic shelter.

These shelters are non-reservable and only available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Plan to arrive early to secure a picnic shelters as they are often in high demand, especially on warm weekends.

* Picnic shelters are sometimes used for activities during Parks Canada special events. As such, Parks Canada reserves the right to close any building to the public for event purposes. If a shelter is required for an event, a notice of the reservation will be posted three days in advance of the event and it will be closed the night before the event.

All users must be aware that:

  • Hanging/affixing items to any building or structure is prohibited.
  • Consuming alcohol or cannabis in the Astotin Lake Recreation Area, Tawayik Lake Recreation Area, Visitor Centre Area and Oster Lake Backcountry Campground is prohibited.
  • Quiet hours are between 11 pm and 7 am. Keep noise levels to a minimum for the enjoyment of all visitors and the ecological integrity of the park.

The Pavilion picnic shelter

A group campfire in the historic Pavilion picnic shelter at Astotin Lake

This rustic shelter is the perfect place to stop for a moment along Lakeview Trail while enjoying the views of Astotin Lake!

Built in the 1930's as a make-work project during the Great Depression, the Pavilion is the oldest picnic shelter with a chimney in the national parks system.

Over 80 years old, this open air structure is classified as a Federal Heritage building.

During the summer of 2010, the Pavilion's pillars and chimney were restored as part of our ongoing maintenance of the building, under Federal Heritage Building Review Office (FHBRO) regulations. Exterior painting of the shelter will occur in 2011.

All users must be aware that:

  • Hanging/affixing items to any Park building is not permitted;
  • Consuming alcohol or cannabis in the Astotin Lake Recreation Area is prohibited.
  • Quiet hours are between 11pm and 7am. Keep noise levels to a minimum for the enjoyment of all visitors and the ecological integrity of the park.

Keep a clean site

Keep picnic areas clean at all times. Store ALL food, garbage and scented items in a vehicle or a bear proof storage container when not in use.

Leaving scented items unattended, even for a few minutes, puts visitors and wildlife at risk and can result in a fine. Remember, cooking in or near a tent is dangerous because lingering odours may attract wildlife.

Items to store when not in-use:

  • coolers - full or empty
  • food - wrapped, unwrapped, or in containers
  • garbage/wrappers
  • dishes/pots/cutlery - clean or dirty
  • empty beverage containers
  • pet food/bowls - full or empty
  • bottles/cans - open or unopened
  • barbecues - clean or dirty
  • any other items used for food preparation or that have a smell or scent
  • scented products - such as shampoo, toothpaste, candles, citronella, dish soap, sunscreen, lip balm, dish towels

It is illegal to feed, entice or disturb any wildlife in a national park. Violators may be charged, be required to appear in court, and could pay fines up to $25 000.
To report offenses call Parks Canada Dispatch: 1-877-852-3100.