Did you know that Balsam Lake’s Waterfront Trail used to be King’s Highway 46?
As part of Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary, we are asking Ontarians to help us fund five legacy projects throughout the province.
The Balsam Lake Provincial Park project is…
…the restoration and improvement of the Waterfront Trail!
A little story
That’s how it is. Long before Balsam Lake became a provincial park, Highway 46 was a major route through the area. Completed in 1937, the highway connected two major corridors: Highway 7 and Highway 35, and the towns of Coboconk and Woodville.
In the 1960s, when Balsam Lake was proposed as a new provincial park, the road had to go. A detour, now known as Highway 48, was required to avoid the newly protected park.
HOWEVER, until 2012, the old road was opened as a through route from mid-October to early May each year. allow traffic to pass through the park.
Finally, due to the state of disrepair, the old road was officially closed in 2013.
From the road to the trail
Today, Old Highway 46 is a major recreational corridor that park users and residents use to walk the shores of Balsam Lake. The trail connects the campgrounds to the park’s day-use area.
The Waterfront Legacy project is a very timely project, because the 125th anniversary of Ontario Parks is also the 50th anniversary of Balsam Lake Provincial Park.
Our OP125 Legacy project will improve the historic route of former Highway 46:
- The deteriorated surface will be improved, making it more accessible.
- Trees will be planted to help reduce our carbon footprint.
- The sides of the roads will be naturalized.
- Interpretive signs will be installed to recognize the highway’s heritage and the importance of Balsam Lake as an important travel corridor long before this area was settled.
But we can’t do it without your help.
If you would like to help us improve the Waterfront Trail and restore it to a more natural state, please visit our New donation page.
Make a camping reservation? You will have the option to add a donation to a project of your choice.
You can also check back throughout the year to find out how close we are to funding the project!