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Daily vehicle permit system coming to Sandbanks, North Beach provincial parks

May 28, 2021

The County is encouraging residents and visitors to take advantage of the new booking system for day use at Sandbanks Provincial Park and North Beach Provincial Park.

“We anticipate that most, if not all, day-use spaces at Sandbanks and North Beach will book up in advance given the popularity of these parks,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says. “To help eliminate the extended lineups on County roads, people should not show up at the parks without a reservation and expect to get in during the peak summer months.”

Ontario Parks announced today that a new daily vehicle permit system will be implemented at 17 select provincial parks, including Sandbanks Provincial Park and North Beach Provincial Park.

Starting June 7, visitors will also be able to guarantee access to these provincial parks to avoid long line-ups during popular and busy visitation times by obtaining a daily vehicle permit in advance. Doing so will help avoid crowding, making it safer for the public to enjoy Ontario Parks.

Visitors will be able to obtain a daily vehicle permit in advance for select provincial parks up to five days prior to arrival. A valid permit is required for all vehicles within provincial parks, including on free day-use days (Monday to Thursday, from May 1 to September 2, 2021). Permits must be visibly displayed on all vehicles and capacity will be limited to avoid overcrowding.

High demand for green space has caused a surge in provincial park users over the past several years. During busy days in the summer — especially on weekends and holidays — Sandbanks and North Beach provincial parks reach capacity early in the day, leaving hundreds of cars lined up outside the gates for kilometres. The idling cars impede traffic flow, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and disturb neighbours of the parks.

The municipality will provide videos, guides and other resources to help residents navigate the provincial reservation system and obtain a daily vehicle permit for Sandbanks and North Beach provincial parks. Additional assistance will be available through community partners such as the Prince Edward County Public Library when COVID-19 regulations permit in-person service.

In addition to implementing a daily vehicle permit system, Ontario Parks is ensuring it has the appropriate level of staff resources to manage traffic coming into Sandbanks Provincial Park and enforce parking rules at Sandbanks and North Beach provincial parks.

The municipality will have additional seasonal by-law enforcement officers on duty to monitor and issue $400 tickets for illegal parking around provincial parks. Park wardens and by-law enforcement officers will also monitor other nuisances like littering in an effort to deter the unwanted behaviour. Visit the County’s Summer Hub to learn more on navigating the busy summer season and the changes to amenities such as beaches, boat launches, parking, and more.

To mitigate the impact of overflow traffic when the provincial park beaches reach capacity, the municipality is implementing a new system to manage access to Wellington Rotary Beach. This includes introducing a $10 per person admission fee for the beach on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Residents and ratepayers can access the beach for free at all times using the Wellington Rotary Beach Pass.

The admission fee and beach pass system at Wellington Rotary Beach will come into effect after the province-wide Stay-at-Home order lifts. View the latest update on the Wellington Rotary Beach pass system.

The Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park is not included in the daily vehicle permit system. Ontario Parks has, though, instituted paid parking to encourage traffic flow throughout the day at the popular destination.

For more information, contact the County of Prince Edward at 613.476.2148 extension 1023, 613.962.9108 extension 1023, or email info@pecounty.on.ca.

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