Algonquin Park reducing holiday weekend waiting times
People hoping to catch the fall colours at Algonquin Park are enjoying a new quick way to access the foliage.
An Algonquin Park Warden manages traffic. (Ontario Parks Photo)
In 2015 there were large lineups as people tried to enter the West Gate of Algonquin, which is approximately a 10-minute drive from Oxtongue Lake. Reports at the time showed lineups spilling over on to Highway 60 creating an hours-long wait to enter the park.
Now visitors entering the lot are organized into lanes based on the method of payment. The cost of $20 per passenger vehicle can be paid by cash, debit or credit card. Portable payment systems are available at the vehicle, with tap as an option to speed up the transaction. Once payment is made the visitor is free to explore all the park has to offer, with no need to leave their vehicle.
In 2015 the rate to enter the park was $17 which meant change from a $20 bill would need to be made. This slowed operations down and according to one employee at the park, the increase to $20 sped up things noticeably.
Visitors to the park are asked to obey the posted speed limits and to be careful where they park. Also, any feeding of animals is strictly forbidden and can be dangerous.
A typical Thanksgiving weekend will see upwards of 1,500 vehicles entering Algonquin Park each day.