The Quetico Foundation - Back to Home Page
About the Foundation - general information on our programs and goals
Programs & Activities - more information on the Foundation's main current and past projects
Trustees - brief biographies of current Foundation Trustees
Foundation History - a look at the individuals and issues which shaped the Foundation
Newsletter - the Foundation's most recent Newsletter
Donations - opportunities to promote wilderness conservation by donating to the Foundation
Annual Dinner - a major fundraising activity
Corporate Partners - see our growing list of corporate partners
Corporate Sponsors - thank you to some of our major supporters
Photo Gallery - photos of Quetico Park, including historic photos from the John B. Ridley Research Library
About Quetico Park - facts about Quetico Park's location, history, geology, animal and plant life
Canoe Route Maps - information about the recently published satellite map of Quetico Park and details on how to order
Management Plan Review - The Quetico Park Management Plan Review Process
Related Links - other related web-sites
Contact Us - information on how to reach the Foundation

642 King Street West, Suite 216,
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1M7
Tel: 416-941-9388
Fax: 416-941-9236
Charitable Registration No. 11925 2427 RR0001


The Quetico Foundation - Established 1954
Sunset in Quetico Park - Courtesy of Michael Peake

Robert Beymer describes two views of Quetico Park in his introduction to A Paddler's Guide to Quetico Provincial Park (3rd Ed.) (W.A. Fisher Co., 1994):
"Words cannot do justice to Quetico Park. Mention the word "Quetico" to a hundred individuals who have paddled its crystalline waters and you will have conjured up a hundred different images - the eerie wailing of a loon at dusk, the gentle lapping of waves against a granite shore, a fresh breeze against one's face on a warm day in July, a chain of exquisite waterfalls, a majestic bull moose in a quiet cove, a heart-pounding struggle with a small-mouth bass, a tiny island campsite shrouded by fog in the still dawn of a crisp August morning, white clouds reflecting in a glassy lake that is just too blue to be real, or the tantalizing aroma of a succulent walleye, caught only moments before, now frying to perfection over a hot bed of glowing coals. . .
"If this sounds like Paradise, well, at times, it is. Quetico Park sometimes shows another face, however, and the would-be visitor must also be willing to accept her in that mood. Life there is a constant challenge and not all people are suited for it. To the disgruntled former visitor, the name "Quetico" might conjure up entirely different images: hordes of voracious mosquitoes and black flies viciously attacking every inch of exposed skin and even penetrating thin clothing, violent thunderstorms leveling tents and drenching sleeping bags, frustrating winds that barely allow a canoe to inch across a white-capped lake, sinking up to the knees in deep mud that smells like a thousand years of rotting sediment, rugged portages that are difficult to climb without any gear and nearly impossible with it, biting insects that are too small to see but leave welts all over the body, several days of bone-chilling drizzle that renders the wood supply noncombustible, bog-lined creeks that are too shallow to paddle through and too muddy to walk through, seven days of fishing without a single strike, or the only wildlife witnessed in ten days being the rear end of black bear dragging the only food pack into the darkness. These, too, are accurate images of Quetico Park - at times."
About Quetico Park

Introduction | Quetico Facts | Quetico Geology | Quetico Wildlife | Observation List | Quetico Timeline | Native Pictographs

Quetico Park is one of the world's great wilderness areas. Together with the Superior National Forest, just across the U.S. border in Minnesota, it forms the largest international area set aside for wilderness recreational
Click the image to see a full-size map of the Park's location in a new window
Map of the Park's location
purposes in the world. At 1.2 million acres, Quetico Park is also Ontario's second largest wilderness park. For thousands of years, the Park has served as a travel corridor for native peoples and, more recently, as one of the main routes to the west for European explorers and fur traders. The so-called Voyageurs' Highway runs through the Park. Today its quiet waters and non-mechanized mode of travel serve as a haven from the pressures of modern-day living.

It was established as a park in 1913, but at the time trapping, commerical fishing, mining and logging were still allowed within its boundaries. The Park is located roughly 160 kilometeres west of Thunder Bay. Quetico is characterized by its haphazard drainage pattern. Ultimately, all waters in Quetico drain into the Arctic Ocean westward through Rainy Lak to the Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnipeg and into Hudson Bay. Several of the Park's watersheds lie outside the Park boundaries so activities occurring outside the Park can have a direct impact upon it.

The most common soil in Quetico is ground moraine composed of sand mixed with rocks and gravel, forming a discontinuous layer usually less than one meter deep. The soil is very base and low in nutrients.

As the Park lies in a transition zone between the boreal forests to the north, the mixed forests to the sourth, and the great plains to the west and soutwest it contains diverse flora. Fire and logging have exerted a strong influence on the present forest cover of Quetico. Approximately 50 percent of Quetico's area has been burned in the past 100 years. The fires and logging together have affected 95 percent of the forests in Quetico (less than 5 percent of Quetico's forests are over 100 years of age and more than 50 percent are under 60 years old.)

The Quetico area was first inhabited by people soon after the last ice sheet retreated roughly 12,000 years ago.

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