By Joanne Rodgers, Bruce Peninsula Press
On Good Friday, with its perfect weather for hiking at a sunny 0˚ C, the McCurdy parking lot off Moore Street in Lion’s Head was quickly filled to capacity and beyond.
The first wave of visitors arrived by 11am. By noon approximately 25 drivers were advised by residents that parking was available in town, while other visitors decided to wait in the parking lot for an available spot. By 1pm, the second wave had arrived, looking for those coveted spots, but many of the earlier crowd were not yet out of the woods. So from 1pm to 3pm, Moore Street was humming with activity with a steady flow of cars following their GPS to the end of Moore Street, drivers confused about the non-existent road to the Lookout and their parking options, walkers entering and exiting the closed side trail; and walkers who parked in town, heading up the hill on Moore Street.
The third wave is typically the sunset watchers, aiming to enjoy the sunset from the Lookout.
On Saturday, the first day of the “provincewide emergency brake”, the pattern repeated as day visitors took advantage of the great weather to explore the area. A resident directed visitor parking and offered tourism advice. Sunday was the third day of visitors drawn to the Lookout exceeding the capacity of the current parking lot at McCurdy.
While there were no special arrangements to deal with shoulder-season visitors arriving during the Easter holiday weekend, Councillor Megan Myles says an upcoming meeting will discuss parking and hopefully plans would be finalized for the summer season.
Myles says that the municipality continues to “work with Ontario Parks and other partners through the Sustainable Tourism Advisory Group. Ontario Parks have said they will have more staff and messaging this year as well.”