Misery Bay Provincial Park Visitors Centre closed on Thanksgiving Day, following a very successful season. Centre attendants greeted 4,115 visitors, up slightly from last year. Visitors were counted by clicker as they entered the building or as they were seen walking past, but because trails are open before and after Centre hours throughout the year, not all park users could be counted, making the actual number of visitors substantially higher than the clicker count.
The Visitors Centre was open from 10 am – 5 pm every day in July and August, and on weekends and holidays from Victoria Day weekend through Thanksgiving. Fifty volunteers assisted with park management serving as weekend Visitors Centre attendants, clearing and marking trails, arranging education programs and special events, managing merchandise sales, leading hikes, and serving on Friends of Misery Bay Board and committees. Two grant-supported students, Jenna Hinds, returning Mt. Allison University biology major from Toronto, and Andrew Vokes, MSS student from Evansville, staffed the Centre on weekdays in July and August.
Many visitors signed the Centre’s Visitors Book, and from that, information was obtained about where people came from. Of these, 11% were from Manitoulin Island, 68 % from Ontario but off-island, and 5% from nine other provinces and First Nations, totaling 84% from Canada. 16% came from other countries, with 12% from 23 US states, and 4% from 11 other countries, including United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Poland, Philippines, Columbia, Kuwait, South Africa and Japan. Most striking differences this year from 2011 were a greater number of visitors from Manitoulin, and fewer from countries outside Canada and the USA.
Although the Centre Building is now closed, trails are open throughout the year during daylight hours. Hikers are always encouraged to enjoy Misery Bay’s beautiful sights.
Ellie Moore, FOMB Volunteer Chair, 2012