Thunder Bay

Parking, ice safety concerns arise at Silver Harbour Conservation area

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is reminding people that using the Silver Harbour access that they access Lake Superior at their own risk. The popular access point to Lake Superior is located east of Thunder Bay, off Lakeshore Drive.

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority says people accessing Lake Superior at own risk

There have been dozens of vehicles crowding the parking lot at Silver Harbour Conservation area in recent days. (photo: Gord Ellis/CBC)

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) is reminding people using the Silver Harbour access to get onto Lake Superior a doing so at their own risk.

The popular access point is located east of Thunder Bay, off Lakeshore Drive.

LRCA spokesperson Ryan Mackett said people going to look at the "blue ice" formation are finding areas of unsafe ice. Mackett said LRCA staff do not monitor the ice conditions or provide updates.

He said people who use the Silver Harbour parking are also asked to follow the Conservation Regulations, which includes paying the $5 parking fee. "We need that money coming in to help maintain the areas," Mackett said. "I feel like a broken record, but until people start paying their fees or buy an Explorer card, you're going to keep hearing that from us, because that is how we maintain our conservation areas."

A phenomenon known as "blue ice" has been drawing hundreds of people onto Lake Superior, near Silver Harbour, in recent days. (photo: Marnie Elizabeth/Facebook)

Mackett said the Ontario Provincial Police have also received several complaints regarding unsafe parking along Silver Harbor Road. He suggests that people who arrive at Silver Harbour and find the parking lot full, reschedule their visit for another time.

"We are already seeing higher than average visits to our conservation areas during COVID-19," said Mackett.

"The weather is starting to get nice. People are looking for things to do, and people are flocking to Silver Harbour, but that has raised some concerns as well." Mackett said although the "blue ice" is a popular natural attraction, people must keep in mind both safety and COVID-19 restrictions while doing so.

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