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Main Lake Provincial Park
About This Park
Main Lake Provincial Park on Quadra Island encompasses six lakes and protects a biologically diverse freshwater system that includes more than 72 bird species and 234 plant species. The park, which was established in 1997, offers significant wilderness recreation opportunities, including wilderness camping, canoeing, kayaking and hiking.
Visitors to the park can see a variety of wildlife, including wolves, cougars, owls, bald eagles, hawks, osprey, peregrine falcons and wintering swans. The geography of park is exceptional, with spectacular physical features such as narrow channels, limestone sinkholes, waterfalls and the close proximity of marine and fresh water ecosystems.
The Main Lake chain of interconnected lakes forms the largest freshwater waterway in the Gulf and Discovery Islands. Main Lake, Village Bay Lake and Mine Lake are connected by narrow, shallow marshes navigable by canoes and dinghies only. Other lakes can be reached via rough, user-created portage routes.
Established Date: April 30, 1996
Park Size: 3,530 hectares
Know Before You Go
- Bring your own drinking water, as potable water is not available in the park. All surface water must be boiled, filtered or treated prior to consumption.
- Boaters and paddlers should be prepared for quick changing weather, which can result in rough water on the lakes.
- A 7.5kw (10hp) restriction is in place on Main Lake and Mine Lake, as well as outside the park on Village Bay Lake.
- An electric motors only restriction is in place on Little Main Lake, Stramberg and Clear Lake.
- Camping is permitted in designated sites only.
- Backcountry camping fees are collected May 15 – September 15 when backcountry services are provided. Registration/payment is available online only two weeks in advance. You must have a copy of your registration with you at all times while in the park.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: Main Lake Provincial Park was designated in 1997 as a result of recommendations made in the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan.
- Cultural Heritage: First Nations presence in the park is depicted in a panel of pictographs in red ochre on Main Lake. There is also evidence of an old portage route from Yeatman Bay.
- Conservation: This park protects a biologically exceptional area that includes more than 72 bird species and 234 plant species. Physically, the park is exceptional with limestone sinkholes and waterfalls.
- Wildlife: Wildlife in the park includes wolves, cougars, owls, Bald eagles, hawks, osprey, Peregrine falcons and wintering swans.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
- Note: A 9.9 hp motor restriction is enforced on the Main Lake system.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Wilderness camping is allowed at seven designated camping areas in the park, but no facilities are provided. These areas are accessible by boat only. Camping is not permitted in other areas of the park.
Please practice “Leave No Trace” camping ethics.
This park is open year-round. Backcountry camping fees are collected from May 15 – September 15 when backcountry services are provided. Payment is available online only two weeks in advance. Please note that this is a registration only and will not reserve you a site. You must have a copy of your registration with you at all times while in the park.