There used to be a free public parking lot at Snug Harbour just north of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. This gave great access to Georgian Bay near the bottom of Franklin Island. I found out this weekend that the public lot has now been changed into a “Carling Residents Only” lot. There is still parking at Gilly’s for a fee, but their parking space is severely limited.
I’m a little torn on this one. On one hand, a lot of novice “yahoos” leave from this point and camp on Franklin Island because it’s Free Crown Land camping and relatively easy to get there with a somewhat protected crossing. In recent years there have been reports of many bear problems in the area, almost certainly resulting from the actions of these people. From this perspective, I’m happy to have the access a bit more limited. On the other hand, I think that easy access to these places should be an unobstructed right for anyone that wants to go and enjoy them. It bothers me greatly when I see public parking and access close down.
That said, there is still a public dock there, so launching/landing your boat can still be done without penalty. Looking at the Carling Township link below, you should notice that almost all of the water access sites they list offer no parking for non residents. I guess they aren’t interested in having paddlers around.
Some info on the subject: