This is the final installment in the series on boat launches in Parry Sound. Previous posts provided an overview of all sites with individual posts on the Champaigne Street, Waubuno Beach and Smelter Wharf launches. While these launches all provide access to Georgian Bay the Mill Lake launch provides access to, surprise, Mill Lake.
This launch is in a corner of Parry Sound just on the north east side of the Highway 400 bridges that cross the Seguin River and many people assume is part of the neighbouring municipality of McDougall. Mill Lake itself is a smaller lake that does not provide access to either Georgian Bay or other lakes in the area. It is largely surrounded by cottages and homes. Here is an aerial look at the boat launch.
The launch itself is shallow with a gravel base, suitable for the boats that might be used on this smaller lake. Parking is available and once again I suggest people contact the Town of Parry Sound if they want to leave their vehicle and trailer there for any extended period of time. Here’s a photo looking at the launch area. It’s a pretty relaxed facility with few users and lots of space.
The dock is about 40-feet in length. A sign at the launch states that dockage is limited to four hours.
That’s it for the review of boat launches in Parry Sound. With a little bit of help we may be able to provide information on boat launches in the surrounding communities.
JB – Communications Officer
This is the fourth post looking at boat launches in Parry Sound. Previous posts looked at the launches as a group, with separate posts on the Champaigne and Waubuno Street launches.
Also known as the Salt Dock (it’s a major facility for the offloading of road salt for the district) the Smelter Wharf is ‘in transition’ in my opinion. The launch was repaired last year to the tune of about $50,000, and as you will see from photos below it seems to need additional work. At present the launch is restricted in terms of the launch width, but it should not present an issue for any vessel that can be trailered on the road. The aerial photo below (click for a closer view) shows the launch site last Spring while it was still closed off and awaiting repair, with the docks not yet installed.
The two following photos show the condition of the launch as of June 2, 2014. The width of the launch is limited and a small section of the launch requires some resurfacing (construction cone). Otherwise the launch is quite functional with a 40-foot dock. There is a rapid drop off, so it isn’t necessary to back up too far before a boat will float.
Looking at the Smelter Wharf Launch
There is lots of parking available, assuming that there are no events/ongoing in the wharf area. Despite this I rarely, if ever, see vehicles with trailers parked in this area. The Champaigne Street launch seems to be where people leave vehicles and trailers. I suggest you contact the Town for information if you you are interested in longer term parking at this site. I expect there is no issue for same day, or single day overnight parking.
Looking Back at the Launch
Extended docking is not appropriate beyond the time required to launch.
JB – Communications Officer
This post takes a look at the Waubuno Beach boat launch. In a recent post we presented a map identifying the free boat launches in Parry Sound. For those of you new to the area and wanting to get onto the Big Water, this information may be helpful. The previous post looked at the Champaigne Street boat launch area.
The Waubuno Beach boat launch is a secondary boat launch beside the Coast Guard Station. The launch area is protected and relatively small. The dock, about 40 feet long, offers very limited space to tie up if there is active launching.
The parking area is also very limited and it’s not clear what parking is permitted and for how long. I don’t recall seeing any longer term vehicles and trailers parked in this area, unlike the Champaigne Street launch area. I suspect longer term parking in the paved Waubuno Beach lot (not shown) is discouraged, especially if there is a trailer involved. Once again it is suggested that you contact the Town of Parry Sound for information and any restrictions. But with the Champaigne Street launch just a couple of kilometers away offering a wider launch area and lots of parking there seems little reason to use this launch for anything but boating for the day. The Smelter Wharf boat launch is even closer and we’ll take a look at this facility in the next post.
Here’s a photo of the boat launch taken later in the day. That’s Parry Island in the distance.
A Ground Level Look at the Waubuno Beach Launch
In the last post we presented a map identifying the free boat launches in Parry Sound. These launches will be familiar to those who have been coming to Parry Sound for years. For those of you new to the area and wanting to get onto the Big Water, this information may be helpful. In this post we are looking at the Champaigne Street boat launch area. (Yes that’s the correct spelling, Champaigne, I went back to a 19th Century map to confirm the spelling. It could have been error at that time but it has stuck.)
The Champaigne Street launch is probably the most practical and useful for those who wish to come up to Parry Sound, launch their boat, and head out for a few days. It offers a reasonably good boat launch for anything up to 30-feet, perhaps more. There is also a barge ramp beside the launch for those with specialized needs. There are a total of three docks, about 40-feet long. Two are accessible from the shore, the third is a bit under water as it touches the shore. (Early 2013 image when the water was quite low, it’s closer to average at this point, 2014/05.)
The docks are intended to be used for the loading and launching of boats rather than dockage. This boat launch can get busy and there is no room for boats to be tied up. Free dockage for a couple of hours has historically been available at Big Sound Marina, with charges for overnight dockage. Big Sound Marina has recently been put under new management and it’s possible that they might not extend courtesy dockage for people who want to get out and explore the Town, have a meal or resupply. Give them a call if you have any questions, here’s a link to their website..
The real appeal of the Champaigne Street boat launch is the availability of free parking for vehicle and trailer. The Town is relaxed with regard to parking at this site. I have had informal discussions with Town Staff and they indicated that there is no issue with parking there for a few days, let’s say four or less. Beyond that it is advisable to contact the Town to discuss a longer stay. They probably want to be sure that there is ‘fair’ use of the facility and people aren’t using the area as a ‘storage’ location.
Here’s a photo of the boat launch taken later in the day. The larger dock you see a little further away is the former Imperial Oil dock that is now sitting unused. It cannot be accessed from the shore. The barge ramp is to the left and not shown.
For those of you with more specialized needs Sound Boat Works offers a hydraulic trailer and crane with the ability to launch and haul power and sail boats up to about 55-feet (possibly even larger).