If you plan on heading to the Dorset tower this fall, officials say you better plan ahead.
For the second year in a row, Algonquin Highlands has made advance tickets mandatory for weekend visits from Sept. 23 to Oct. 15. Weekday tickets can still be bought at the gate.
Chris Card, Algonquin Highlands Manager of Parks, Recreation, and Trails, says the system is just the newest of the traffic easing measures they’ve put in place, such as traffic controllers on the highway and giving out advance information to visitors.
“The fall is the busiest time of year for the Dorset Tower, and it’s become increasingly so over the past number of years,” says Card. “To such an extent that it’s started to create some traffic issues on the highway. And the reality was that too many people were hoping to access the tower at the same time, and we wanted to put some sort of process in place to alleviate that.”
According to Card, they’ve had great reception from visitors since putting the system in place.
“The biggest improvement has been in the reaction we’ve gotten from the people who are visiting, which is that it’s fantastic,” says Card. “Wait times to enter the tower have been significantly reduced. [They] have gone from what was sometimes two hours on the highway and an hour once you’re on site, to people being able to get in and onto the tower.”
Card adds that people should book early to avoid disappointment. You can visit ahtrails.ca to secure your time slot, and season pass holders can book their entry for free.