Safety and guidelines

Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site

Visitor safety is a top priority for Parks Canada and the Agency takes all the necessary measures to ensure that visitors of Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site have a safe and enjoyable experience, in addition to protecting the heritage value of the site.

Use of drones

All Parks Canada places are ‘no drone zones’ for recreational use. If you do not possess a permit or special permission to fly your drone in a Parks Canada place, please leave your drone at home.

Learn more about our drone usage rules.


Black Bears

On occasion, black bears are seen on the grounds at Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. Black bears are wild animals and we must respect their space. They are typically very skittish and will run away once they know you are nearby.


  • Stay on established paths and trails;
  • Make noise as you walk by talking with your companions, singing or whistling;
  • Keep your pet on a leash and under control at all times.


There are ticks, mosquitoes, black flies, wasps, bees and other small insects found on site.


Ticks are found in tall grassy areas or wooded areas and drop from leaves or blades of grass onto animals and humans. They are tiny, brownish/red in color and look like a little beetle. They bite and attach themselves to hosts, and may transmit diseases such as Lyme disease.


  • Avoid tall grass, stay on maintained paths and trails;
  • Use insect repellent on exposed parts of your body;
  • Wear a hat, closed shoes and long, light-coloured clothing;
  • Tuck the bottom of your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants;
  • Examine your pets, clothing and skin for ticks, especially in hard-to-see areas;
  • Dry your clothes in the dryer on high heat;
  • Shower as soon as possible (ideally within two hours) following contact with vegetation in risk areas.
  • If you find a tick attached to the skin, remove it as soon as possible (Removing attached ticks as soon as possible reduces the risk of infection. Infected blacklegged ticks normally must remain attached for at least 24 hours in order to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease).


Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy is a native plant present at Fort St. Joseph. It grows as a vine or tiny shrub with three shiny, dark green leaves. Oils in the plant contain urushiol, a chemical that causes an allergic skin rash after contact. This rash may be severe, depending on how your body reacts to it.


  • Stay on maintained paths and trails;
  • Keep your pet on a leash and on maintained paths and trails;
  • Wear close-toed shoes;
  • Wash any skin that has come into contact with poison ivy with soap and water as soon as possible to remove the oil.


Water Safety

Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site is located on Lake Huron and the St. Marys River. Visitors are encouraged to view the water from the shore. Please do so carefully as the rocky shoreline is uneven and slippery when wet. The water here remains cold well into the summer; swimming is not advised.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility

At Parks Canada, we do our part to make sure you can have a safe visit by assessing the risks, managing hazards, and making sure that safety information is freely available to everyone. You can do your part as visitors by making sure you seek out the information you need to stay safe and make well informed decisions while enjoying these special places. Visit our websites and stop at a visitor center to speak with our employees for the most up to date information. Make sure you are fully prepared for whatever activities you choose to participate in so you can have a safe, enjoyable and memorable visit.

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