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Author Topic: How to find 'crown land'  (Read 15836 times)

Offline mattmayhem

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How to find 'crown land'
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:37:09 am »
Kind of a strange question...when I used to live in the country growing up we could just walk out of the yard into the treeline and we would be in the forest...now living in the city I don't have that luxury (I need to move back!!).
There are a few good provincial parks within a couple hours of Montreal but they are sometimes inconvenient, expensive and restrictive in terms of using natural materials (bows, firewood etc...) when it comes to rustic/traditional camping. The parks cater to city people with canadian tire tents and inflatable matresses who stop camping after labour day!
I was wondering if anyone had tips on a good way to find "crown land" in quebec. Most maps I have seen dont associate ownership of territory so its hard to find out that way too. It would be easiest if I had friends/family in the country so I could park there and use land in their area to camp but I don't have that ability either.
Is there a map or a website that marks crown land that can be used for recreation?

Kind of a dumb question, I guess alot of you guys are already in good locations to use surrounding land, but being from the city its harder. I guess I'm used to living in an area where all the land in every direction is "owned". Maybe I need to change my mindset more than anything.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 10:55:17 am by mattmayhem »

Offline whitemtskier

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 11:41:56 am »
http://www.mrn.gouv.qc.ca/english/territory/portrait/portrait-use.jsp

Not very useful I am afraid aside from the odds on that wherever you camp will be Crown Land..

The way I see it access is the issue.  You need to be able to get in, leave your vehicle, and not have it ravaged by a snowplow.

Offline mattmayhem

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 12:07:12 pm »
http://www.mrn.gouv.qc.ca/english/territory/portrait/portrait-use.jsp

Not very useful I am afraid aside from the odds on that wherever you camp will be Crown Land..

The way I see it access is the issue.  You need to be able to get in, leave your vehicle, and not have it ravaged by a snowplow.

yeah I found that link too! I got excited thinking it would have a map but doesn't seem too.

Access was something that crossed my mind too...I was thinking you'd have to find something with a cul-du-sac or maybe near something where you could get permission from an owner to leave your car in a lot for a small store or something.
I need to make friends with some farmers or something, haha!

Thanks for the help!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 12:16:29 pm by mattmayhem »

Offline FlatbowMB

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 12:29:21 pm »
Check with the municipal offices of the municipalities that you are scouting.  If you can get a basic copy of a municipal land ownership map it should show which sections of land are privately held and which are crown land.  With the Freedom of Information Act, the newer maps probably wont say who owns the private land, but they should still show which areas are crown land.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 12:31:26 pm by FlatbowMB »

Offline mattmayhem

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 12:39:08 pm »
Check with the municipal offices of the municipalities that you are scouting.  If you can get a basic copy of a municipal land ownership map it should show which sections of land are privately held and which are crown land.  With the Freedom of Information Act, the newer maps probably wont say who owns the private land, but they should still show which areas are crown land.



Interesting idea...that could work and i know a couple municipalities from growing up that I could check.
Is that the kind of thing you guys are doing or do you just know the good spots from friends/family? I guess being rurally located you tend to "know" these things.

Offline FlatbowMB

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 12:40:32 pm »

 The parks cater to city people with canadian tire tents and inflatable matresses who stop camping after labour day!


LOL I've found that to be very much the case with any of the National Parks I've visited, the provincial parks seem to vary quite a bit from province to province in that regard.  Fortunately, in Manitoba the larger provincial parks are much more tolerant of backcountry camping (though they do have their designated camping sites and cottages for those who prefer that semi-urban experience) and personal useage of it's natural resources (firewood, fishing & hunting etc...) as long as it complies with provincial regulations.

Offline FlatbowMB

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 12:52:00 pm »

Interesting idea...that could work and i know a couple municipalities from growing up that I could check.
Is that the kind of thing you guys are doing or do you just know the good spots from friends/family? I guess being rurally located you tend to "know" these things.

LOL, actually Winnipeg is in fact a city.  It even has a CFL team (though you'd never know it come playoff time).    However, once you step outside of the city limits... you're pretty much in the sticks.

I use various maps quite a bit in reseaching new areas to explore.  I do have a number of quicker access 'good' spots ( that I return to as well especially if I only have time for a short outing).  Many of those 'good' spots' are season dependant (ie. good from October-April & overrun by people from May - September).

Offline mattmayhem

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 01:07:13 pm »
Sorry didin't realize you were right out of winnipeg! I know a few people from 'peg so I know its not a village or anything, I just assume (obviously falsely) most guys on here are probably from more rural areas!

On the maps you just look for areas without houses around?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 01:18:14 pm by mattmayhem »

Offline FlatbowMB

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 01:43:02 pm »
Don't mind me - I'm just suffering a little bit of Grey Cup envy, I knew you knew WPG was a city  :)

On the municipal maps, sections that are crown land should have a big 'C' on them.
I'll look at the topography of an area I want to visit both through the toporama website and google earth. If it looks like interesting terrain, I'll go check it out.

Be sure to bookmark this site;

http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/topo/map
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 09:44:02 am by FlatbowMB »

Offline HOOP

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 07:55:32 pm »
Hi Mattmayhem,

Your question is always one of the toughest for people in cities, and newbies who just don't know where to start.    The plowed roads and parking issue is also one of the big stumbling blocks.   

I did find a map on the link:
http://www.mrn.gouv.qc.ca/english/publications/territory/portrait/carte_territoire_ang.pdf

It is a big scale, but you can begin to see the chunks of crown land emerge once you get away from the St. Lawrence valley.   I would suggest using the pdf map, and then getting a Topo index paper map which is a great resource, (which you can download as well, but having the paper map is easier to use), and start to look at the 1:250,000 topo series.  You can find these on-line as scanned tiff's, or use the toporama's viewer for a simpler version.  This will help to pick out gross areas that look like Crown (fewer settlement pattern roads, less roads, more lakes, less straight lines of green to white contrast which indicate private property rural land, etc.  Then you can use the 1:50,000 topos to zoom in on more detail.  You can see buildings and more fence line contrasts, which indicate private land. 

Paper topo collections are often carried by the bigger libraries, if you want to use paper copies out on big map tables.  I find paper on tables is way easier than digital on a tiny screen. 

Here is the easiest site to download the maps:  http://ftp2.cits.rncan.gc.ca/pub/canmatrix/

But you need the index - get paper if you can.   Map stores carry these.  In fact one of our sponsors:  Chaltrek is a premier map store and carries all the paper indexes, and can order you any paper map you need.  http://www.chaltrek.com/

You can eventually find everything via the GEOGRATIS website,  http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/   but they don't make it easy.  Here is one of the electronic index's: 
http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/product/search.do?id=34325
There is an easier one, but I can't find it.  Maybe the link has changed.

Edit:  Oops - FlatbowMB had already linked the easier index site   :)http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/topo/map
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 08:01:14 pm by HOOP »
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Offline mattmayhem

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Re: How to find 'crown land'
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 09:42:32 am »
HOOP thanks for the reply! respect for the ninja search skills!  ;D
Looking at that big first map it looks like the closest public land is just north of mont tremblant and  mont laurier...so about 1.5-2 hours from here. I can make out a couple blue specs in the townships but I assume those to be one of the provincial parks.
Like you said safe parking is always the big issue. I might have to stick to provincial parks for the next year or so. I want to get rid of my volkswagon next year and get something 4x4 and then I can risk getting into less maintained areas to avoid the snow plows. In the country I remember those guys would haul-ass!
I have a couple of the higher resolution 1:50000? provincial topo maps, but they are all of the "valley". Ill go to the library here and checkout what they have. I agree on paper maps vs ones on the net! I cant stand trying to look at them on here.