Marathon and Pukaskwa National Park

Viking Helicopters ended up on the ground floor during the study and early development of the proposed Federal park on the north shore of Lake Superior, south of Marathon. The park’s development offices were located in the small town. At the time, our base in Thunder Bay was an ideal location, and we all spent many hours ferrying back and forth.

Snack time in the north shore hills.

When the weather was good, it was very, very good. Snack time in the north shore hills of Lake Superior – 1976. Last I heard, the gentleman on the left, Greg, now has his own guiding company in Saskatchewan.

Initially, we started with a Bell 47, and later progressed to a Hughes 500 once we managed to convince park management that the 5-place helicopter was a cheaper and speedier option. Always, it seemed as though it took forever for customers to finally do the numbers on their own and accept the larger and faster turbine helicopters. We went through the exact same cost-benefit exercises with Ontario Hydro and the OMNR.

Plenty of fog when the wind would blow out of the south or south-west would sometimes weather us in for days at a time. If you’ve ever been weathered in at Marathon, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The area was finally established as a national park in 1978.Here’s the Parks Canada link to Pukaskwa National Park.

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