A small portion of a huge Canadian park north of the BWCA was reopened Monday after a “extreme survivalist” was found by law enforcement who were searching for him for several days since he slipped in from Minnesota.
Several lakes inside an area roughly 6 miles square in 1.2 million-acre Quetico Provincial Park had been blocked from public access since Wednesday as authorities hunted for Aaron N. King, 26.
While police said they weren’t worried that King would harm someone, they were concerned that he lacked the proper clothing, provisions and also had no canoe with him as he traveled about the park, which is filled with many hundreds of lakes and connecting waterways amid remote surroundings of rugged terrain and towering cliffs.
King was found alive Sunday by K-9 and emergency response personnel, said John Whitney of the Ontario Provincial Police. Whitney noted that a national holiday Monday was preventing him from learning more about King’s condition or the circumstances surrounding his discovery.
Whitney did say that King was found a fair distance north of the swath of the park that was off limits.
King had been staying in Ely, Minn., for the past several months before he crossed the border at a location other than an official port of entry, said Ontario Police Sgt. Matt LeBlanc, who characterized King last week as “an extreme survivalist.”
Ely Police Sgt. Dennis Koponen said his department has had contact with King since early spring, with him “just being homeless, vagrant, asking for food and money and stuff.” Police never had to arrest or cite him, Koponen said.
The area that was closed is slightly to the west and south of the park’s center. The waterways blocked from public access were: Brent Lake, Darkwater Lake, Darkwater River between Brent and Darkwater Lakes, William Lake, Conmee Lake, Suzanette Lake, McIntyre Lake, Scarlett Lake, Cone Lake and unnamed lakes south of Brent Lake en route to McIntyre Lake.