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Rural Ontario county asks influencers to stop travelling to heart-shaped lake

A rural Ontario County has asked people to either stop visiting a Heart Lake for pictures, or to do their research before they arrive.
A rural Ontario County has asked people to either stop visiting a Heart Lake for pictures, or to do their research before they arrive. @jayeffex / Instagram

In the height of the fall season, while leaves were changing, a rural Ontario county asked influencers to stop going to a heart-shaped lake in the woods.

“We know that Heart Lake #infrontenac is amazing, but you need to stop going!,” the now-deleted Facebook post read on Frontenac County’s website (the message was originally posted on Oct. 23).

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Richard Allen, manager of economic development and tourism for the county, says the post was meant to be tongue in cheek to grab people’s attention to real concerns in the area.

Heart Lake, which from above really does look like a heart, sits on Crown land in the small village of Ompah, Ont., and Allen says lately, cottagers and homeowners in the area have been reporting photographers crossing their properties, sometimes using their docks to launch their drones, in order to get an aerial shot of the heart-shaped body of water.

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Allen says not only are private property owners worried about people trespassing, area officials are worried about photographers walking through the woods during hunting season without being properly equipped.

Instagram experiments with hiding ‘like’ count on posts
Instagram experiments with hiding ‘like’ count on posts

“Hunting takes place on Crown land, and we have an active hunting community. It can be dangerous for people wandering around in the forest not dressed in the appropriate attire to let hunters know they are not a deer,” Allen said.

Allen said the lake, which he referred to more as a “beaver pond,” has been slowly growing in popularity, but this year, several larger Instagram accounts have shared the aerial shots of the lake, which has brought more photographers to the area.

He also said despite the lake being on Crown land, there are no trails or public access points that lead directly to the lake, and this is not something the county could simply create itself.

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“The county doesn’t control the land, and we’d need the willingness of other levels of government in order to create a trail,” Allen said.

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When asked if there were any plans to create a trail, Allen said the county has not approached anyone about it.

Allen said if people are still inclined to come to the area for a shot of the lake, they should do their research beforehand, especially on how to access Crown land.

He also pointed out that deer season began on Monday, and hopes potential photographers will dress appropriately if they do plan to visit the site.