History of Secondary Highway 581:
Secondary Highway 581 is a local highway in the District of Cochrane that provides access from Highway 11 at Moonbeam to Rene Brunelle Provincial Park, located east of Kapuskasing. The proposed route of Highway 581 via the Remi Lake Road was first depicted on a Preliminary Route Plan prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in April, 1956. The highway was designated by an Order-in-Council dated May 9, 1956. The road between Moonbeam and Remi Lake was already paved at the time of the highway's designation in 1956. Initially, Highway 581 was approximately 3 1/2 miles (5.5 km) in length.
The route of Highway 581 was modified in the early 1980s, when the highway was extended around the eastern shore of Remi Lake to the entrance of Remi Lake Provincial Park (now known as Rene Brunelle Provincial Park). A Preliminary Assumption Plan was prepared dated October 30, 1981, which showed the 6 km extension of Highway 581 to the park entrance. The plan was registered on November 18, 1981 and the extension was designated as Highway 581 by an Order-in-Council, effective December 10, 1981. The extension of Highway 581 bypassed about 900 metres of the highway's original 1956 route. Rather than continue directly north to Remi Lake, Highway 581 turned off towards the provincial park at a point about 4.6 km north of Moonbeam. The bypassed section of Highway 581 became an un-posted 7000-Series Highway (Highway 7181). Jurisdiction over this bypassed section of the highway was transferred from the province to the Township of Moonbeam, effective April 9, 1998. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 581 is 80 km/h (50 mph). There are no services available on this highway north of Moonbeam.