Top ten Ontario Provincial Parks and Campgrounds
1. Lake Superior Provincial Park, Gargantua Bay
Where to go! A few hours drive North along the Trans-Canada Highway, you will find yourself on the inviting shores of Lake Superior. With it’s performative rustic look, beautifully adorned rocky terrain, carpeted sandy shores, adding to some of the best shorelines in Province of Ontario. The camp sites on Lake Superior are always in high demand for the season so be sure to book in advance of trip. If the you are interested is already taken, others may still be available. Head north along the Coastal Trail where it is expected you might have better luck finding a spot. If those sites are already taken, adjust your bearings and head south where you will find a few a more along the quiet shoreline beach. Settle in at once, with enough sunlight still available, familiarize yourself with your new surroundings.
What to do! For the consummate adventurer, Gargantua Bay is the most sought after place for kayaking, the many islands enclaves affords protection from the midday heat. Spend sometime hiking along the Coastal Trail located on the southern part of the lake over looking the impressive cliffs at Devil’s Warehouse, and when the waves subside enough, paddle over to Gargantua Harbour and explore the wreckage of the Columbus, a ship which sank in early 1900′s.
2. Killarney Provincial Park, George Lake Campground
Where to go! Although Killarney Provincial Park is familiar to few Ontarians, it enjoys the status of a deity among Parks and campsites. With its sparkling white quartzite hillside, graceful jack pines, and breathtaking clear blue lakes, making it a first-class canoeing location. Be sure to set out earlier than usual, in pursuit of Killarney Provincial Park, arrival times vary between 4 and half to five hours. Drive North along the 400 towards Berrie, then Sudbury, continue along the Trans Canada Highway towards Killarney Park.
What to do! along the La Cloche Silhouette Trail for some of the most electrifying views in the park, from the base to the crack-a precipitous cleft leads to through and up granite ridge top. Other captivating views in the area, requiring less exertion may be had by hiking along Trail. If you like to look around some more? Explore the caverns and shores of Georgian Bay by kayaking, canoes can be easily access by the lake, where park outfitters will deliver them to you for a rental fee. Support the local economy along the waterfront in town, by purchasing the crunchiest fish and the freshest chips at Herbert Fisheries.
3. Bon Echo Provincial Park, Mazinaw Lake Campground
Where to go! This 100-metre-high Mazinaw Rock is the featured attraction of Bon Echo Provincial Park, known to many Ontarians as the Gibraltar. The Mazinaw rock formation resulted from extremely hot and deep underwater eruption occurring hundreds of years ago. This eruption is believed forced molten larva to the surface and upon cooling is now visible to all, thus symbolizes Bon Ech Provincial Park. This 1.5 kilometre-long cliff face, adds an dynamism to the scenery, making it one of Ontario’s postcard canvases.
What to do! This campground is among the most desired by Ontarians where campers get to choose from over 500 camping sites. The ground has five accessible walk-in points which affords both privacy and a first-rate view of the Mazinaw rock face. The spectacular view at the cliff top stretch outward and beyond the park limits, adding to its awe inspiring feeling. Still not satisfied, roam about the wilderness Trails of the Abes and Essens, featuring three distinct loops of three and half to 16 kilometres in length. On your way back to the lake, hit the beach for a swim and cool off before going to sleep.
4. Driftwood Provincial Park, Ottawa River Campgrounds
Where to go! Relax on the lake inviting area of the Ottawa River, just an hour upstream, away from the dangerous river monster rapids, a few meters across Quebec’s famed Dumoine River. Experience the adventure of a lifetime on the waters of Driftwood as the lake invites jet skies and boat enthusiasts alike, to get lost in its amore. Ottawa River campsites offers a delightful sandy waterfront scenery, perfect for swimming or launching a kayak or canoe. Plus, closely located near to you, access the park’s 14 kilometres hiking trails which also conveniently accessed on the campgrounds.
What to do! Trek downstream towards Pembroke and jump unto one the many commercial rafts for an adventurous ride down the world renown Ottawa rapids. With the abundance water nearby, visitors are assured the experience of a life time, so please try and stock-up on some good night sleep, because you are going to need it in order to complete the canoeing or kayaking of the rapids of the Dumoine. This is truly a lake-enthusiast dream come true, the copiousness in water bodies, particularly those adjoining to Algonquin Provincial Park is yours to discover.
5. Rondeau Provincial Park, Main Campground
Where to go! Located south westerly of London is Ontario’s second oldest provincial park Rondeau, the eldest of-course being Algonquin. It is considered to be Canada’s and Ontario’s largest Carolinian protected forest, with just over eight kilometres of beach. This protected enclave serves as a home to a diverse species of birds numbering slightly over 300. From the relative safety of the trail visitors can view the birds nesting site along the marshes, doubling as protection from the sometimes unrelenting summer elements and also as feeding grounds. With its 262 camping sites, one would think that available spots would open. However, there are still lots of competition for sites, as visitors flock to see the numerous wildlife at every opportunity.
What to do! I fondly remember as a child spending entire days at the beach with my friends, while entire days would just seem to slip away while having fun swimming and catching fish. That being said, give yourself some time to explore the rich ecosystem located near by.
6. Charleston Lake Provincial Park, Campground
Where to go! Choose from 238 campsites, 86 of which accommodates electricity, and larger groups of upwards to thirty visitors or more. Considered as one of Ontario’s more convenient Provincial Parks, hop unto the 401 east Express way, exit County Road 3- Reynolds Road towards Landsdowne/ Rockport. This commute is believed to last a little over two hours, depending on traffic and other unforeseen factors. This particular site, because of its convenience is quite popular so be prepared to hear a few more squeaks of the human-kind after hours, be understanding of your neighbors and exhibit some camping decorum, after all this is an open space and sound tends to travel further and at higher decibels. With your tent and sleeping bags set, lay still and await the postal service to change your area code to some zzzzz’s. With some of the best hiking Trails leading through the forest, be sure to check out the trail which lead through Hemlock forest. What to do As mentioned above, due to its proximity to the City, Charleston Lake it is considered popular among the younger more adolescent campers. A seasoned camper however, may encounter a few snafus, and must be prepared for the usual encounter regarding noise control from time to time. That being said, Rondeau Provincial Park has an unmistakably rugged look and feel to it. Canoeists and hikers cannot resist its scenic shore lines and winding trails extending far into distance. are not encouraged to bring firewood from home because this act, though unintended, demonstrating proper planning fortitude, may lead to species loss and damage to the forests fragile ecosystem. As invasive species such as the Asian long-horned beetle and the Emerald as bore may be transferred through such actions. In order to limit the further spread of these pest control measures such as the one mentions above are enforced rigidly by Parks Canada Rangers.
7. Algonquin Provincial Park, Campground
Where to go! Every moment spent at Algonquin is a Kodak one. The Park is located between the Canadian Shields, on 7,600 square kilometres of picturesque marsh lands, blanked by pockets of water which support numerous ecosystems. Algonquin is considered to be one of Canada’s oldest and most established parks within the Canadian Shield. With its rich and well defined topography, and diverse plant and animal species, one cannot help but be in awe of this hidden gem. The essence of Algonquin Park is indeed a sight to behold, as dashing maple trees, rugged pine-clad elevation, and hundreds if not thousands of interconnected lakes, and rivers, which typify this portions of the country and the Great Lakes forest region.
What to do! This is truly a campers dream come true, a perfect opportunity for first-time campers or an RVing family to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. What to do. I visited last year I was struck by the beauty of the crystalline lake nestled between the cascading mountain side, and so, made plans to take home a bit of the scenery with me to share with friends, by way of snapping as many photographs as possible. Owing to the fact I was there for just the weekend, I spent the final day of my camping trip eagerly exploring more of what Algonquin had to offer. I was not to be disappointed as I surrendered myself to Lookout Trail a 1.9 km loop, moderately steep and rugged at various points, but an exhilarating experience none the less. As the days humidity began to rattle my strides, undeterred I forged forward, as I gathered my breath. Astonishingly enough, the reward at the end, was most impressive, an expansive view of Algonquin.
8. The Pinery Provincial Park, Campgrounds
A wonderful time awaits you on the pristine shores of Lake Huron, where beautifully constructed sand dunes decorate the shore line, complemented by one of the largest oak savannas still remaining in North America. Hike through the shaded forest and watch as the magnificent towering oak trees dance above the canopy. Here on Lake Huron, time seems to fade into the distance, as the captivating landscape of tessellated prairie grasses, wildflowers and shrubs whisks you into a state of utter and complete relaxation. No wonder this has become a famed spot for many city dwellers escaping the monotony of 9-5 work-week in the summer, believe it or not in the winter as well. Campers have the option of selecting either the Dunes or Burley as camp sites, these are however, only open during the summer season. Chances are you will fall head over heels with the Pinery, if this is the case and you need also a winter get away, the Riverside location allows for winter camping and is definitely worth considering. What to do Campers may chose to pack their bags and hit one the woodlands many along a trails, or explore the Old Ausable Channel with a paddle in hand. For the extreme sport enthusiast, adjust your bike brakes and and put a helmet on, for an exhilarating ride along the bike trail, a guaranteed adrenaline rush.
9. Awenda Provincial Park, Campgrounds
If you or your entourage like to be presented with more than just a few options, chances are Awenda Provincial Park is not to be missed. With over 300 camp sites and as many locations to chose from. The ground is large enough to provide campers with adequate space while ensuring that you have sufficient privacy should want to share a sleepingbag with your companion. Campers who would like to keep in contact with the nuances at home or work while experiencing the great outdoors may decide to go with sites which has modern-day amenities such a electricity, showers which adds another dimension to your camping experience, before eventually deciding to get off the grid entirely.
10. Sandbanks Provincial Park, Campgrounds
Where to go! With over five hundred camping sites to select from Sandbanks Provincial Park is amongst the favorite for Ontarians. Visitors love the fact that it has wheelchair accessibility, and other modern-day creature comforts such flush toilets, large private shower stalls and laundry facilities. The park is so named for its fluctuating sand dunes and its preferably lengthy and magnificent sandy beaches, found only in this province. Sandbanks Provincial Park is located on Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County near the town of Picton. Travel east along the Trans Canada Highway on Route 480 for about two and half hours.
What to do! Enjoy walks along the seven kilometre sandy shores of the the beach when the sun is just about to set, for truly breathtaking experience. Trek along the rocky barrens and sand dunes, and follow the trail along Cow Hill which passing inland, into the forest and bog, savoring the many points of look out. The park offers up its natural wonder and diverse ecosystems to its visitors, witness the intertidal movements of freshwater outflow of Heron Pond and Grepesy Brook. When the tides are high, salt water flows up through Grepesy Brook to Heron Pond, however, when the tides are low, freshwater flows down the creek to the ocean. Animals and plants over the years have evolved, adapting to the environment to tolerate both fresh and salt water conditions. Cool…