BEST CAMPING SPOTS IN ONTARIO
(1) BRENT CAMPGROUND (Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario) – This smaller campground is on the shores of Cedar Lake on the northern edge of the park. With only 30 sites, the area feels more remote than it is, giving you the perfect blend of full amenities with a wilderness experience.
Along with paddling and swimming, the Brent Crater Trail takes you to the floor of a famous meteorite crater. (This site is closest to the North Algonquin Dog Sled Trail for winter adventurers.)
(2) BURLEY CAMPGROUND (Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario) – This camping area is the oldest and most primitive in the park. It’s far from the main gate and traffic, nestled in old growth pines. The beach is a short walk away and a bit less crowded than the shoreline closer to the larger campgrounds.
Walk the 10 km of sandy beach, enjoying the biodiversity of flora and fauna as you go. Farther Inland are walking and biking trails through forest and rolling dunes. This is an excellent place for kayaking the wetlands of Lake Huron’s Old Ausable Channel. One of the most spectacular events here is the sunset when viewed from the beach.
(3) SNAKE CAMPGROUND (Awenda Provincial Park, Ontario) – The park is a protected area and consists of thick, forested land along Georgian Bay. Tent sites are surrounded by dense, hardwood trees and are peaceful and shady in the fiercest heat. You are within walking distance of the beach and near several trailheads.
Over 30 km of trails can be hiked or biked in the summer and skied when it snows. The beach trail is always walkable. The lake is warm enough for swimming in the summer and suitable for canoeing all year.
(4) BUCKHORN CAMPGROUND (Charleston Lake Provincial Park, Ontario) – Hike or a paddle to this campsite on the shores of Lake Charleston and escape the crowds. It feels remote, but the car is only a 10-minute hike away. From here, you can explore a series of small islands by canoe and still be home in time to grill dinner.
When it’s too warm for exploring the park’s many hiking opportunities, canoe around the inlets or swim near the shore. In hiking season, tackle trails range from two-kilometre interpretive loops to difficult, 10-km trails that trek through forests, wetlands and rocky ridges.
(3) GRANITE RIDGE CAMPGROUND (Silent Lake Provincial Park, Ontario) – A beautiful area with dense trees and a pleasant lake, this park is one of the smaller ones in the province and is not too crowded in the summer. The terrain is hilly and challenging for both those on foot and on wheels.
The beach is a huge draw here, and Granite Ridge is one of the farthest sites from it. When the grounds are full, the extra distance from the crowds is well worth the 10-minute walk to get to the swimming area. Hiking and biking trails have steep sections that are less suited to novices. Winter in the park is amazing for cross country skiing, although they prefer you rent one of the yurts when it’s cold.
(6) MAIN CAMPGROUND (Finlayson Point Provincial Park, Ontario) – Lake Temagami surrounds the park and has hundreds of bays and inlets to be explored. The peninsula is covered in trees and trails to wander along; try to spot the myriad wildlife that live here.
The shallow waters are warm enough for swimming in the summer and can be reached from the camping area. There are numerous places to fish, or spend your day paddling around the varied shoreline. Trails are well marked and most are easy to moderate, both in difficulty and length.
(7) WOODLANDS CAMPGROUND (Sandbanks Provincial Park, Ontario) – The incredible dunes and long stretches of beach will catch your eye immediately. This is the world’s largest bay-mouth bar that is also on a freshwater lake and the conditions have created dramatic 60-metre sand dunes. The sites are a bit away from the Visitor Centre and boat launch, though both are within walking distance.
There are excellent sand beaches for swimming with gradual drop-offs, although Dune beach is a bit steeper. No lifeguards are on duty. Canoeing is easy and there are some simple trails nearby to explore.
(8) KILLARNEY CAMPGROUND (Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario) – Killarney Park features some of the most spectacular mountain ranges east of the Rocky Mountains. Artists are so enamored with the area that a member of the Group of Seven artists convinced the provincial government to turn it into a park. The campgrounds are open from May to March (no showers are available during the off-season months). There are no electrical sites available within the park. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance during the camping season; however, no reservations are required in the off-season.
(9) BON ECHO (Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario) – Bon Echo, located on the shores of Mazinaw Lake, features a nearly mile-long sheer rock face known as Mazinaw Rock. This scenic area is also the location of Canada’s largest visible collection of native pictographs. There are 528 campsites scattered throughout the park, including more-secluded radio-free sites in five of the campgrounds. Semi-wilderness camping is available in the Hamburger Hill campground.
(10) SILENT LAKE (Bancroft, Ontario) – Silent Lake was a privately owned lake before it became a provincial park. Fishers enjoy the excellent conditions at the lake. Today the park holds 167 campsites (10 electrical sites) in the park’s developed area. While most of the campsites are drive-in, there are hike-in sites available for those who want a bit of seclusion. The campsites have all the basic amenities, but there are only two full shower stations within the park.