It’s always worth taking the time to research campgrounds and parks to find one with the amenities and activities you want.
When you start to plan your trip, think about what type of campsite you want. Ask yourself if you need electricity or can make do with an unserviced campsite, which will also be less expensive. (Make sure you bring a few extension cords if you’re paying for power.) Drive to sites allow you to bring your vehicle right to your spot. Backcountry campsites are accessed by hiking or paddling. Most parks offer all these options.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Lucky for us, some of the most beautiful parks are found right here in Ontario. Located about 250 kilometres north of Toronto, Algonquin Provincial Park – first established in 1893 – is Ontario’s oldest provincial park. A hiker’s paradise, it has 7,635 square kilometres of beautiful lakes, forests and rivers to explore.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Hikers also love Bruce Peninsula National Park in Tobermory, with its towering rock cliffs overlooking Georgian Bay.
Fathom Five National Marine Park
Nearby, Fathom Five National Marine Park is a popular scuba diving destination, with 22 shipwrecks to investigate.
Quetico Provincial Park
If you’re looking to get off the grid, Quetico Provincial Park, near Atikokan, offers 460,000 hectares of rugged unspoiled beauty adjoining the Minnesota border. A favourite for backcountry canoeing, the park is quieter than some of the other provincial parks but every bit as beautiful. You won’t find motorized boats, group campsites, crowds – or reliable cell signals.
If you have trouble finding an available campsite – we did say camping has never been more popular – here are a few tips. Keep an open mind about dates – try a mid-week getaway or wait until the fall – and seek out less popular campgrounds. You can also check back often to try to snag a last-minute cancellation.