With summer in full swing, people are starting to scout for places in the province to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But instead of resorting to standard locations like Algonquin Park, why not try a place that's a bit off the beaten path?
Ontario has so many beautiful provincial parks that make excellent camping sites. Here are 12 of them, in all their natural glory:
Killbear Provincial Park offers an edgy mix of rugged shorelines and soft sand beaches. Stunning views of the pine-ridden islands and awesome recreational trails for hiking and biking can be found throughout the park. There are 3 main campsites that are each near the shore and can accommodate up to 25 people.
Rock Point Provincial Park features a beach that contains observable coral reef fossils that are almost 350 million years old! The area also contains sand dunes and beaches, hiking trails, and monarch butterfly habitats throughout. There are 3 main campsites that teach have water taps, flush toilets, fire pits and picnic tables.
Flowerpot Island is located in the Fathom Five National Marine Park and is only accessible by boat. The most obvious features of the island are the flowerpot-shaped rock pillars that tower several meters into the air. There are 6 campsites available, and each one is close to the island's iconic shoreline.
Parry Sound, ON
The Massassauga Provincial Park contains hundreds of windswept islands, lakes and forests. The area is actually a protected sanctuary for Massassauga rattlesnakes, so caution should be taking when deciding to camp here. Also, only backcountry camping is available at this park, and the campsites can only be accessed via canoe, kayak or boat.
The Kawartha Highlands represent the largest park in the province. Located south of Algonquin Provincial Park, the Highlands consist of several small lakes, wetlands and forests; as well as clear, dark skies for stargazing. There are over 100 backcountry campsites throughout the park, and most of them come with tent pads, fire rings, picnic tables and privy toilets. They can only be reached by canoe.
Frontenac County, ON
Frontenac Provincial Park is 5,355 hectares of woodland, which makes it perfect for hiking and wildlife viewing. It has 22 lakes that are great for fishing, swimming and paddling, as well as 100 km of looped trails for hiking.
Sioux Narrows has several lakes available for water activities like boating, swimming, sailing, canoeing and fishing. The park has over 14,000 islands you can explore and around 105,000 km of shoreline. There are two private campsites in the area that can accommodate 20 to 40 people each.
Wakami Lake is home to lush, boreal forests and a wide diversity of wildlife. The lake itself offers opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. There is one large private campsite by the water that comes with a private washroom complete with a sink and running water. Backcountry camping options are also available along the perimeter of the lake.
The Spanish River features a rocky landscape, pine forests, white water currents, and several small islands throughout. Seasoned canoeists will enjoy this park, as it offers both Class I and II rapids to paddle on. There are 83 backcountry sites for camping, each equipped with fire pits and box privies.
Batchawana Bay, ON
Pancake Bay has some the clearest blue waters around. It offers a panoramic view of lake Superior at several spots along its hiking trail. There are 5 campsites available for groups, each equipped with nearby water taps and vault toilets.
Tidewater is a park that is partially operated by the Moose Cree First Nation. Visitors can enjoy five islands accessible by water taxis or canoe (only experienced canoeists recommended). Seal and beluga whale sightings are also common from the campgrounds. There are 10 campsites for backcountry camping along the Moose River shoreline.
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater is filled with rocky landscapes, calm lakes and surging rivers. Within the park is the Ishpatina Ridge - the highest point in Ontario that is formed by Precambrian bedrock. Its famous old growth White and Red pine forests are also protected in this park. Several backcountry camping spots are available without reservation throughout.
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