Spring has finally arrived here in beautiful Ontario, Canada and camping enthusiasts like us are eagerly planning and booking their camping trips for the summer. We all know camping season begins with the May long weekend. Everyone has different requirements when they start searching for the perfect park to stay at, and parents camping with children know all too well how important it is to get a campground that will have enough going on to occupy their kids for the length of the stay. I took my little one on her first camping trip when she was four, and she has been on several since. We both love to camp and are looking forward to getting away this summer.
Finding that right campground can be a challenge when you are looking for the right activities and attractions. You work hard all year and your vacation time with your family is precious, so you want to make sure everything is researched, planned and perfect for your family. I know that is my desire when I make plans for us. Check out what I consider the best 10 Ontario Provincial Park Campgrounds. I’m sure you will find your perfect summer family camping getaway amongst them.
Algonquin Provincial Park – 8 Campgrounds; 14 Trails; Each Campground and Picnic area has its own designated swimming areas; Birding; 3 Biking Trails; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; Public Wolf Howl; Moose viewing along Hwy 60; Evening Outdoor Theatre Programs; Visitor Centre for Hour of Discovery with Games, Stories and Animals; Educational Guided Walks; Logging Museum & Art Centre.
My father first took me camping in this park when I was about ten years old. I still remember that trip. We spent a lot of time going for walks and swimming.
Arrowhead Provincial Park – 3 Sand Beaches; 5 Trails, Stubbs Falls; 2 Bike Trails; Birding; Canoeing; Fishing; Motor-Boat Free Lakes; Canoe, Kayak and Mountain Bike Rentals; Remains of Old Homesteads from 1870’s; Educational Programs for kids include Historical Walks, Evening Programs, Crafts & Games; 1 Hour drive to Algonquin Park.
The homesteads at this park remind me of my heritage. My family has been in Canada since well before Confederation. They were early farmers not far south of here. This is where Rachel mastered the canoe.
Bon Echo Provincial Park – 100 Metre High Mazinaw Rock with over 260 Aboriginal Pictographs; Interpretive Boat Tours on Mazinaw Lake over to Mazinaw Rock; 6 Hiking Trails; 3 Natural Sand Beaches; Educational Programs, Children’s Programs, Evening Shows; Biking; Birding; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing.
This campground was the very first one that I took my daughter too when she was little. She loved the evening programming and the educational programs. This is a great park with little ones.
Grundy Lake Provincial Park – 8 Natural Sand Beaches; 3 Hiking Trails; 9 Back Country Sites; Biking; Excellent Birding; Non-Motorized Lakes; Jumping Rocks; Canoeing & Kayak Rental nearby; Interactive Educational Programs, Guided Hikes, Campfires; ‘Art in the Park’ Program.
Killarney Provincial Park – 645 km of Backcountry Wilderness; 50 Lakes; 11 Canoe Routes; 6 Hiking Trails; 2 Beaches on Campground; Biking; Birding; Boating; Fishing; Georgian Bay Coast Line of Pink Granite & The La Cloche Mountains White Quartzite Ridges; Guided Hikes; Children’s Programs; Evening Programs; Art-In-The-Park & Artist-In-Residence Programs; Observatory hosting Guest Astronomers.
I have friends who live just outside the park, and it is one of their favourites. We camped here many years ago when I was younger.
Killbear Provincial Park – 6 Km of Biking Trails; 4 Hiking Trails; Birding; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; Excellent Sailing & Windsurfing conditions; Cliff Jumping; Each Campground has its own designated Beach for Swimming; Children’s Programs; Guided Hikes; Evening Programs plus Musical Concerts by groups such as the Wakami Wailers.
This is a smaller park but a great getaway.
Long Point Provincial Park – 2 km of White Sandy Beach and Warm Lake Erie Water; 4th Oldest Provincial Park in Ontario (Est. 1921); One of the Largest Bird & Waterfowl Migration areas in North America with over 300 species; Biking; Boating; Canoeing; Programs throughout summer include ‘Reptiles at Risk’, ‘Creatures of the Night’, ‘Fowler’s Toad’
Everyone must camp here at least once. It truly is a wonderful park especially if your kids are into science and animals and migration.
Port Burwell Provincial Park – 2.5 km Sandy Beach with Shallow, Warm, Blue Water on Lake Erie; Excellent Play Area for kids; Biking; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; 2 Hiking Trails; Birder’s Paradise with over 232 species; ‘Marvels of Migration’ Annual Autumn Hawk watching program; Interpretive & Recreational Programs include semi-weekly Children’s Crafts, Slide Show, Nature Theme Movies, Campfires, Skits & Conducted Hikes.
If you are a fall camper, it is a perfect time to hit this park.
Sandbanks Provincial Park – 3 Sandy Beaches with Shallow Water; World’s Largest Baymouth Barrier Dune Formation; Biking; Birding; Canoeing; Boating; Fishing; Explore 3 Hiking Trails with a Park Naturalist; Children’s Programs; Evening Campfire & Slide Shows.
One of our families favourite places to go is here. We love everything about this park.
The Pinery Provincial Park – 10 Km of Sand Beach on Lake Huron; Rolling Dunes; Rare and Fragile Oak Savanna & Coastal Dune Ecosystems with Extraordinary Biodiversity with over 800 Vascular Plants; Birding 318 Species; 10 Hiking Trails; 14 Km’s of Biking Trails; Fishing; Canoe, Hydro Bike, Paddleboat & Kayak Rentals; Programs Include – Bike Hikes, Evening Program, Conducted Walks, Children’s Nature Discovery-Stories & Animal Programs, ‘Ooze n’ Gooze’ Aquatic Discovery; National Geographic ranked Sunsets here among the “Top 10 Best in the World”.
If you love your sunsets like I love sunsets you want to go here.
Where ever you go, we are blessed to have some great provincial parks that we can get to this summer.
Honourable mentions: Awenda Provincial Park , Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Silent Lake Provincial Park