Camping at Awenda is a surprising treat for most. Just two hours north of Toronto, you find yourself in a huge mixed hardwood forest on the shores of sparkling Georgian Bay.
The park’s six campgrounds offer shaded sites beneath an oak and maple forest canopy. These sites are a little more spaced out and private than most parks.
Some campgrounds offer electrical hook-ups, while others offer radio-free camping and/or dog-free camping. Each campground is serviced by a central comfort station with flush toilets and showers. Four of the six campgrounds have a small playground and three of the campgrounds offer laundry facilities.
If you are a group of 20 to 40 people you may want to reserve one the park’s three group campsites. If you are not into roughing it, you may prefer to stay at The Stone Cottage rental accommodation.
Awenda offers camping in six campgrounds. Sites are shaded beneath Sugar Maples and Red Oaks and are spaced further apart than many other provincial parks. All of the sites in Wolf and some sites in Hawk Campground offer electrical hook-ups. Deer and Bear Campgrounds are designated radio-free while Snake Campground is both radio-free and dog-free.
All six campgrounds are serviced by drinking water taps, vault toilets and a central comfort station complete with flush toilets and showers. Laundry facilities are included at the comfort stations in Turtle, Hawk and Bear Campgrounds.
All campsites in Bear, Deer and Snake Campgrounds are radio-free.
All campsites in Snake Campground are dog-free and radio-free.
Awenda offers three group campsites. These sites are designated for tents only and are for groups ranging in size from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 40 people. Each site is serviced with a water tap, central fire pit, several picnic tables and vault toilets. To reserve, call the park directly at 705-549-2231.
The Stone Cottage at Awenda is located directly on the shores of Georgian Bay providing guests with beautiful sunsets and unobstructed views of Giants Tomb, Hope, Beckwith and Christian Islands. This 1,000 square foot refurbished cottage has an exterior constructed of fieldstone and mortar with a warm inviting interior finished entirely in White and Red Pine.
The living room is comfortably furnished with upholstered love seats and chairs, coffee and end tables. A 5 metre (15 foot) long window seat frames a spectacular view of Georgian Bay.
The cottage sleeps a maximum of six people in two bedrooms: one small bedroom with two twin-size beds and a larger bedroom overlooking Georgian Bay with one queen size bed, two twin-bunk beds and a gas fireplace
The Large kitchen and dining area are equipped with a small electric refrigerator, propane stove, and kettle. A table seats six and a bar style counter has four chairs. The cottage is heated by two propane gas fireplaces. Solar panels provide electricity for basic indoor lighting, food refrigeration and the charging of personal electronic devices.
The cottage has no running water or indoor toilets. Drinking water is provided in 4 gallon jugs from the park’s campground water system and it is a short walk to the cottage’s outdoor vault privy/outhouse.
Outside of the cottage visitors can relax on the large deck overlooking Georgian Bay, chairs are provided, and enjoy the beach, swimming area, fire pit and picnic table. A barbeque is located on a covered porch.
Visitors should bring their own bedding, pots, pans, dishes, cooking and eating utensils, food and other personal items.
Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the cottage and smoking is prohibited.
Access to the cottage is by a gated road with parking for three vehicles. Two vehicles are included in your rental fee. The third vehicle must purchase an additional vehicle permit.
To reserve the Stone Cottage, please call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) or 1-519-826-5290 outside of North America.
A visit to Awenda leaves most wanting to come back again! From 30 kilometres of trails to explore through rich hardwood forests, over bogs and boardwalks, by lakes and Georgian Bay, to picnicking on a seemingly remote sandy shoreline or drifting romantically in a canoe on the usually calm waters of Kettle’s Lake, Awenda has a little something for everyone.
The park’s rich and varied terrain is yours to explore on your own or you can let park staff help guide your discoveries! During the summer months creative and enthusiastic Park Naturalists provide a variety of events to help young and old better understand the park with its rich cultural and natural history. If you are not a summer park user and you would like a little more of an outdoor challenge, Awenda is open for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. What better time to see deer, fox, moose, eagles, coyotes and maybe even a wolf?
Awenda offers a nice variety of looped and linear, easy to moderate trails and range from 1 to 13 km in length. One trail provides barrier-free access.
Beach Trail – 4 km return (1.5 hours) linear, easy
This trail takes hikers along the Georgian Bay shoreline. Giant’s Tomb Island is visible from the trail. The contrast between the dry oak-maple forest of the campgrounds and the low, wet birch-cedar-hemlock forest below the bluff can be seen.
Beaver Pond Trail – 1 km (30 minutes) loop, easy, barrier free
Located in a nature reserve zone most of this trail is a boardwalk that takes you through an area altered by past and present beaver activity. Along the way you will see the remains of both a building and a bridge from the early logging days. The area also offers views of the dominant Nipissing bluff as well as excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, wildflowers and many species of birds.
Bluff Trail – 13 km (3.5 hours) loop, moderate
This circular trail can be accessed from a number of locations within the park. It travels partly along a high bluff and partly through a low wetland. Views of Georgian Bay from sections of this trail are spectacular, especially during the late autumn, early spring leaf- free season.
Nipissing Trail – 1 km return (30 minutes) linear, moderate
The Nipissing Bluff is the dominant glacial feature in Awenda. It is a raised beach created 5,500 years ago by glacial Lake Nipissing. Today a 155 step staircase allows hikers to easily descend 32 metres down the face of the bluff, at times providing you with the sensation of being part of the forest canopy.
Brûlé Trail - 4 km return (1.5 hours) linear, easy
This trail passes through a portion of the park’s upland mixed deciduous forest. Lumbering and fires have obliterated the White Pine stands so that the majority of trees are now Sugar Maple and Red Oak. Lumbering on the peninsula was at its peak in the late 1800s. Since then the forest has been allowed to revert to its natural state but the White Pine has been unable to fully re-establish itself.
Robitaille Homestead Trail – 3 km return (1hour) linear, easy
Hikers follow this trail to an ancient dune system. The age of these sand dunes has been estimated at 11,500 years, from the time of the last glacial retreat. The dunes are a very fragile environment and we ask that you do not climb the hillside, stand on the edge of the bluff or climb down the bluff. This will allow plants to re-establish themselves and will help us preserve this area for future park visitors. On the way to the dunes, this trail passes an abandoned farmstead originally built in 1902. Remains of the stone foundations and fence rows can still be seen.
Wendat Trail – 5 km (2 hours) loop, easy
This trail begins at Kettle’s Lake. This lake is thought to be a kettle lake formed by the gradual melting of a large buried piece of ice left by retreating glaciers. Today, this area is a favoured nesting spot for the Red-winged Blackbird and the Great Blue Heron is often seen in the swamps around the lake. The trail passes the foundations of the Brabant farmstead house and barn. Attempts to farm this area in the 1930s and 40s failed due to the poor, sandy soil.
Awenda’s quiet and scenic Kettle’s Lake is an excellent location for putting in your own canoe or one you rent from the park. This small, motorboat free lake is ideally suited for the novice paddler or nature enthusiast.
Awenda features several beautiful and natural beaches on the Georgian Bay shoreline within driving distance from the campgrounds. The most protected and sandiest beach area is at Methodist Point Bay (Third Beach). Swimmers are reminded that that there are no lifeguards at the beaches.
For a refundable deposit, you can borrow a properly fitted personal floatation device (PFD) during your stay at Awenda.
Awenda has designated a stretch of its scenic Georgian Bay shoreline as a Pet Beach. This is the only public beach in the park where pets are permitted. However they still must be kept on a two metre leash and it is the owner’s responsibility to clean up after them.
Boating enthusiasts will find plenty of room to investigate Georgian Bay. Because of its size and exposed area, Georgian Bay winds can be unpredictable and quick to rise, so use appropriate caution.
The closest boat launch facilities are in Penetanguishene. Outboard motors are not allowed on Kettle’s Lake.
Bass, Northern Pike, pickerel and smaller panfish are commonly found in the waters between Awenda and Giant’s Tomb Island. Bass and panfish are also found in Kettle’s Lake.
Several kilometers of park roads are available for cyclists.
Bikes are also allowed on the Beach, Bluff and Brule Trails. Since these are multi-use trails, racing is not permitted and cyclists must yield to pedestrians and hikers.
Cyclists are encouraged to respect and protect the often sensitive environments that these trails pass through by riding only on the designated trail surface.
Awenda offers a wide variety of programs for enthusiasts of all ages. Regularly scheduled guided hikes, children’s programs, special events and evening programs occur from late June to early fall featuring the unique cultural history and the biology of the park.
Awenda is home to at least 120 breeding bird species. The park’s upland forests provide a critical habitat refuge for the endangered Cerulean Warbler.
The park’s trails, lakes, shorelines, fens, bogs and campgrounds offer a mix of habitat for a variety of viewing opportunities and discovery.
The park is not open for camping, but the trails and forests are available as a backcountry style experience for the more adventuresome ski and snowshoe enthusiast.
Trails begin at the Trail Centre, a cozy wood heated log cabin. Although 17 kilometres of ski trail are often packed and set with a single track, be prepared to occasionally track your own trails due to the backcountry intent of this self-use winter program.
Snowshoeing is popular through the park’s many hectares of open bush; however there are no designated snowshoe trails.
Dogs are not permitted on winter trails and visitors must provide their own equipment as rentals are not available.
For the most current trail conditions at Awenda and other Ontario Parks check the ski trail report.
Awenda has a full range of camping and day-use amenities designed to fit your park vacation lifestyle.
Each of Awenda’s six campgrounds is serviced by a central comfort station complete with accessible showers, flush toilets and baby change tables. Three of these comfort stations even have laundry facilities.
If you are not into a long hike on one of Awenda’s several trails try the one kilometre Beaver Pond Trail and boardwalk where you can experience the tranquil shores of Kettle’s Lake. The use of a free, all-terrain wheelchair is available to those in need.
Awenda’s canoe rental service allows you to discover your hidden voyageur character on the quiet waters of Kettle’s Lake. After a fun filled day on the water, at the beach or on the trails, stop by the Park Store for a cool ice cream treat. The Park Store is your source for basic groceries, camping supplies and some awesome Ontario Parks’ clothing and gifts.
For a complete description of these amenities and more, read on.
Comfort stations, complete with accessible showers and flush toilets are available in each of the park’s six campgrounds: Turtle, Hawk, Bear, Deer, Wolf and Snake.
Available only at the comfort stations located in each campground.
Awenda’s six comfort stations are barrier-free as is the park amphitheatre.
Each campground has a designated barrier-free campsite (sites #24, #96, #141, #193, #215, and #295), with a modified picnic table, easy access to drinking water and the comfort station.
The vault toilets/outhouses in Wolf and Snake Campgrounds are barrier-free as are some vault toilets in Bear and Deer Campgrounds.
The First Beach area is serviced by three barrier-free vault toilets, viewing platform and the one kilometre Beaver Pond Trail and boardwalk. The Kettle’s Landing day-use area has a barrier-free vault toilet, boardwalk, picnic and viewing area. The park also has a free non-motorized all-terrain wheelchair service.
Relaxing picnicking opportunities are available at Kettle’s Lake and also at the park’s many beaches, with a view of Georgian Bay and Giant’s Tomb Island. In this natural setting, tables are limited, so remember to bring a picnic blanket.
Laundry facilities are available at the comfort stations in Turtle, Hawk and Bear Campgrounds.
Visitors can borrow a properly fitted Personal Floatation Device (PFD) with a $25 refundable deposit. Staff can provide additional information and can outfit you with a PFD at the Campground Office.
Electrical extension cords for trailer units are also available for a daily or weekly fee.
Canoes, complete with paddles and PFDs, are available to rent, by the hour or the half day, for use on Kettle’s Lake. Canoe rentals are available from late June to Labour Day.
Located adjacent to the Campground Office the Park Store is your most convenient location for basic food staples, ice cream treats, quality souvenirs, field guides, ice, some camping supplies and a propane cylinder exchange service.
A large covered picnic shelter is available at the Trail/Activity Centre area when it is not being used for interpretive programs.
There is no fire ban at this time.
There is no boil water advisory at this time.
There is no beach posting at this time.