Bon Echo Provincial Park offers a wide range of camping experiences to appeal to all visitors. Car camping is offered in two campgrounds. Campsites are available for all types of camping equipment.
For those looking for a bit more comfort the park offers yurts and a cabin for rent. Those looking for a nearby adventure can walk-in or canoe-in to their campsites.
Bon Echo offers car camping in two campgrounds; Mazinaw Lake and Hardwood Hill.
The Mazinaw Lake Campground has three camping loops; Sawmill Bay, Midway and Fairway. Campsites on these loops can accommodate equipment ranging from tents only to large trailers. Many campsites offer electrical hook-up. Amenities such as water taps, comfort stations and laundry facilities are close by. Swimming, boating and the Visitor Centre are only a short distance away.
For a semi-wilderness experience, you can camp in the maple-beech forest of the Hardwood Hill Campground. Sites in Hardwood Hill can accommodate tents or tent-trailers. Toilets are nearby and there is one comfort station to service the campground. There are no electrical hook-ups.
The Midway loop of the Mazinaw Lake Campground and Hardwood Hill Campground are radio-free.
If you prefer some distance from other campers and your car, consider a walk-in campsite. Sawmill Bay Campground loop has five walk-in campsites located right on Mazinaw Lake. The Hardwood Hill Campground has a walk-in loop with nine campsites. Parking is approximately 100 to 300 metres from your campsite.
Abes & Essens – Overnight Hiking Trail
This trail features three loops of four, nine and 17 km. Five campsites are available along the trail for overnight stays. Each campsite has a picnic table and tent space; toilets are nearby.
Twenty-five canoe-in campsites are located on Joeperry and Pearson Lakes. A short canoe trip of 10 to 30 minutes will get you to your campsite. At each campsite, you will find a picnic table, tent space and a toilet nearby. Joeperry Lake has the added bonus of a sandy beach.
Note that the channel to Pearson Lake campsites may not be navigable when water levels are low. Please check on current status with park staff.
Two of Bon Echo’s six yurts are located in the Sawmill Bay area of Mazinaw Lake Campground. A comfort station is nearby. The remainder are located near the South Beach.
Each yurt is equipped with two sets of futon bunk beds and sleeps up to six. Inside the yurt, campers will also find a table and chairs, and a broom and dustpan. Outside, yurt sites are equipped with a propane BBQ, picnic table and fire pit.
Visitors should bring their own bedding, cookware and dishes.
Electricity and electric heat are available on sites #148 and #153. Sites #701-704 do not have electricity and are barrier-free.
Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the yurt or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities. Cooking in yurts is not permitted.
Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee. Check in is after 2 p.m. and check-out is prior to 12 noon.
Yurts can be reserved by calling Ontario Parks’ reservation system.
The Cabin on the Hill is a historic log cabin dating from the 1870s. It has been moved twice during its lifetime and is now located on a hill near the Visitor Centre. Guests staying at the cabin will enjoy a great view of Mazinaw Rock.
The cabin sleeps six comfortably. There is one bed in a separate bedroom and two pull out couches in the main living area. The kitchen has an electric fridge, stove and microwave. Pots, pans, dishes and cutlery are provided. The main living area includes an electric fireplace.
The cabin has running water with a stand up shower, toilet and sink.
Visitors should bring their own bedding, food and other personal items.
Parking for one vehicle is included in your rental fee.
Please note that domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the cabin and smoking is prohibited.
To reserve the Cabin on the Hill, please call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) or 1-519-826-5290 outside of North America.
Bon Echo is known for the 1.5 km long sheer rock face that rises 100 metres above Mazinaw Lake and features over 260 Aboriginal pictographs – one of the largest visible collections in Canada. Interpretive boat tours allow for an up close and personal look, or you can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle over.
The park offers a range of paddling and hiking options for both novice and experienced campers. There are numerous day trips to choose from and for the more adventurous there are overnight backcountry opportunities: hike-in and canoe-in sites are popular ways to explore the interior of the park.
Pack a picnic lunch and head to one of the three sandy beaches with warm, shallow waters to relax the day away. Or if you prefer to be more active, Mazinaw Lake is an angler’s delight with both deep, cold water and shallow, warmer water fish species ready to grab your line!
Natural Heritage Education programs provide families with hands-on, entertaining ways to explore the park and learn more about the Walt Whitman memorial, Bon Echo Inn era and the park’s wildlife and natural features. Did you know that Bon Echo is home to Canada’s only lizard – the Five-lined Skink?
Abes and Essens Lake Trail – 3 interconnecting looped trails: Clutes 3.5 km (1.5 hours); Essens Lake 9.6 km (4 hours) and Abes 17 km (7 hours) moderate to difficult.
Some sections offer panoramic views that are particularly spectacular in fall. Hike for a day or camp at one of the five campsites along the trail (campsite reservations required).
Bon Echo Creek Trail: 1 km (40 minutes), linear, easy
Take a leisurely walk along the Bon Echo Creek.
Cliff Top Trail – 1.5 km (1 hour), linear, moderate to difficult
This trail is only accessible by water. A ferry service (fees apply), will take you to the start of the trail. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available. Stairs and a pathway take hikers to the top of Mazinaw Rock to three observation decks overlooking the lake.
High Pines Trail - 1.7 km (1 hour), loop, moderate
Hikers pass a variety of forest and wetland communities including tall pines, groves of hemlock and quiet forest ponds.
Shield Trail - 4.8 km (2 hours), loop, moderate
Follow a section of the old Addington Road as it penetrates the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield where you will see hardwood forests, cedar lowlands and a beaver swamp.
Pet Exercise Trail – 1.4 km (1 hour), loop, easy
Let your furry friend off-leash on this designated pet exercise trail.
Kishkebus Canoe Route – 21 km (6 hours), loop, moderate to difficult
This day paddle takes you past Aboriginal pictographs to the still waters of the nature reserve on the east side of the park. Please note: there is a 1.5 km portage.
Joeperry and Pearson Lakes
Spend a relaxing day paddling in motorboat free lakes or reserve one of the 25 backcountry campsites. There is a 500m portage from the parking lot to the launch. Joeperry Lake also features a natural sandy beach.
Launch your canoe or rent one at the lagoon and you can paddle on Mazinaw Lake. Head over to Mazinaw Rock to view one of Canada’s largest visible collections of Aboriginal pictographs.
Mississippi River Canoe Route – 104 km (5 days), 17 portages, moderate
For more information on this route, contact the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
There are three natural sand beaches recommended for swimming. The Main Beach is located in Lower Mazinaw Lake, South Beach is located in the Day-Use area, and North Beach is in Sawmill Bay campground. These beaches are marked with buoys. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches and pets are not permitted.
Power boats are allowed on Mazinaw Lake but are prohibited on all other lakes in the park.
Mazinaw Lake is a popular fishing lake for Lake Trout, Yellow Pickerel, Small and Large Mouth Bass, Lake Whitefish and Northern Pike.
Biking is permitted on park roads only.
During the summer park staff offer a variety of fun, interactive educational programs. Join a park naturalist as you explore the hiking trails and stop by the Visitor Centre to learn about the 1920s Bon Echo Inn. Attend a children’s program or bring the whole family to the popular evening shows at the amphitheatre.
The Peregrine Falcon, a threatened species in Ontario, is often seen nesting on Mazinaw Rock. Great Crested Flycatchers, Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, Common Loon, Turkey Vultures, kestrels and Red-Tailed Hawks are popular bird sightings. Bird checklists are available at the Friends Gift and Book Shop.
All rock climbers must be a member of the Alpine Climbing Club or a prior experienced climber on Mazinaw Rock. All climbers must register with the Alpine Club or at the park office.
Wanderer Tour Boat
Take a boat tour of Upper Mazinaw Lake for a close-up view of majestic Mazinaw Rock. On its long, flat face, see Aboriginal pictographs, ancient cedars and a chiseled Walt Whitman verse. Boat tours run daily during the summer. Fees do apply. Pets and strollers are not permitted on the boat. Tickets must be purchased at Greystones Gift and Book Shop.
Hop on the shuttle ferry to the start of the Cliff Top Trail. The ferry runs daily in the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall. Fees do apply. Pets and strollers are not permitted on the boat. Tickets may be purchased at Greystones Gift and Book Shop or pay on board (cash only).
Greystones Gift and Book Shop
Stop by the Greystones Gift and Book Shop for souvenirs, nature books, outdoor clothing and a visit to the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery which features local artists. The shop is open daily during the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall.
Enjoy modern camping facilities on beautiful Mazinaw Lake. Comfort stations with showers, laundry facilities and flush toilets are located in all four campgrounds.
Paddle your way across the lake to the Cliff Top Trail in rental canoes or kayaks, with free PFD rentals! Or relax on the Mugwump Ferry for a more leisurely mode of transportation.
Stop by the Greystones Gift and Book Shop for souvenirs, nature books and outdoor clothing. The shop is managed by The Friends of Bon Echo Park (http://www.bonechofriends.ca), a volunteer organization that assists the park with funding educational programs, research and publications.
For the four-legged campers, Bon Echo offers a pet exercise trail and a pet friendly swimming area.
Other amenities include boat launches, visitor centre, picnic shelter and day-use area.
Comfort stations (complete with showers and flush toilets) are located in Hardwood Hill, Midway, Fairway and Sawmill Bay campgrounds and at the Day-Use area.
Flush toilets are found in various locations in Midway, Fairway and Sawmill Bay campgrounds, the Lagoon and the Day-Use area.
All comfort stations offer barrier-free access. There is also a wheelchair ramp at the day-use area, Gift Shop and Visitor Centre.
Main Beach and South Beach are popular day-use areas. Both have sandy beaches with buoyed swimming areas (but no lifeguards) and shady areas with picnic tables, hibachis, and water taps nearby.
Boat launches are located near North Beach, the Lagoon, and along Bon Echo Creek.
Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the Lagoon.
Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are also available for loan with a refundable deposit.
Greystones Gift and Book Shop, operated by the Friends of Bon Echo Park, is located in the historic Greystones building. The Shop features clothing items, souvenirs and books.
Ice and groceries are available outside of the park in Cloyne, seven km south of the park on Highway 41.
There is one picnic shelter in the park located at the Lagoon. The shelter is available on a first-come first-served basis.
The park visitor centre is located in Dollywood, one of the original cottages from the Bon Echo Inn era. Learn more about the Aboriginal pictograph site, the history of the Inn and the wildlife in the park.
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