Fall backcountry colours

5 quick backcountry getaways

Out of vacation days, but still craving a quality backcountry adventure?

These quick weekend getaways provide all the solitude of the Ontario backcountry, and the ability to be back in the office bright and early Monday morning.

Frontenac Provincial Park

3.5 hours from Toronto, 2 hours from Ottawa

woman hiking beside lake

Frontenac Provincial Park offers site-specific, year-round backcountry camping. Located on the Frontenac Arch, the park offers visitors rocky northern landscape within southern Ontario.

Campsites are located in clusters on lakes in the park’s interior and must be accessed by hiking or paddling. Each campsite has its own 4mx4m tent pad, fire ring, bench and picnic table. An enclosed privy toilet is shared at each campsite cluster.

Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park

3 hours from Toronto, 3.5 hours from Ottawa

Kawartha fall shoreline

You’ll fall in love with the rugged rolling landscape of small lakes, wetlands, forests and rocky barrens at Kawartha Highlands. The park offers over 100 backcountry campsites spread over six recommended canoe loops.

Most sites have three tent pads, a designated fire ring, picnic table and a privy toilet. Campsites can only be reached by canoe and most require portaging to access.

Grundy Lake Provincial Park

4 hours from Toronto

2 men paddling canoe

Grundy Lake Provincial Park offers nine backcountry campsites that are located on a number of inland lakes. A short canoe trip of 5 to 20 minutes will get you to your campsite. At each campsite, you will find a picnic table, tent space and a toilet nearby. Grundy’s mixed forest makes it a beautiful gateway between northern and southern Ontario.

Grundy Lake’s backcountry sites are available first come, first served until October 13th. There’s usually plenty of space, but you can always phone the park to check before you hop in the car.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

4 hours from Toronto, 2 hours from Ottawa

man hiking path

Charleston Lake Provincial Park’s rocky lake-and-forest landscape is an extension of the Canadian Shield. The park offers 10 interior campsites which are grouped into five clusters; Buckhorn, Bob’s Cove, Hidden Cove, Captain’s Gap, and Covey’s Gap. All interior sites are located on the shores of Charleston Lake and can be accessed either by water or by hiking trail. Depending on site selection it takes from ten minutes up to two hours to reach your site.

All sites come equipped with three elevated tent platforms, a picnic table, a fire grill and a privy. These sites are excellent for visitors who want to see a different side of the park or for those who are developing their interior camping skills.

After Labour Day, Charleston Lake’s backcountry sites are first come, first served until October 13th. Again, you can always give the park a quick call to confirm availability.

The Massasauga Provincial Park

3 hours from Toronto

tent beside lake

The Massasauga Provincial Park offers 135 backcountry campsites that are located on a number of inland lakes. A short canoe trip of 5 to 20 minutes will get you to your campsite. At each campsite, you will find a picnic table, tent space and a toilet nearby. Paddle the clear blue the waters of Georgian Bay and explore the park’s wilderness and windswept islands.

Reserve your weekend getaway today!