Does the cold weather have you dreaming of sunny days on the beach and warm nights by the campfire?
Thanks to our five-month booking window, you can lock down your July campsite in February!
Need a recommendation? These five parks are local family favourites:
Campers love Rideau River’s close proximity to Ottawa, just 45 minutes south of the city. If you run short of supplies, the Town of Kemptville is even closer — just a five minute drive away.
Ottawa families love riverside picnics in Rideau River’s day-use area, especially on weekends. The vintage-looking picnic shelter overlooks the beach, complete with sandy volleyball court and roped-off swimming area.
Kids bike the paved park roads and campground loops. There’s also a river trail running the entire length of the park that’s easy to hike. Prefer to explore by water? Rideau River rents canoes and kayaks, and lifejackets can be borrowed with a valid park vehicle permit.
Campsites are large and lush, and some have nice river views. Electrical and non-electrical sites are available. The most sought-after sites are in the 159-174 campground loop, close to showers and washrooms, the beach, the park store and the wood supply.
Campers who take advantage of our five-month booking window may land one of the park’s choice sites to use as a base to explore eastern Ontario.
If you’re planning to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls this year, Bronte Creek might be the perfect base. Just 45 minutes west of Toronto, this Oakville park is only an hour northeast of Niagara Falls.
Don’t be fooled by the subdivisions as you make your way off the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway. Once inside Bronte Creek, you’ll find it hard to believe that Toronto suburbs are so close.
Local families flock to Bronte Creek to picnic and to swim in its massive pool. Summer Sundays are the busiest day for picnickers and families are advised to arrive before 11 am.
This park has all the bells and whistles when it comes to interpretive programming. Park naturalists lead a very active Natural Heritage Education Program, and the park’s Learn to Camp program is wildly popular too.
There’s even a 19th-century working farm, complete with costumed interpretive staff and farm animals. The farmhouse hosts evening ghost walks every August which adults and older kids love.
And speaking of walks, you have a choice of trails, including two large leash-free areas where you can take the family pooch.
Europeans who rent motorhomes often begin and end their Canadian road trips at Bronte Creek because of popular rental locations nearby. Those who camp in large RVs tend to prefer the Prairie Campground Loop which has big open electrical sites for easy satellite hook-up.
Other sought-after sites are those numbered in the 420s in the Woodland and Ravine Campground Loop. These are set among big tall pines. Tenters love sites 312, 314, 326 and 328 because they provide good shelter and are quite private.
Earl Rowe is another family favourite in the Toronto area. This park is located just over an hour from Toronto’s downtown core, near the Town of Alliston.
One of the first things you’ll see driving into this park is the giant fish statue at the main entrance. Earl Rowe is on the Boyne River which is part of the Great Lakes Basin. The Boyne is a tributary of the Nottawasaga River which flows into Georgian Bay. Every spring and fall, visitors to Earl Rowe’s fish ladder watch a natural phenomenon when steelhead and salmon swim upriver to spawn.
Young anglers can borrow fishing gear and get a free lesson from the Learn to Fish team.
If you plan to camp here, you can select a large, open campsite overlooking Ontario farmland and catch a beautiful summer sunset or choose a more private, treed site.
Long Point is a stunning park on the north shore of Lake Erie, near the Town of Port Rowan.
Long Point is part of a major North American migratory route, recognized by the United Nations as a biosphere reserve. Birdwatchers have spotted 383 different bird species in spring and fall.
The park’s wonderful day-use beach has the largest dunes in the park. Kids love to romp on these. They also like biking and fishing, and many local families come every summer for the Kids’ Fishing Derby.
Long Point has sand dunes that you can actually camp in or if you want more space and a grassy area for kids to play, you’ll find campsites that offer these too.
At 6,500 hectares, White Lake is one of the largest lakes on the Lake Superior Circle Route. This popular family park is near the halfway point between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, so it’s a good choice if you’re traveling in either direction.
Unlike Lake Superior’s cool waters, White Lake’s beaches and shallow water offer great swimming for camper families.
Fishing is popular here too, so much so that White Lake added its own fish-cleaning station. The lake is known for excellent walleye and northern pike fishing, and at one end, you’ll also find a small lake trout fishery.
This park is one of the few in Ontario’s provincial park system that rents its own docks, boats, and motors. It also has paddleboats, canoes, kayaks and even seasonal campsites for rent.
White River, the original home of Winnie (of Winnie the Pooh fame), is about 35 kilometres west. Every August, the town hosts a festival in Winnie’s honour.
Favourite local family campsites are found in the park’s Moccasin Flower campground loop. Among them, everyone seems to like site 86 (even though it is non-electrical) because of its great sunset views.
Reservations are accepted up to 5 months in advance of your arrival date, which means you can book your Canada Day camping adventure starting February 1st!