Mid-July to late August is a great time for stargazing campers. This weekend is especially exciting because of the upcoming Perseid meteor shower. At peak time (August 9-13, 2016) — if the skies are clear — you can see up to 50-100 meteors an hour! Astronomers are even predicting that this rate may double this year. And we can’t think of a better place to view the show than one of our beautiful parks.
By the way, are you thinking about the end of summer already? We’re trying not to. But, if you are, the René Brunelle Camp Cabin is still available from August 23 to September 1.
You can scout out your ideal campsite for some stargazing on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, August 11):
Charleston Lake is a favourite family camping destination offering excellent swimming, boating, fishing and wildlife viewing. It also offers some of best summer stargazing in Southeastern Ontario. If you aren’t able to make it out for the meteor showers this weekend, internationally acclaimed astronomer and author Terence Dickinson will be visiting on August 27.
Charleston Lake is under 1 hour from Kingston and under 2 hours from Ottawa.
Waterfront site alert!!!
Located on a picturesque lake, the park offers great swimming, canoeing, boating, and fishing opportunities. You could view the meteor shower over the lake from the comfort of your own site.
Silver Lake is just over 1 hour north of Kingston, and just over 1 hour south of Ottawa.
Port Burwell’s 2.5 km sandy beach is one of most beautiful on the northern shore of Lake Erie. In addition to hiking and biking opportunities, the park boasts an amphitheater, children’s playground, volleyball/badminton courts, horseshoe pits, baseball diamond, Frisbee golf course, and basketball foul shooting court.
Port Burwell is 1 hour from London and 2.5 hours from Niagara Falls.
McRae Point is on the shores of Lake Simcoe near Orillia – just 15 minutes from Casino Rama. There is a boat launch and boat rentals nearby. You can also hike a 1.2 km nature trail.
McRae Point is 2 hours from Toronto.
One of the Ottawa Valley’s hidden gems, your family will fall in love with Bonnechere.
Explore the quiet Bonnechere River, a great spot for introducing little ones to paddling. The park rents kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, which can be picked up right at the boat launch.
Bonnechere is 2 hours from Ottawa, and 3 hours from Kingston.
Hikers will love the spring songbirds and wildflowers, while mountain bike enthusiasts will enjoy Arrowhead’s two bike trails. For anglers: Mayflower Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, while Arrowhead Lake is good for small-mouth bass.
Bonus: did you know your camping pass is good for day entry to Algonquin (only 30 minutes away!).
Arrowhead is 2.5 hours from Toronto and Oshawa, and 4 hours from Ottawa.
Halfway Lake has a family-oriented campground with two buoyed beaches and great swimming. The park offers day tripping, overnight hiking and canoeing with access to exceptional vistas.
If you can’t make it this weekend there is an Astronomy Star Party Weekend from August 25-28. Have a burning astronomy question? Want to experience the night’s sky up close? Or simply looking to gain a little knowledge? Meet the Sudbury Astronomy Club and get some telescopic and binocular viewing of the night’s sky.
Halfway Lake is just over 1 hour from Sudbury.
Waterfront site alert!!!
There are excellent paddling opportunities on Remi Lake, especially exploring the park’s undeveloped north shore, and the park rents canoes and kayaks.
The four sandy beaches, shallow, clear water and buoyed areas are perfect for family swimming. But with this site, you have your own beach! You can park your car a mere 115 metres away from the site.
René Brunelle is less than 2 hours from Timmins.
Join the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as they guide visitors through the night sky. Presentations are followed by viewing the skies with amazing telescopes, kindly brought by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Thunder Bay Chapter). The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower is always a highlight of this weekend. Come on out!
Quetico is an iconic wilderness class park renowned for its rugged beauty, towering rock cliffs, majestic waterfalls, virgin pine and spruce forests, picturesque rivers and lakes.
Quetico is 4 hours east of Kenora or 3 hours west of Nipigon.
Waterfront site alert!!!
Sleeping Giant’s Astronomy Weekend is taking place next month on September 2. In the meantime, you can view this weekend’s meteor shower from the comfort of your own waterfront site.
Sleeping Giant has over 80 km of incredible hiking trails with many spectacular geological features such as the “Sea Lion” and Tee Harbour, and breathtaking views of Lake Superior.
Sleeping Giant is 1 hour from Thunder Bay.