canoe on shore at sunset

Why you should go north to camp this summer

If you’ve been looking on our reservation system lately, you’ll have realized this already – our southern provincial parks are SUPER busy this year!

This summer, the solution to finding your serene camping trip might be to head north.

There, you’ll find not only more space to camp in peace, but also opportunities to explore landscapes unlike anything in southern Ontario.

The draw of the north

Northern Ontario’s parks are just waiting for you to discover them.

rocky shoreline of Lake Superior under blue sky

From vast boreal forests to the rugged Canadian shield and the coast of Lake Superior, you’ll find some of the greatest vistas the province has to offer.

Silhouette of a woman fishing on a rocky shore

In the north, you’re away from the hustle and bustle of southern city life.

The first thing you’ll notice is the lack of city sounds. Your time in northern Ontario will give you a chance to fall asleep to the sounds of frogs in a nearby marsh, wake up to singing birds, or just listen to a fast-flowing river and reflect.

What to know before you go

Before you pack up the car and drive north, there are a few things to keep in mind.

rv with a wheelchair next to it

We want to make sure we’re keeping both you and our northern communities safe. That means:

  • buying your groceries and supplies at home before you leave
  • limiting trips into the community as you would at home
  • wearing masks indoors where mandated by public health units

And as always, we’re counting on you to continue being responsible and follow all public health advice.

Learn more about what that means on our COVID-19 page.

couple sitting in camp chairs outside tent

Northern parks offer a wide range of amenities: tenting and RV campsites, hiking, swimming, and much more. Here are the parks you need to visit while you’re up north:

Northeastern Ontario

Nagagamisis Provincial Park

Sunset over the lake.

Nagagamisis contains a 15 kilometre-long lake surrounded by lush boreal forest. The park features a beautiful sandy beach where you can relax and swim all day in the clear water.

Anglers return year after year to this large secluded lake, drawn by the excellent fishing for Walleye, Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch. 

Missinaibi Provincial Park

Paddling a canoe on a lake in early evening

Missinaibi Lake is a long and seemingly endless stretch of lake surrounded by boreal forest. “Big Miss,” as the locals and park staff call it, is very big: 40 km long, with another stretch — Baltic Bay — measuring 20 km.

You’ll find stellar Whitefish, Walleye and Northern Pike fishing. Lake Trout (and there are some nice ones in there!) can be caught with downriggers.

Wakami Lake Provincial Park 

Man holding up a Walleye

Wakami Lake offers four small campgrounds; Birch Hill, Pine Grove, Maple Ridge and Brown’s Bay, encompassing just 59 campsites. Many of the sites provide spectacular waterfront views and access.

Park staff from all over the Northeast head to Wakami Lake when they want to go fishing.  Tasty Walleye and big Northern Pike abound in this scenic 15 km-long lake.

Mississagi Provincial Park

Hiker at a lookout with a dog

Located above Lake Huron, just east of Sault Ste Marie, this rugged landscape of hills, ridges, cliffs and sparkling lakes is ideal for hiking – and Mississagi has over 40 km of trails to explore.

The park boasts a rugged landscape of ancient hills and clear lakes, including a variety of hiking trails and paddling opportunities. 

Northwestern Ontario

Neys Provincial Park

sunset over neys beach

Neys features a long sandy beach on the shores of Lake Superior adjacent to the campground. Explore park trails along exposed coastal rocks to discover why the park’s scenic vistas were a popular subject for the Group of Seven’s artwork.

Here, you’ll find the breathtaking view of Pic Island made famous by Lawren Harris in 1924, and opportunities to learn about their works.

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park 

Rocky shoreline with blue water and blue skies

Stop at the park to view the cascading waters as they plunge over the rock ledges of Rainbow Falls.

You’ll be able to shake out the cobwebs with a hike along the Casque Isle Trail, or camp along the rugged shore of Lake Superior.

White Lake Provincial Park

person with fish
The Walleye (or Pickerel) is the most targeted fish species in White Lake. Caught by Mitch Kostecki

White Lake is best known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The most popular species caught include Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch.

A hike on the Tiny Bog Trail will show off the area’s beauty. The trail loops around two large beaver ponds and then climbs a sandy ridge of Jack Pines before arriving at the bog, where insect-eating plants such as Sundew and Pitcher Plant grow.

Rushing River Provincial Park

bridge and rapids at Rushing River

Rushing River is approximately 2.5 hours from Winnipeg and about 5 hours from Thunder Bay. With beaches, hiking trails, and — of course — the rapids along the river, what’s not to love?

Aim for a weekday vacation to make sure you can secure a campsite, it’s busy on weekends!

Quetico Provincial Park

Northern lights over the lake

Thirty-five kilometres of trails surround Quetico’s Dawson Trail Campground. These will expose you to Quetico’s pine and spruce forests, picturesque lakes and rivers, and biodiversity.

We recommend hiking the French Portage Trail if you’re looking for a challenge. It’s a hike into the past, tracing a portage established by First Nations and later used by European fur traders.

Which northern park will we see you at this summer? Visit our online reservation service to book today.