Mikisew Provincial Park lies on the western shores of scenic Eagle Lake, and is the perfect park for holiday fun and camping each summer.
But why put away the camping gear after Labour Day?
Mikisew’s camping season runs through Thanksgiving Weekend!
September is the new August!
The back-to-school season draws many families home and away from their favourite parks, but September is one of the best months to camp.
You know fall doesn’t officially START until September 22, right? The weather is often summer-like, there are no bugs, and the time for campfires and star-watching starts a bit earlier. Parks are less busy, and favourite campsites are often easier to reserve.
Where does the name Mikisew come from?
Mikisew means “eagle” in Anishinaabemowin, and the park lies on the shores of scenic Eagle Lake. Eagle Lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and paddling (canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding). You can rent paddleboards from the park, or canoe and kayaks from local nearby vendors.
Nestle in under the towering trees
Located in the Almaguin Highlands, a rugged forested region west of Algonquin, Mikisew’s two campgrounds each have a different character unique to their own. The Pines is set among a towering pine forest, with large sites and is a short bike ride from the beach.
Hardwoods campground has secluded sites with plenty of vegetation between lots and provides some privacy. Hardwoods is great for campers with small children, as it’s within walking distance of the beach.
Each of the campgrounds has a comfort station.
Beach days are still a thing
Like we said, September is the new August! The weather — and water — are still warm.
Mikisew has three sand beaches, two of which are close to the campgrounds, while the third beach is part of the day use area.
You can find the beach volleyball court, horseshoe pitch, and basketball nets in this section of the park. Each sand beach has a shallow buoyed area marked off for swimmers.
Do you have a four-legged friend with you? The day use beach also contains the park’s leash-free dog park and beach.
The large fenced area has picnic tables and a small sand beach. Park visitors can picnic, toss a ball, or swim with their pet off the leash in this area.
Try your hand at disc golf
Something new is an 18-hole disc golf course.
Disc golf is a lot like regular golf, but it’s played with Frisbee-like discs, and the holes are a bit like basketball baskets.
Mikisew has had a small disc golf course for years, but staff redesigned it in 2018 creating a course that is fun for beginners and challenging for seasoned players. There is also a nine-hole kids’ course.
Lace up your boots; there’s more to explore
Mikisew is a small park, but a series of short trails can be hiked together to make up 5.4 km of hiking. Hikers can see a beaver wetland and some of the area’s Canadian Shield bedrock. The park’s deciduous forest turns electric in late September and early October.
For longer hikes, Restoule Provincial Park, about an hour north, has several hiking trails including the rugged and scenic Fire Tower Trail, and Angel’s Point Mountain Biking Trails. Restoule also has great fall colours and is worth the hour-long drive from Mikisew for a half-day hike.
If you visit Restoule for the trails, you’ll pass right by Board’s Honey Farm. Board’s is a large apiary with 300 hives, which makes honey, beeswax candles and other products.
Extend your stay and explore the region
If your family loves fall camping, Mikisew is your kind of park.
No kids to get back home for the school week? Stay longer and enjoy some of the fall-colour drives in the region. Check out the farmers markets, or explore some of the funky attractions like “Screaming Heads” sculpture garden.