Pick your backcountry adventure

Choosing a park that offers the opportunities you are searching for can be the hardest part of the planning process.

Do you want to canoe or hike? Maybe a little of both? Are you looking to go out for two nights or two weeks? Do you want a challenging terrain or do you prefer a flat trail? Are you able to carry your canoe or kayak for 1400 m or do you prefer shorter portages?  The list of questions goes on.

We thought we would do some of the research for you.  Here are six different provincial parks that have great backcountry opportunities for beginners to advanced campers.

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2015 seasonal campsite program: Fushimi Lake, Rene Brunelle & Ivanhoe Lake

Fushimi Lake, Rene Brunelle & Ivanhoe Lake have been added to the 2015 Seasonal Campsite Program.  Applications for these parks will be accepted from October 23-November 14, 2014.  Successful applicants will be notified before November 28, 2014.

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Ontario Parks seasonal campsite program: 2015

Do you want to camp monthly or seasonally at Ontario Parks during the 2015 camping season?  Ontario Parks is once again offering the Seasonal Campsite Program.  It gives you the opportunity to reserve a campsite on a monthly/seasonal basis at select provincial parks participating in the Seasonal Campsite Program.

Wondering how you become eligible?  Submit your application to the park of your choice between October 6 and October 31, 2014.  Sites are allotted through a lottery system and successful applicants will be notified by November 22, 2014.


  1. Which campsites and dates are available and what are the rates? Click Here
  2. Where can you find an application? Click Here
  3. What are the deadlines?  Applications must be sent to an individual park between October 6 and October 31, 2014 via email and fax.
  4. Can you apply to more than one park?  Yes, you must send an application to each individual park, however, only one application per park per family unit.
  5. Do we need to put down a deposit?  Yes, once you have been contacted about your selection, a non-refundable $250 deposit must be made.
  6. Where can I find more information?  Contact the Park Superintendent at the specific park for additional terms and conditions.






Easy campsite recipes from Ontario Parks

Maybe it’s the additional oxygen you get when you’re outdoors, or all that exercise that makes you hungry. Whatever the reason, food always tastes better when you’re camping. Here are five favourite campsite recipes to try on your next camping trip to Ontario Parks. Three are classics and two come from new campers. They participated in our Learn to Camp program which challenges new campers to cook on a camp stove. We’ve also added a link to a post from a Bon Echo Provincial Park camper on how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey outdoors BBQ turkey for Thanksgiving? Why not?. You’ll find more campsite recipes plus meal planning tips on our Learn to Camp site .

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RV camping in late fall

RV travellers love fall at Ontario Parks even after Canadian Thanksgiving (second Monday in October). Some even camp in winter. Park staff affectionately call these campers ‘winter warriors’ since staying warm and maintaining the water systems in your RV in Ontario winter temperatures is a challenge.  These four Ontario Parks are your best bet for late fall camping in an RV. Know that trailer fill stations for water are normally closed later in the season, based on weather.  However, three parks have campgrounds offering electrical service, and comfort stations with hot showers that are open year round. The fourth, Killarney Provincial Park, does not have electrical service.  The park also closes its comfort stations and turns off its water systems following the Canadian Thanksgiving, but the bathrooms outside of the main office remain open along with a tap so campers can access water to fill large jugs. Don’t forget that you need a park permit to camp in any season at Ontario Parks. More detailed RV information is on the Ontario Parks web site.

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BBQ turkey for Thanksgiving? Why not? Roofed accommodations make Thanksgiving getaways a breeze

This Thanksgiving, why not take the work out of your Thanksgiving dinner and head to your favourite park for a weekend away and a BBQ turkey with all the fixings? After all, you can recycle just about everything you need to cook a turkey dinner on the BBQ so cleanup is a breeze!  (Cue collective “Yes!” from mothers everywhere).

Move over Martha Stewart, this is Thanksgiving Canadian style!

Imagine how delicious a BBQ turkey would taste, seasoned with fresh herbs and hot off the grill; dotted with cranberry sauce, prepared gravy, fresh fall vegetables and a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert! Add a nice hot cup of coffee, maybe a S’more or two and you’re ready for a relaxing campfire under the stars.

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The many moods of Lake Superior are beckoning: Kakabeka Falls anyone?

If you are looking for an enchanting way to ride out the rest of the summer or early fall, why not tour the coast of Lake Superior and finish your journey at Thunder Bay and Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park?  The coastline boasts several different parks that follow Lake Superior north and west.  When you reach the lakehead (Thunder Bay, Ontario’s western end of the lake), travel inland to Kakabeka Falls, home to the second largest waterfall in Ontario.

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Be here in an hour: why Southern Ontario landlubbers love escaping to Rock Point

The wind and waves of Rock Point Provincial Park are a must-see, must-experience getaway this summer, especially for overheated, stressed out city dwellers that just need a break. Your getaway awaits at this jewel of a park, nestled on Lake Erie in the ancient Carolinian forest.

Rock Point is a mere hour from Hamilton and the Niagara and Fort Erie borders, an hour from Brantford and 90 minutes from Toronto. How great is that?

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Relax and unwind amidst the calm at Caliper Lake

What price is your health?  Joining a fitness club? Jogging along city sidewalks? Or perhaps something with vastly more benefits, like packing up your gear and spending time with nature?

For visitors to Caliper Lake, near Lake of the Woods in northwestern Ontario, the journey, or pilgrimage for some, is worth its weight in gold. For as experts tell us nowadays, nature is the new aspirin.

Visitors come from as far south as Minnesota, as west as Manitoba and as north as Sioux Lookout to enjoy the spectacular sunsets, the northern lights, mouth-watering fish fries of Pike, Bass and Walleye or exceptional birding and wildlife viewing.

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Are you bear wise?

Are you going to bear country this summer?  Remember we share our parks with these wonderful creatures.  Be prepared and aware!

To be prepared, let’s first understand some basics about bears.  Black bears, despite their name, aren’t always black and will range in colour and weigh 250lb to 650lbs.  Due to hibernation during winter months, finding food is very important from April to late fall.  Although portrayed as meat eaters, bears are omnivores, meaning they eat meat and plants.  Berries, nuts and other plants are the majority of their diet.  However, bears are opportunistic, meaning if they smell food they will search it out and eat it.  Once they find a food source they will keep returning.

Since bears have such a keen sense of smell, it’s your responsibility to keep your campsite clean.  If you have a vehicle, pack up all your food into containers and keep it in your trunk.  This includes anything with a smell, so pack up those toiletries and clothes you have cooked in.  Also, do not dump your dish water on your site.  Waste water should be dumped down a vault privy.

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