The dog days of summer are now in full swing. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, Ontario Parks can be a great starting place. This weekend is a perfect opportunity to get out and explore some of our parks while enjoying some swimming, hiking, paddling and boating.
You can scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, July 21):
Located at the junction of the meandering Carp River and the mighty Ottawa River, Fitzroy offers great family camping with large campsites with lots of swimming and hiking nearby. The park is a great base for exploring the Ottawa valley and the nation’s capital.
Fitzroy is 50 minutes from Ottawa and just over 2 hours from Kingston.
Located on Big Rideau Lake (part of the historic Rideau Waterway), Murphys Point offers great opportunities for paddlers and boaters. Staying on land? Explore spring wildflowers and archaeological sites on the park’s hiking trails.
This Saturday there is a 1.5 hour guided hike down the Silver Queen Mine Trail and into a restored, early 1900s mica mine. Hardhats are supplied! The adventure starts at 10 a.m. at the Lally Homestead parking area. Allow 15 minutes driving time from the main campground.
Murphys Point is just over an hour from both Kingston and Ottawa.
Selkirk offers plenty of birding opportunities along its hiking trail, campground and the natural pebble beach. The park is 15 minutes east of Port Dover which makes for a great day trip.
Selkirk is 1 hour from Hamilton, and just over 1 hour from Niagara Falls.
Campgrounds are situated among a tangle of creeks in a beautifully wooded Carolinian forest setting with a number of creekside sites. The park sits on a major migratory bird route and provides excellent bird-watching. Boosey Creek and Sugar Creek provide great opportunities for fishing. Kids love to dip their lines and see what they can catch (borrow equipment free from the TackleShare program).
Wheatley is 1 hour from Detroit, Windsor and London.
Restoule has a number of great trails including The Fire Tower Trail. The trail ascends through mixed forest cover and provides the opportunity to experience several stages of natural history including forest fire and severe wind events. The reward for your hard work is a spectacular view from atop the 100 meter tall Stormy Lake Bluffs and a close inspection of a historic fire tower.
Restoule is 2 hours from Sudbury, and 4 hours from Toronto.
There are three sand beaches for swimming located along Eagle Lake in Mikisew Provincial Park. The lake is also great for boating, paddling and fishing.
Mikisew is just over 3 hours away from Toronto and 2.5 hours from Sudbury.
The only park between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie has a six kilometre hiking trail with great views of scenic waterfalls and a river gorge. It is a great base to explore Manitoulin Island and the North Channel of Lake Huron
Chutes is just over 1 hour from Sudbury and 2.5 hours from Sault Ste. Marie.
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. There are opportunities to see nesting Bald Eagles and a heron rookery along the Two Narrows Canoe Route and moose are often sited along the Echo Pond Trail.
Halfway Lake is just over 1 hour from Sudbury.
This campsite is right near the shore of White Lake – a 6,500 hectare lake – one of the largest lakes on the Lake Superior Circle Route. The warm waters and sandy beaches are perfect for a weekend of swimming. There is also very good fishing for Walleye and Northern Pike
White Lake is 4 hours from Sault Ste. Marie or Thunder Bay.
The peaceful waters of Caliper Lake offer a relaxing option for a day of canoeing, while the large beach and buoyed swimming area provide family fun. Caliper Lake’s clean, warm waters are home to northern pike, walleye, crappie and small-mouth bass.
Caliper Lake is 3.5 hours from Winnipeg, and 4.5 hours from Duluth.