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.
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.
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.
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:
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 Lake was once a busy “highway” for canoes. Indigenous peoples paddled this important trade route for thousands of years, and voyageurs used the Missinaibi River as a vital link between the Great Lakes and James Bay.
Now, the lake is a remote location for water-based recreation, like kayaking, canoeing, boating, and fishing.
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 lies in the heart of northeastern Ontario’s boreal forest. Quiet and far from busy highways and city lights, the night skies are filled with stars, and nature surrounds you every day. Hike, paddle, boat, or fish – it’s easy to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle.
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.
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.
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.
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 offers three nature trails to explore the beautiful boreal forest.
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 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!
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.