Did you know that you can reserve your campsite or roofed accommodation up to five months in advance of your arrival date?
You can book online (and even see a sneak preview of your campsite) or by calling the Ontario Parks reservation line, 1-888-ONT-PARK (Canada & USA).
These are our top tips to optimize your reservation experience:
1. Plan in advance and book early
Competition can be fierce for favourite campsites at busy parks. Over 50% of the reservations made between January 1 and March 31 are for Ontario’s five busiest provincial parks.
Your best bet? Reserve early.
Our online reservation system opens at 7:00 am, five months in advance of the first date of your trip. If you want the best chance of getting your dream site, pick your campsite in advance, prep your device, and book as soon as the window opens.
And if you’re aiming for one of our five busiest parks (see below)? Have a few back-up sites on your list — those parks fill fast.
Starting in 2023, we are taking steps to help more people visit their favourite parks by limiting reservation length.
At select parks, we’ll be reducing the maximum length of stay from 23 nights to seven or 14 nights for campground sites during our busiest camping season, starting in 2023.
The reduced maximum length of stay applies to trips between July 1 and the Saturday of the Labour Day long weekend. Outside of these dates, the maximum stay will be 23 nights. Learn more about this change on our blog.
2. Try a new park
These are our five busiest provincial parks:
- Algonquin Provincial Park
- Killbear Provincial Park
- Pinery Provincial Park
- Sandbanks Provincial Park
- Bon Echo Provincial Park
We know many people camp in the same park, even the same site every year. But many of our lesser-known parks are every bit as beautiful.
Here are some suggested alternatives to our busiest parks.
3. Book late
Yes, we know — we just said reserve early.
But not all of us know our vacation days five months in advance.
Our parks get thousands of cancellations every year, many at the last minute. Savvy campers keep a close eye on the reservation system, ready to snatch up newly available sites.
4. Check your filters (and be willing to compromise)
The more flexible you’re able to be about campsite specifics, the easier you’ll find it to land a campsite, especially at a busy park or during a busy weekend.
Electric sites and sites that accommodate large RVs are extremely popular. Consider trying a non-electric site, or a different campground.
If it’s an electrical site or nothing, the next tip is a good one for you.
5. Book weekdays or shoulder seasons
Campsites and cabin/yurt rentals book quickly on weekends, holidays, and during peak vacation times (July/August).
However, we often have top-quality cabins and campsites (including electrical sites) sitting empty during the week, particularly in the spring and fall.
6. Go north
If you’re looking for:
- a more secluded campsite
- a campsite on a busy weekend or holiday
- awe-inspiring natural beauty
…why not book a trip further north?
Driving an extra hour or two really expands your options.