person looking out at lake along trail

5 reasons to visit Fairbank Provincial Park

Fairbank Provincial Park is 25 minutes north of Highway 17, and 35 km west of Sudbury.

This quiet, family friendly park provides a tranquil setting for camping, swimming, and paddling, and makes a great base for exploring the Sudbury region!

Check out these five reasons to visit Fairbank:

1. Camp on the edge of a meteorite crater

Fairbank lies on the western edge of the Sudbury Basin, an ancient meteorite impact crater formed 1.8 billion years ago! Geologists estimate that the crater was once as wide across as 200 km!

aerial view of lake

The basin has been eroded by water and ice over that expanse of time. Today, it’s only 60 km long and 30 km wide.

So wait: it’s longer than it is wide now?

In addition to all that erosion, plate tectonics moved the Earth’s crust around, and a mini continent moving up from the south squished the basin into an oval!

map of basin

Visit Dynamic Earth in Sudbury to find out more about the Sudbury Basin and its important role in mining and Ontario’s economy.

2. It’s all about the lake

The park is named for its location on Fairbank Lake.

The lake is a beauty, with blue-green waters surrounded by rolling forested hills.

Landscape view from lookout along Wa-Shai-Ga-Mog trail.

You’d think the lake had been aptly named – “fair bank” – but no, the lake is simply named for the township it lies within!

It couldn’t be a better coincidence.

people paddling canoe on lake

With sandy beaches (perfect for swimming and sandcastles!), stunning waters for paddling, and many bays for boating and fishing, Fairbank is a well-named spot!

3. It’s family time!

Fairbank is a great family camping experience.

The kids will love the beach (and the park’s comfort station has showers and laundry facilities to keep the kids clean too!).

group running into water

Get out on the water! Rent one of the park’s canoes, complete with paddles and personal flotation devices (PFDs), or bring your own watercraft and explore the lake.

Don’t forget the park’s Discovery programs! These all-age programs are sure to get kids and adults alike exploring nature!

Check out Fairbank’s Exploration Stations in July and August. Bring along your Discovery Activity Book (or pick one up at the Exploration Station) and use the equipment and materials provided to explore the park, observe plants and animals, and discover the wonders of nature.

Be sure to share your observations with park staff and to take the Discovery Ranger Pledge!

4. Traverse a cool trail

Fairbank has one short hiking trail, but it’s a beauty!

person hiking on trail

At half a kilometre (half an hour to hike if you don’t stop), it’s a nice distance for a family hike – but don’t let that shortness fool you!

The panoramic views of Fairbank Lake and the surrounding hills and forest are outstanding and worth a selfie or two.

group posing for photo at lookout

The trail climbs up high above the lake, passing through rock barrens and forest, eventually taking you down to the lake shore before it finishes back at the trailhead.

5. The perfect Sudbury basecamp

While Fairbank keeps the family busy with trails, beaches, watersports and fishing, it also makes a great base to explore the Sudbury Region.

Families love making day trips to Science North and Dynamic Earth.

Science North is a hands-on science centre with lots of fun exhibits, demos, and “Blue Coat” scientists who can help you interact with everything there.

children looking at exhibit

Dynamic Earth also offers fun exhibits and demos, but focusses on the geology and mining stories of the Sudbury Basin (remember that big meteorite crater we mentioned earlier?).

kids running towards the Big Nickel

If festivals are more your thing, Sudbury has lots! Music, blueberries and more are the themes for these fun events.

In between the park and the City of Sudbury, visitors with bikes will find the Walden Mountain Bike Trails.

view of biker on trail

With trail difficulty ranging from easy flat grassy trails to gnarly black diamond single-track over Sudbury’s famous bedrock, there are trails to fit everyone’s needs.

Planning a visit?

Fairbank’s campground offers 63 electrical and 49 non-electrical campsites. A number of the park’s waterfront sites allow for campers to launch their canoe or kayak right from camp!

A comfort station with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as laundry facilities, is located centrally in the park.

family walking on park road

Day users and campers alike can enjoy a scenic picnic lunch along the shores of Fairbank Lake at the Day Use Area with sandy beach, picnic tables, parking, and a short walk to their hiking trail.

Fairbank is open until September 17, 2023.

Book your trip today!