RV'ing in Ontario Parks
There are so many spectacular parts of Ontario. And travel park to park can be easy and a great way to meet others and gain in-depth experiences in both the natural and cultural landscape of our beautiful province. Here are few suggested routes to try – you can drive the entire route or just part. Be sure to let us know about your experiences – we love getting photos and tips from travellers. Facebook. Twitter.
Come and explore Ontario with us and find:
- Spectacular scenery, innovative public education programs and fascinating visitor centres.
- Hiking, paddling and exploring thousands of hectares of natural Ontario.
- Easy access; parks are signed from all provincial highways.
- Over 19,000 car and RV (link to RV page) camping sites across Ontario.
Lake Superior Coastal Route
Drive this renowned route between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay along Lake Superior’s majestic north shore. Make camping or daytrip stops along this route for stunning views of Lake Superior including cliffs and beaches as well as opportunities for wildlife viewing. Motorcyclists have discovered this “bucket-list” route. If camping is not your preference, purchase a seasonal pass for spectacular stops all the way along.
Parks you’ll want to explore en route:
- Batchawana Bay Provincial Park
- Pancake Bay Provincial Park
- Lake Superior Provincial Park
- Potholes (day use park)
- White Lake Provincial Park
- Neys Provincial Park
- Rainbow Falls Provincial Park
- Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
- Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park
- Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
For further information on this route: www.ridelakesuperior.com/en/plan-my-ride
Georgian Bay Circle Tour
Drive this route through spectacular scenery and iconic tourism spots and explore the many varied landscapes including:
- The world’s longest freshwater beaches at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park.
- The world’s largest freshwater island.
- The stunning white quartzite hills of Killarney Provincial Park.
- The rugged rocks and windswept pines of eastern Georgian Bay.
Parks to explore en route:
- Awenda Provincial Park
- Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
- Misery Bay
- Windy Lake
- Halfway Lake
- French River
- Grundy Lake
- Six Mile Lake
For further information on this route: www.visitgeorgianbay.ca/
Ottawa Valley Algonquin Highlands Route
Following in the footsteps of First Nations people, European explorers, fur traders and loggers, this is a great route for the history buff! Basecamp at Rideau River Provincial Park to explore Ottawa’s many museums and historical attractions. Then follow the river northwards to explore one of the greatest rivers in North America.
- Explore the less busy side of Algonquin Provincial Park with a stop at Brent. The Historic Walking Trail will introduce you to the natural and cultural heritage of the area. And hiking along the Brent Crater Trail, you will see a spot where a meteorite crashed to earth millions of years ago.
- Newly designed exhibits in the Visitor Centre at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park are worth a stop and in summer you can experience a historic voyage in a replica 17 foot Voyageur Canoe complete with costumed interpreters and guides.
- RVers will want to stay at Arrowhead to enjoy its very large, private campsites, beaches and hiking trails. The Highway 60 corridor through Algonquin Provincial Park offers many campgrounds and visitor services including the Algonquin Art Gallery with annual exhibits and an art shop Gallery. Be sure to stop by the Algonquin Visitor Centre and the Logging Museum and Trail.
Parks to stop and camp in along this route:
- Driftwood Provincial Park
- Algonquin Provincial Park - Brent Campground
- Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
- Arrowhead Provincial Park
- Oxtongue River / Ragged Falls Provincial Park (day use only)
- Algonquin Provincial Park – many options along the Highway 60 Corridor
For more information on this route: www.OttawaRiver.org
Highlights of Ontario – Ottawa/Algonquin/Toronto
A very popular route with overseas travellers as it provides a sampling of highlights of Ontario including Toronto, Ottawa and Algonquin Provincial Park. This is a spectacular route in the fall!
- Be sure to stop at Oxtongue Lake/Ragged Falls Provincial Park for a picnic.
- There are many hiking opportunities (17 interpretive trails) along the Highway 60 corridor through the park.
- The Algonquin Visitor Centre is a “must see” stop.
- Rideau River is an excellent basecamp to explore Ottawa attractions.
- Charleston Lake Provincial Park is close to Highway 401 and the Blue Mountain hiking trail affords views from the highest point in the county.
Parks along this route:
- Arrowhead Provincial Park
- Oxtongue Lake/ Ragged Falls Provincial Park
- Algonquin Provincial Park
- Rideau River Provincial Park
- Charleston Lake Provincial Park
- Presqu’ile Provincial Park
Or take an alternate route to back to the GTA through Peterborough, stopping at the Petroglyphs. North America’s largest concentration of aboriginal rock carvings (“glyphs”) is protected in this park. Silent Lake is a great stop for hiking and mountain biking and also offers yurt-style roofed accommodation. End your trip at Darlington Provincial Park – close to drop-off points for rental RVs.
Parks along this alternate route:
- Silent Lake
Rideau Heritage Route
This route offers a compelling alternative to busy main highways. The route crosses the scenic landscape of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, a granite bridge that connects the Canadian Shield and the Adirondack Mountains. The Rideau Heritage Route offers a range of interesting communities with small town architecture and artisan shops. The cultural heritage of the waterway itself is an engineering marvel and designated a UNESCO World Heritage. The canal and lock stations, many with picnic facilities is maintained by Parks Canada.
- Murphys Point Provincial Park offers regularly scheduled tours into the Silver Queen Mine – an early 20th century mica mine. And Heritage Mica Days is a summer-long celebration of the heritage of the area with music, food and special events throughout July and August.
- Rideau River Provincial Park is an excellent basecamp for campers and RVers to explore the City of Ottawa.
- Relax at Charleston Lake Provincial Park – located just off of Hwy 401, and a long-time favourite spot for outdoor recreational pursuits and camping.
- Stretch your legs on one of the many excellent hiking trails at Frontenac Provincial Park (day use of backcountry camping only).
The range of walking and exploring opportunities are enhanced by several Ontario Parks along the route:
- Rideau River
- Murphys Point
- Charleston Lake
- Frontenac (backcountry camping only- but an excellent park to visit for day-trip hiking)
For more information on this route:
Exploring the beaches of Lake Erie’s North Shore
Beach parks and small town exploring make this a fun trip. Explore for fossils at Rock Point Provincial Park. Golf a round or use Turkey Point as a base camp to explore the area. Camp among the dunes at Long Point Provincial Park and take in one of Ontario’s most beautiful beaches. Also nearby, Port Burwell’s 2.5 km long beach is a family favourite! Continue westward to sample the unique Carolinian forests of Rondeau and Wheatley Provincial Parks. Use them as a basecamp to explore the area’s burgeoning wine country and historic attractions. This is a particularly amazing route during the spring and fall bird migrations. Seasonally, be sure to pick up local produce and foods at one of the many farm markets in this region. This trail is an excellent trail for bicycle or motorcycle by day or longer with many parks for camping and/or day use.
Parks along this route:
- Rock Point Provincial Park
- Selkirk Provincial Park
- Turkey Point Provincial Park
- Long Point Provincial Park
- Port Burwell Provincial Park
- Port Bruce Provincial Park (day use only)
- John E. Pearce Provincial Park (day use only)
- Rondeau Provincial Park
- Wheatley Provincial Park
This is the road less travelled, but full of northern attractions. Marten River Provincial Park offers scenic campsites and a replica 19th century logging camp. Their annual Marten River Logging Days in July is a great event to time your trip around. The region is known for its massive white pine remnants of old-growth forests. A bit further north, Finlayson Point, is a base to explore the Temagami Region – climb the Caribou Mountain lookout and fire tower for a great overview of the landscape. Stop at Kap-Kig-Iwan Provincial Park, to hike the spectacular trail to the waterfalls on the Englehart River and camp in peaceful surroundings. Esker Lakes and Kettle Lake Provincial Parks share a very unique glaciated landscape characterized by over 50 lakes located on the 250 km long gravel ridge known as the Munroe Esker. Plan your trip during blueberry season; there are many stops along the way to pick, buy or celebrate this delicious northern berry! Keep your binoculars handy to spot the unusual “Spirit Moose” (link to www.northernontario.travel/northeastern-ontario/in-search-of-the-spirit-moose-foleyet-ontarios-mysterious-white-moose-population , a white moose (not albino) similar to BCs “Spirit Bear” is often seen near Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park.
Parks along this route:
- Marten River
- Finlayson Point
- Esker Lakes
- Kettle Lakes
- Ivanhoe Lake
There are two options to return to the Sudbury area:
- Lake Superior
Or the shorter
- Halfway Lake
- Windy Lake
You can have it all!
Ontario Parks make excellent basecamps to explore city attractions and then retreat to relax and enjoy nature in the park.
Simply drive to the nearby GO Station and have the city at your doorstep.
Darlington (14 km to Oshawa GO Station)
Bronte Creek Provincial Parks (11 km to Oakville GO station)
For Ottawa attractions, try:
Rideau River Provincial Park (just over 52 km from downtown Ottawa)
Fitzroy Provincial Park (just under 58 km to downtown Ottawa)
Windy Lake Provincial Park (around 46 km to downtown Sudbury)
Fairbanks Provincial Park (just under 55 km to Sudbury)
For Thunder Bay area attractions:
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park (77 km from Thunder Bay)