If you have been trying to find a way to go camping with family and friends this summer, you have probably been frustrated at the lack of available campsites. If you dug a little deeper, you might have gotten even more upset reading about people hoarding and reselling campsite reservations at our beloved provincial parks!
Despite the madness, it is not too late to arrange a spectacular camping experience for this summer. Here are three ways you can still arrange an epic Ontario camping escape:
Drive Further - While the provincial parks within an hour or two of Toronto may all be full, if you’re willing to drive a little further north you can find more isolation and lots of available campsites! Check out Missinabi Provincial Park or Pancake Bay Provincial Park as two of many examples!
Explore Crown Land - Unlike provincial parks, Ontario’s crown land is usually free for residents to camp and no reservations are required. While certain crown land areas, such as Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Reserve, can get crowded due to their proximity to the city and popular cottage spots, there is plenty of crown land across the province where you can find peace, quiet and beautiful free camping. Just remember, crown land does not have amenities and so you should be comfortable with your wilderness skills and follow Leave No Trace principles, packing out everything that you pack in and leaving the land pristine for the next camper!
Discover the Backcountry - While frontcountry (drive-in) campsites in popular parks like Algonquin and Killarney are almost fully sold out, backcountry campsites, which require you to paddle or hike into the park to get to your site, are still available! If you are comfortable with your hiking, paddling and camping skills, plan a backcountry trip and escape the crowds swarming the roadside campsites. You can book backcountry sites on the Ontario Parks website.
Don’t feel comfortable exploring the backcountry or venturing into unknown crown land on your own? Check out Get Out Toronto’s camping trips and enquire now to book a private backcountry experience for your bubble this summer!