Comfy camping in Ontario's largest provincial park
©Outdoor Adventure Canada
Every year I reserve some time to
visit some of our countries provincial and national parks. It is nice
to sit back, relax and do some comfy camping. I load up the car with
the barbeque, cooler and all those other frivolities that I can't take
when I'm backpacking.
One spot that has always had a place in my heart is Ontario's
Algonquin Park. Algonquin Park is over 7700 square kilometers in size
with canoe routes and backpacking trails set among hardwood and coniferous
forests. Algonquin also offers a variety of car camping opportunities
and many of them are situated on the Highway 60 corridor.
have camped in most of the Algonquin campgrounds and each has its own
unique qualities. The campsites are a good size and are well kept. There
are a selection of sites within each campground ranging from private
tree-covered sites to beach and lakeside sites. There are also a small
handful of wheelchair accessible sites in each campground. The "Comfort
Stations" have flush toilets and hot running water. They house
warm showers and are kept quite clean. There are laundry facilities
and firewood is readily available at most of the campgrounds.
The Lake of Two Rivers Store, Opeongo Outfitters and
the Portage store are the only place within the park where you can restock
your supplies. Dinner at Canoe Lake is enjoyable along and hand scooped
ice cream can be had at the Lake of Two Rivers Restaurant. Enjoy the
view of Sunday Creek as you have lunch in the restaurant at the Visitor's
Center. For a more refined dining experience there is Killarney Lodge
and Bartlett Lodge.
The Visitor's Center provides a great educational experience
with dioramas that explain the diverse ecosystem and history of Algonquin
Park. The trail and buildings at the Logging Museum give one insight
into how logging shaped the park that we see today.
is a popular camping season and it the extraordinary colors bring thousands
of visitors to the park each fall. Don't forget your camera. Wildlife
is active at this time of year and if you are an artist or photographer
Algonquin is definitely an inspiration.
Mew Lake, Pog Lake and Cannisbay Lake offer many private
sites. Sites with electrical hookups are available and both Mew Lake
and Lake of Two Rivers have sites that can accommodate larger trailers
and motor homes.
For the more adventurous camper who doesn't want the
work of an interior trip there are paddle-in site that take only 20
minutes to reach by canoe. These are offered at Rock and Cannisbay Lakes.
Algonquin Park offers interpretative day hiking trails
which teach you about the park's ecology provide spectacular views and
give you a glimpse into the park's history. More information can be
found in the article entitled Fall
Before you visit Algonquin Park it is advisable to make
a site specific reservation. Reservations can be made 5 months in advance
by visiting the Ontario
Parks website. The Friends
of Algonquin Park website has a great deal of information as well.
Written by Laurie March
Tent photo courtesy Laurie March