10 places to go camping near Toronto this summer

May 17 2016, 4:15 pm

It’s time to smell the firewood and get our camp on. As summer creeps up on us, the hot weather and long weekends will get us escaping the city into our favourite nature spots. Plan your trips ahead of time, and maybe check out one or two new spots. And if you haven’t camped before, fear not, Ontario Parks has you covered.

Check out some of our favourite spots near the city. And book early to guarantee a spot, especially on long weekends.


Distance: Approximately three hours away

Perhaps you’ve been there for a day trip to check out the beach or the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation, but Sandbanks is also popular camping spot. Besides hiking and swimming, Sandbanks is also a great spot for fishing and birding.

Elora Gorge Park

Distance: Approximately two hours away

The scenic Elora Gorge Park is nested in the Grand River valley, which is home to a 22-metre high cliff. From tubing to trails, this park is the answer to any nature enthusiast.

1000 Islands Camping Resort

Distance: Approximately three hours away

The 1000 Islands Camping Resort is a kid friendly spot that offers plenty of facilities and space for activities. From swimming pools to a playground, this is a summer delight for families.

Bruce Peninsula National Park

Distance: Just over three hours away

Probably one of Toronto’s most popular camping spots, The Bruce Peninsula National Park is a getaway to Turquoise waters and nature-immersed hiking trails. Advance booking is highly recommended for this spot, and note new rules for 2016 include daily alcohol consumption ban during quiet hours, as well as long weekends.



Bronte Creek National Park

Distance: Approximately 1.5 hours away

Great hiking, disc golf course, and interpretive programs are just part of the attractions to Bronte Creek National Park. This is a favourite spot for family camping. Get ready for some biking and swimming!

Sibbald Point Provincial Park

Distance: Approximately 1.5 hours away

Prep the canoes for this one! Sibbald Point is home to a sandy beach on Lake Simcoe, and The Sibbald Family museum (which is open in July and August). A boat launch is also available for boaters.

Awenda Provincial Park

Distance: Approximately two hours away

Located in the Georgian Bay, the Awenda Provincial Park offers forests, beaches, and trails to fill your hearts desires. Pet-free and radio-free camping available. The park is bike friendly, so don’t forget your wheels.

The Pinery

Distance: Approximately three hours away

If the coastal sand dunes and beach front along Lake Huron are not enough to make you want to camp at the Pinery, maybe the sunsets will convince you. Watch the sky colours change, camp out, and relax before heading out and exploring the Old Ausable Channel (wetland).

Kllbear Provincial Park

Distance: Over three hours away

Another Georgian Bay gem, Killbear is more rugged and rocky than some of the other sites, but the views accompanying the ruggedness completes the beauty here. For the adventurous types, park offers excellent windsurfing and sailing conditions.

Algonquin Park

Distance: Approximately 3.5 hours away

Ontario’s most loved park, Algonquin is known nationally for its lakes, forests, and overall natural beauty. Hiking extensive trails, fishing, and birding are all popular activities here. Algonquin offers car camping as well as backcountry camping. As the most popular park in the province, be sure to book your site way ahead of time.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Distance: Approximately 2.5 hours away

Just north of Huntsville, Arrowhead is known for the sandy beaches along Arrowhead Lake. Located in the heart of Muskoka, the campsites here are generally a bit more private due to large trees throughout the site. Can’t really go wrong camping in Muskoka!

Bonus: Quetico

Distance: Far, about 15 hours away

Quetico is far, like closer to Minnesota than Toronto kind of far. But for those seeking a one of a kind camping adventure, Quetico is a wilderness park with over 2000 lakes and what seems like endless wilderness. Take your time and explore the park for a few days or weeks. The Park also offers a Summer Artist in Residence Program.

To book your Ontario Parks camping getaway, check out Ontario Parks’ reservation system online.

Yasmin AboelsaudYasmin Aboelsaud

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