For many visitors to Ontario, the first suggestion that a world of natural wonders lies ahead comes from a sign on highway 401, not far from the exit to highway 400, in the midst of the nation’s largest metropolis – it reads, quite simply: “Algonquin Provincial Park, 250km”.
The reality is that Algonquin Provincial Park, located about three hours drive northeast of Toronto, is just one of the treasures of the Ontario Provincial Park system. The 340 Ontario Provincial Parks encompass an area totalling 8.2 million hectares – approximately 8% of the land mass in the province of Ontario, an area larger than most states.
We asked the expert guides to spotlight ten of the treasures within the Ontario Parks system – wilderness and near-wilderness areas that will fascinate you with the majesty of the Canadian landscape, just as they have inspired tourists for the past 125 years.
Here are some of the top RV and tent-friendly destinations within the Ontario Provincial Parks system, grouped by geographic area…
North East Zone:
Finlayson Point Provincial Park
This park, located on a peninsula in the waters of Lake Temagami, gives visitors a wonderful nature experience amid thousands of kilometres of ancient pine shoreline. A favourite destination for canoeists, boaters, and hikers, you can camp amidst the White and Red Pines on the shores of Lake Temagami. Many visitors enjoy the hike to Caribou Mountain Lookout and fire tower, where the view of the park is spectacular.
Campsites are available for tenters and RV’ers, with many sites offering electrical hook-ups.
For more information please call (705) 569-3205 or visit www.ontarioparks.com/park/finlaysonpoint
Kettle Lakes Provincial Park
Located near Connaught, Ontario, Kettle Lakes Park features a wonderful setting in the Jack Pine boreal forest, where 22 deep, spring-fed kettle lakes were formed by the retreat of the glaciers. Fishing is fantastic, with many of the lakes stocked with Rainbow and Brook Trout.
Kettle Lakes Provincial Park features 14 kilometres of biking trails and interpretive programs for the for the whole family.
There are two campgrounds at this location – The Pines and Island Lake. Both accommodate tents and RVs. Many campsites offer electrical hook-ups.
For more information on summer camping please call 705-363-3511. For information on winter camping, please call 705-272-7107. The park website is www.ontarioparks.com/park/kettlelakes
Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
Located in the Mattawa River Valley, west of Mattawa and north of Algonquin Provincial Park, this park is a modern reflection of the fur
trading days, when the voyageurs travelled their routes to bring their pelts to market. Today, the area is a mecca for canoeists and hikers, with a wonderful visitor centre that provides historical, cultural, and natural
education programs for all ages.
Two main campgrounds serve the park: Babawasse Campground, named for the Ojibway term for “a lake seen through the woods” offers 74 campsites, all of which have 15 and 30-amp electrical hookups. There is a playground and a small private camper beach.
Jingwakoki Campground, located on the northwest shore of Moore Lake, is named after the Ojibway term for “a forest of tall pine trees”. This campground offers 137 campsites,
20 of which have 15 and 30-amp electrical hookups. There is a comfort station at the campground entrance with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities.
For more information, please visit the website at www.ontarioparks.com/park/samueldechamplain
Driftwood Provincial Park
A scenic location nestled into the Upper Ottawa River Valley, Driftwood Provincial Park is a destination where you can enjoy waterfront campsites and a large sandy beach in the shadow of the Laurentian Hills. There are three campgrounds in this Park – the Ottawa Campground is the largest of the trio, with unserviced sites but easy access to a full-service comfort station with showers, flush toilets and laundry facilities.
Brumm Campground offers electric hookups and sites suitable for RVs, including some pull-through campsites.
Driftwood Park also offers two group campsites, ideal for tenting.
For more information please call 613-586-2553 or visit the website at www.ontarioparks.com/park/driftwood
North West Zone
Neys Provincial Park
Neys Provincial Park, in Terrace Bay, Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Superior, is classified as a “Natural Environment Park”, and offers one of the finest beaches on the lake. This is the spot where Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven painted his famous image of Pic Island.
Nature enthusiasts will be able to view sub-Arctic flora and it is not unusual to spot Woodland Caribou – one of the most elusive species in Ontario.
For paddlers and hikers, Neys Provincial Park is an excellent choice to experience the natural ecosystems and geological formations in an undisturbed environment.
There are almost 150 campsites, half of which offer electrical hookups, in four separate campsite areas.
For more information please call the Spring/Summer information line at
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
Located on the Trans Canada Highway (Route 17) west of Thunder Bay, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park features the second-highest waterfall in Ontario, where the waters of the Kaministiquia River plunge 40 metres. Erosion from the waterfall has revealed fossils dating back 1.6 million years – a fascinating discovery for visitors as they enjoy the walking and nature trails.
There are three campgrounds within the park: Whispering Hills, Riverside and Fern’s Edge. Whispering Hills offers electrical hookups with some pull-through campsites. Amenities include comfort stations, laundry facilities and showers.
Located close to the river and falls, Riverside and Fern’s Edge campgrounds are located close to the river and the falls, with unserviced campsites for tenters and some pull-through campsites for trailers.
For more information please call 807-473-9231 or visit the website at www.ontarioparks.com/park/kakabekafalls
South East Zone
Lake St. Peter Provincial Park
Located just a few kilometres east of the southern section of Algonquin Provincial Park, Lake St. Peter Provincial Park is a “recreational” area with boating, fishing, and sandy beaches – visitors enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Lake St. Peter.
Lake St. Peter Provincial Park has 65 campsites sheltered by the mixed forest, including some sites that can accommodate large RVs, and some waterfront sites.
For more information please call 613-338-5312 or visit the website at www.ontarioparks.com/park/lakestpete
South West Zone
Port Burwell Provincial Park
Located on the shoreline of Lake Erie, about 20 kilometres south of Tillsonburg, Port Burwell Provincial Park features a beautiful 2.5 km sandy beach, camping facilities with level, forested sites, and a playground. The park runs nature and informative programs throughout the summer months.
This area is on the bird migration flyway, making the park a mecca for birdwatchers.
For more information please call (519) 874-4691 or visit the website at