Camping is one of my favourite fall activities. I’ve been camping ever since I was old enough to be carried up a mountain without too much complaining, and I’ve seen my fair share of parks in Ontario. If you love the outdoors and want to find somewhere new to go, these are my top 5 camping spots in Ontario during the fall!
5. Rockwood Conservation Area (Rockwood, ON)
I grew up living in Rockwood and Guelph, so this conservation area was my go-to for camping or a day hike. Less than a 20-minute drive or 45 minutes by GO bus, this park is the easiest on this list to get to from Guelph and it’s certainly worth it. This site offers secluded trails, beautiful old ruins, caving activities, and more. The campground is situated away from the main beach hand has a mix of trailer and more private tent sites, so campers have a bit of privacy from the busyness of the day traffic throughout the park. Check this one out if you have a study break!
4. Flower Pot Island (Bruce Peninsula, ON)
If you like backwoods camping, then this is the spot for you! Situated on Georgian Bay, this campsite is about a 4-hour drive and a boat ride away from Guelph, but it’s worth it. Walking along the island, you can see the crystal clear water of Georgian Bay everywhere you go – though I wouldn’t recommend swimming, as the temperature of the water never gets higher than about 6 degrees there. When camping here you are completely isolated at night; there’s no one on the island but you and any other campers, as there aren’t any residences on the island. This makes for a serene, fun backwoods trip.
3. Magnetawan River System (Magnetawan, ON)
This site makes for a great canoe trip. At 3 ½ hours away, any part of the Muskoka area is beautiful. I went here for a 5 day canoe trip with my class in high school and can’t wait to go back! With this trip, you have the unique choice of either staying in the more populated cottage area or going deeper into the river system and finding yourself more isolated. There’s a multitude of campsites along the river, so you never have to worry about finding somewhere to sleep. Most are also close to hiking trails, so if you would like to stay in one place there are still things to do. Not to mention the fall landscape itself is breathtaking!
2. Cyprus Lake (Tobermory, ON)
Back to the Bruce Peninsula with this one, you might recognize this more as the Grotto just outside of Tobermory. Almost a 4-hour drive from Guelph, this campsite is back on the mainland as opposed to Flowerpot Island. This site also offers a more populated campground with amenities like showers and a camp store if needed. This site is also home to the grotto, a hollowed out cave on Georgian Bay. If the water level isn’t high, you can climb right down into the grotto and be right at the water level. Even the water level is high, if you’re brave enough to jump into the <4-degree water (this is the temperature in August) you can swim your way over from the beach. It’s a cold swim (believe me), but tons of fun!
1. Killarney Provincial Park (Killarney, ON)
I don’t think I can say enough good things about this park. At almost a 5 hour drive from Guelph, this park is the farthest away, but is completely worth it! Whether you intend to stay at the main campground and enjoy some of the daily activities, go deeper into the park via canoe, or take a multi-day backpacking trip (the La Cloche trail takes 6-10 days to complete from end to end), this park has something for everyone. The white quartz La Cloche mountains make for some beautiful views, and if you’re there at the right time, you might even catch the Northern Lights or a shooting star or two. Personally, this park is my favourite place I have ever been and I can’t wait to go back.