It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, and the water is calling us to take a dip. While 2020 has been far from a typical summer, we have some good news. Ontario’s campgrounds have been slowly reopening over the course of the past month or so. In other words: so long as you respect social-distancing policies, there’s no reason not to venture out into the great outdoors!
Here are five campgrounds near Toronto to consider checking out while the weather is warm…
1) Balsam Lake Provincial Park
Less than two hours from Toronto, you’ll find a provincial park that’s home to some of the most incredible sunsets in southern Ontario. The Trent Severn Waterway is part of this stunning area, which is well-known for its wildlife—including foxes, beavers, and deer. There’s also no shortage of fun activities to enjoy, from swimming and fishing to canoeing and hiking. You can even hit up the Balsam Lake Farmers Market! Between its natural beauty, its abundance of things to do, and its variety of campsites, Balsam Lake Provincial Park is a must-visit.
2) Mara Provincial Park
Not far from Orilla, Mara Provincial Park is one of the most popular destinations for Toronto campers. The region’s sandy beach, which is situated on Lake Simcoe, is known as one of the best in Lake Country. The area boasts pristine scenery, yet it’s close to restaurants, gas stations, and even a major casino. There’s also a relatively small campground that offers electrical and non-electrical sites, along with accessible washrooms with showers.
3) Elora Gorge
The Elora Gorge is one of the most alluring regions in the Grand River valley. With cliffs over 20 metres high and majestic rushing rapids, this area is the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in nature. To enjoy the scenery, take a walk along the riverside trail overlooking the water. If you’re more interested in getting active, try kayaking or tubing. There’s something for everybody here, including a wide variety of campsites! Some services may be unavailable due to COVID-19, so be sure to double-check the website before moving forward.
4) Albion Hills Provincial Park
Albion Hills Provincial Park is situated on 486 hectares of pristine forest. Just a one-hour drive from Toronto, this gem is particularly well known for its incredible trails. Whether you’re eager to go hiking in the hills or you’re looking to hop on your mountain bike, this is the ideal place to do it! You’ll also find campsites for tents, trailers, and RVs on-site. Few parks offer the beauty that this gem does, which is why it’s a favourite for those seeking a true nature retreat!
5) Sandbanks Provincial Park
At about a three-hour drive from Toronto, Sandbanks Provincial Park is worth the trip. Here you’ll find three large beaches, scenic trails, and plenty of natural wonders (including the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation). Another reason to visit Sandbanks Provincial Park? It’s in Prince Edward County, a lively island where you’ll find as many buzz-worthy restaurants and wineries as natural landscapes to explore.