We’ve got no beef with Algonquin. The park seldom disappoints. But the drive up there can be a drag; it’s a hearty distance, and the traffic sucks. Plus, it’s such an obvious choice. Here are a few of our other favourite camping destinations, all within about three hours of town.
Silent Lake Provincial Park
Distance: 220 km
If you’re looking for solitude, this aptly named park features a landlocked lake just north of Apsley with a number of walk-in camping sites and some 15 kilometres of hiking and mountain biking trails encircling the lake. 613-339-2807
Georgian Bay Island National Park
Distance: 140 km
This is a big park – and an easy place to lose yourself in natural beauty and forget about all things urban. Also, it’s an island, so bring a boat unless you want to ride the water taxi. 705-526-9804
Turkey Point Provincial Park
Distance: 160 km
South of the city, past the smog veil of Hamilton and located on Lake Erie is Turkey Point. Featuring bluff-top camping sites, marshes, and an oak savannah, it’s one of the few provincial parks with its own golf course. 519-426-3239
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Distance: 300 km
Just northwest of Kingston, this history-packed destination features some 260 native pictographs on its rock faces. It also provides rugged hiking adventures and a backwoods camping experience via the Abes and Essens trails. 613-336-2228
Image courtesy of mungobah.