Have your vacation days run out, but you’re still longing for a quality adventure in the countryside?
These quick weekend getaways provide all the solitude of the Ontario countryside and the chance to return to the office early on Monday morning.
Frontenac Provincial Park
3.5 hours from Toronto, 2 hours from Ottawa
Frontenac Provincial Park offers backcountry camping at specific sites year-round. Located in the Frontenac Arch, the park offers visitors a rocky northern landscape of southern Ontario.
Campsites are located in clusters on lakes inside the park and must be accessed by walking or paddling. Each campsite has its own 4 x 4m tent platform, campfire area, bench and picnic table. A closed private bathroom is shared in each group of camps.
Kawartha Highlands Signature Park
3 hours from Toronto, 3.5 hours from Ottawa
You’ll fall in love with the rugged, rolling landscape of small lakes, wetlands, forests and rocky moors in the Kawartha Highlands. The park offers more than 100 backcountry campsites spread across six recommended canoe loops.
Most sites have three tent platforms, a designated campfire area, a picnic table, and a private bathroom. The campsites can only be reached by canoe and most require transportation to access.
Grundy Lake Provincial Park
4 hours from Toronto
Grundy Lake Provincial Park offers nine backcountry campsites located on several inland lakes. A short 5-20 minute canoe ride will take you to your campsite. At each campsite you’ll find a picnic table, space for tents, and a nearby bathroom. Grundy’s mixed forest makes it a beautiful gateway between northern and southern Ontario.
Grundy Lake backcountry sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis through October 9. There is usually plenty of space, but you can always call the park to check before getting in the car.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
3 hours from Toronto, just over 2 hours from Ottawa
Weekend canoe rentals available at the park through October 20
With spectacular forest and magnificent Mazinaw Rock rising 100m above the lake, backcountry camping and exploring Bon Echo is a fall adventure that’s sure to create lasting memories.
There are twenty-five canoe campgrounds located on Joeperry and Pearson lakes. From the car park there is a 500 m shuttle to the take-off point. Then you can get to all the sites quickly: a 10-30 minute drive will take you to your campsite.
At each campsite you’ll find a picnic table, space for tents, and a nearby bathroom. The park is open until October 21.
Massasauga Provincial Park
3 hours from Toronto
Massasauga Provincial Park offers 135 backcountry campsites located on several inland lakes. A short 5-20 minute canoe ride will take you to your campsite. At each campsite you’ll find a picnic table, space for tents, and a nearby bathroom. Paddle the clear blue waters of Georgian Bay and explore the wilderness and windswept islands.