Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
Family Parks in the Near North

Summer is here and now is the perfect time for a last-minute family road trip!

During the busy summer months, the solution to finding a quiet camping trip is to head north. Here are some parks close to the north that we suggest visiting with your little ones.

Windy Lake Provincial Park

Just outside Sudbury, Windy Lake contains one of the longest sandy beaches in the region. This park is a good central base for exploring the area with your family.

The trip between Windy Lake and Sudbury follows the Onaping River, which is one of the most scenic routes in the region.

View of the water from the beach.

A favorite of Sudburians, it is a great place for children. It has a large playground and many spectacular places for picnics.

On the list of things you must see during your stay is Onaping Falls. Just south of the park on Highway 144 at AY Jackson Lookout, a trail takes you through the valley to the impressive waterfall.

Half an hour north of Windy Lake is Halfway Lake Provincial Park, which features an extensive trail system through the rugged southern edge of the Boreal Forest.

aerial view over a swamp and a forest

Do you want to enjoy more local attractions? Windy Lake is just 45 minutes from Sudbury, home to Science North, an innovative science center perfect for families, and Dynamic Earth, which explores the earth, its rocks, and descends into a hard rock mine for a tour.

Finlayson Point Provincial Park

On a small peninsula surrounded by the waters of Lake Temagami, Finlayson Point is another great basecamp for family exploring.

sunset over the lake

Lake Temagami is huge: 40 kilometers from north to south! It is home to over 1,200 islands and is the center of world-class canoeing. The park’s boat dock and docks make exploring easy. Boating, fishing and paddling are the main activities on the big lake.

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fire tower near the park

There is much to explore in the area, including the Temagami Fire Tower, just west of the park. Travel north and you’ll discover the historic town of Cobalt, once the richest silver mining region in the world.

Visitors exploring one of the many buildings at the logging camp on Marten RiverOne of the historic buildings to explore in Marten River

You can also travel south to Marten River Provincial Park and explore a reconstructed logging camp from the early 20th century.

Mikisew Provincial Park

Mikisew means “eagle” in Anishinaabe and the park sits on the shores of scenic Eagle Lake. A popular fishing destination for both people and birds, Mikisew has a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy.

canoe on the lake

Mikisew is located in the Almaguin Highlands, a rugged forested region west of Algonquin. The park’s two campsites each have a different character.

The Pines Campground is nestled among a towering pine forest, with large sites and a short bike ride from the beach.

View of the tall pine trees at the pine campsite.pine campsite

Hardwoods Campground has secluded sites with lots of greenery between sites and lots of privacy. Hardwoods is ideal for campers with young children as it is located within walking distance of the beach.

Dog in off-leash exercise area

The day-use beach is also home to the park’s off-leash dog beach and exercise area. The large fenced area has picnic tables and a small sandy beach. Park visitors can picnic, throw a ball, or swim with their pet off-leash in this area.

A visitor tries his hand at disc golf in Mikisew.

Something unique about Mikisew is its 18-hole disc golf course. Disc golf is very similar to regular golf, but it is played with frisbee-type discs and the holes look a bit like basketball hoops.

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Mikisew is open through Thanksgiving. If you are a family that loves camping in the fall, Mikisew and its autumn colors will be the ideal place for you!

Six Mile Lake Provincial Park

Don’t want to travel too far from the city? Six Mile Lake has a picturesque northern landscape of pine forest, pink bedrock, and bright blue lakes.

A member of staff and a visitor view the beautiful scenery of Six Mile from a boardwalk.

The park has three sandy beaches, all within walking distance of the campground, and one for four-legged friends. Six Mile Lake Bay is protected from motor boats, making it an ideal spot for canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and paddleboards.

dock with boats

Six Mile has several hiking trails that link together, allowing you to explore the many types of landscapes and habitats the park contains. The Living Edge Trail has been designated an “Amazing Place,” one of 20 in the UNESCO Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.

A glacial erratic, a huge boulder left behind thousands of years ago by glacial ice, sits on the shore of Lake Hardy.

For hiking enthusiasts, Hardy Lake Provincial Park is located half an hour east of Six Mile and contains an 8 km loop that circles the picturesque lake. Several smaller loops can be added to extend the hike.

Other local attractions include the Big Chute Marine Railway. As part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, it transports ships overland. It is the only one of its kind in North America.

Learn more about planning your trip to Six Mile Lake!

Wait, there’s more!

On top of everything else, each park offers our Discovery program. Families with children can join park staff to participate in a Discovery program during the months of July and August.

Discovery Guide staff member exploring a visitor's findings during the incredible insect program.

Discovery guides can help you explore the park, observe plants and animals, and discover the wonders of nature. For more information, keep an eye on the weekly calendar of events posted throughout the park.

What are you waiting for?

Book your Near North adventure today!