Today’s post comes from Claire Zlobin of LifeWithABaby.com.
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to talk about one of the things I always hear that black people don’t do: camping.
I’ve been hearing for years that “black people don’t camp,” which, of course, is false.
However, I think this discourages some people from trying to go camping, because they feel like they will be others or the only ones there.
I’m here to show you that black people do camping, and that camping is a great low-cost vacation.
Why I love camping
I’ve been camping since I was a teenager.
I met him through a school program and I loved him! I have enjoyed the wellness benefits that the outdoors offers and appreciate all the conveniences available when camping on the cheap.
From beautiful beaches to scenic hiking trails to dazzling stargazing, camping has something for everyone.
By camping, you can access a beachfront vacation for the whole family at an affordable price.
When I became a mom, camping became my children’s favorite activity. For me, it’s a great way for them to engage with nature from a young age and develop a love and appreciation for the outdoors.
I started camping with them early, from backpacking on Lake OSA in Killarney Provincial Park to beach hopping in Awenda Provincial Park. We have organized a party at the campsite to celebrate almost all of their birthdays.
Now I know what you’re thinking…
What about the amenities?
Contrary to the idea that all camping is the same, there are many types of camping available, from cabins to yurts, tents or cars, and then the more adventurous backcountry camping.
In addition to backcountry camping, most Ontario campgrounds are equipped with comfort stations and comfortable, clean restrooms.
Some even have a laundry room with a coin-operated washer and dryer!
If you’re nervous about going camping for the first time, Ontario Parks has resources to make it easier for you to learn how to camp. Check out the Learn to Camp program for great information on camping for beginners.
I had the opportunity to have some memorable camping adventures in parks around Ontario.
These are some of my favorites:
Killarney Provincial Park
My favorite year-round place to camp in Ontario is Killarney.
Killarney has it all: yurts for new people who want to try camping but aren’t ready for tents, absolutely stunning scenery and trails, and warm water for swimming.
There are many trails in Killarney to enjoy the stunning scenery of the park and the beautiful pink granite this area is known for.
Killarney is great all year round. My favorite time to go is in the fall, when you can see all the glorious ways the forest is painted.
Take a day trip into town and take the ferry across to George Island and hike the trail. It is mostly flat and moderately difficult.
On the way back, there are plenty of places to grab ice cream and lunch. My kids always insist on stopping at the “fish and chip place” as they call it, also known as Herbert Fisheries. Don’t worry, you can’t miss it! Just follow the line of people.
Craigleith Provincial Park
Two hours from downtown Toronto, Craighleith is a great place for new campers.
Its proximity to Blue Mountain makes it an excellent base camp for day adventures.
Visit the town of Blue Mountain (just 10 minutes away) or spend a day at the beach at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (30 minutes away).
Even better, you can access Wasaga Beach for free by showing your vehicle’s camping permit.
What makes this park very special are its fossils! Craigleith is one of the few places you can see fossils in Ontario. Fractured plates of shale form its coastline and contain fossils that are 450 million years old.
Massasauga Provincial Park
Massasauga Provincial Park is a great place to try backcountry camping. It’s not too far from the GTA and requires very little paddling.
In just 30 minutes you can get to the campsite from your car.
It is important to note that this park is a protected sanctuary for the Massauaga rattlesnake.
Awenda Provincial Park
Awenda has several beautiful beaches which can be accessed within a short drive from the campsite.
There is one cabin in the park, but it is very popular!
If you are looking for privacy and campsites that offer plenty of shade, Awenda is your place. The trees here are something to behold, and my family and I loved the summer Discovery shows.
Long Point Provincial Park
Long Point Provincial Park is spectacular!
Maybe it’s because it’s inside the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, or maybe it’s because it features a beautiful 1.5-kilometer sandy beach with the warm waters that Lake Erie is famous for.
If that wasn’t enough to get you there, it is very accessible, whether you are traveling with a stroller, wheelchair, or have other accessibility needs.
It is beautiful in the fall and is one of the largest bird and waterfowl migration areas in North America. Long Point is a very special place with lots to see and do.
Try something new!
If you’re not camping because someone told you it’s something we don’t do, then you’re missing out on trying something that’s wonderful and affordable.
Why not book a spot and try your luck camping this summer?