Looking for a last-minute place to camp in Ontario near Toronto or Kingston or between
July 30, 2012 4:41 PM   Subscribe

We're looking for a place to camp in Ontario either near Toronto, or near Kingston or inbetween the two - last minute (aka tomorrow or the day after), probably car-camping.

Due to other plans falling through, we are trying to take a last minute camping trip for a few days before spending the weekend in Kingston (coming from Toronto). Ideally, we would like to camp in the wilderness, but as we are travelling with a disabled person (mildly intellectually and physically disabled teen) and a not very fit older person (mid-fifties, overweight), we aren't able to do any serious hiking or canoeing to the backcountry sites that we are familiar with. Also, it being the long weekend coming up, just about every single provincial park we have called is booked solid.

So we are looking for suggestions for any sort of place to camp - provincial/national park, conservation area, town campground, private campground. More private/wild is better, but we understand that we'll be limited in options.

We need a place that we can drive to, or at least where the walk in is less than 1/2 hour. But we don't require any kind of amenities - we are happy without electricity or running water. We have the equiptment to get by without anything being provided (water pump, camping stove, etc). Ideally, there would be a river/lake to get water from to pump clean and to swim in.

Also, if we can't be in the middle of nowhere, being somewhere historic would be awesome (our Kingston plans already include a night sleeping at Fort Henry in the 19th century barracks).
posted by Dreadnought to Travel & Transportation around Ontario, ON (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just to be clear, you checked and Sandbanks Provincial Park is full mid week?

If that's the case I suggest Silent Lake Provincial Park. Its a bit north of where you are but a quite "rustic-ish" car camping location (bring bug spray).
posted by saradarlin at 4:51 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can search Ontario provincial parks online.

My family always used to camp at Bon Echo which I have fond memories of. It's big, lots of campgrounds. The campground we always stayed at was very family-friendly with hot showers and lots of kids running around and a short walk to the beach, but there are some that are more remote. Might have something that works for you.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:56 PM on July 30, 2012

If you don't mind driving an hour-ish southwest of Toronto, you might like one of the Grand River parks - such as Rockwood.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:02 PM on July 30, 2012

Silent Lake is lovely - just north of Peterborough. Likely to be booked, but give it a try. Also try Sibbald Point - one hour straight north on the DVP/404/Hwy 48. Or Darlington Park - off the 401 near Bowmanville or Port Hope.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:22 PM on July 30, 2012

Normally for Kingston I'd recommend camping on Wolfe Island (largest of the Thousand Islands) by taking the free ferry from Kingston. There's a campground called High Low Hickory at the north east tip but I'll be damned if I can find a website for them, so call ahead as I haven't been there in about five years, nice quiet grassy place with some trees, close to the shoreline.

The big caveat right now is that the Wolfe Island Music Fest (Sam Roberts, woo!) is on this coming weekend, which could be either a pro or a con.
posted by furtive at 9:50 PM on July 30, 2012

We've booked into Silent Lake - thank you all - we're lucky to be going today until Friday, as it and every other park south of Sudbury is booked solid.

Now we just have to see how many thunderstorms we hit on the way.
posted by Dreadnought at 11:12 AM on July 31, 2012

Oh, we're arriving at Silent Lake on Saturday to stay for a week. Enjoy!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:03 PM on July 31, 2012

We just got in from Silent Lake. Such a lovely time. Thanks everybody!
posted by Dreadnought at 5:37 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

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