Summer Camping Extravaganza

I am embarking on an eight week, eight park summer camping extravaganza.

Wanderlust much? Stick a lifelong, multiple times a year travel junkie in the middle of a global pandemic and that lust becomes ravenous. With no global or cross country travel on the books for 2020, I am taking to the Ontario Parks system for my fix.

Inspired by questions about these adventures (sometimes solo, sometimes not), I will be reviewing each park I visit with the following criteria.

Distance from Toronto – I don’t camp for more than a few days, 10 being my lifetime record. I don’t have a trailer/RV/mobile home. I don’t own a car and all adventures are done on rental time. Therefore time is something I don’t want to waste too much of driving the 400 series or Trans Canada Highway, when it can be spent lakeside in a hammock. Therefore, pretty much all the parks I visit are ‘close to home’ with 3.5 hours being my general limit, 2-2.5 being the dream scenario.

Oastler Lake Provincial Park

Activities – When I am bored, I eat and drink. I also camp solo at least once a year and while I can spend a day with a book without any trouble, I do like to have options in my park. A lovely hiking trail. Canoe and kayak rentals. An amphitheatre? You get the idea.

Water Access/Quality – While swimming is certainly an activity, it would be an automatic check mark in that category because it is generally expected that every park will have some sort of swimming area. The quality of the beach and water, however, varies greatly, as does the availability of campsites with water access.

Privacy – This may come as a surprise to some, but I don’t really like people. Between you and I, this global pandemic has been a very convenient excuse for not having to interact with humans, all of whom I generally, sweepingly, stereotype as a large bunch of idiots. And I feel this way about people, even when I love them dearly. You see I am an introvert and I like very few humans and only in small doses. This is a long-winded way of saying, I like my privacy.

Facilities – I’m not a princess. I have pooped in a box while back country camping in Algonquin…many times. I have dug latrine holes camping in Newfoundland – and on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. But a park is definitely getting extra points for the ability to flush.

The following series of blogs are reviews of all the campsites I stayed in during the 2020 camping season. Please note week eight is a repeat park and will not be reviewed twice.

2020 Camp Extravaganza:

  1. Balsam Lake Provincial Park
  2. Awenda Provincial Park
  3. Sibbald Point Provincial Park
  4. Six Mile Lake Provincial Park
  5. Oastler Lake Provincial Park
  6. Tea Lake, Algonquin Park
  7. Emily Provincial Park
  8. Oastler Lake (repeat)


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