campsites near toronto

The top 5 campsites near Toronto

Campsites near Toronto get booked fast -- especially at those parks within easy driving distance. If you want to ensure that you get a spot at a provincial park on a busy weekend in the summer, you'll have to book well in advance. That said, many of these parks have ample campsites available during the week and in the spring and fall for those who haven't made an early reservation.

Here are my picks for the top campsites near Toronto.

Balsam Lake
Balsam Lake is about an hour and a half drive from Toronto in the Kawarthas. It's one of the province's best campgrounds on account of its sandy beach, ample shady campsites, and the presence of an on-site laundromat for those staying more than a weekend. On the whole, this is a well-maintained and picturesque park that's easy to access from the big city.

Sand Banks
Sand Banks has become an increasingly attractive campsite with the rise of Prince Edward County as a wine destination, and it was already pretty great before this added bonus. The beach area is excellent (even if the water is a bit cool for much of the year), cycling in the area is superb, and there's even a restaurant on site.

Bon Echo
Bon Echo is consistently ranked among the top provincial parks on account of its stunning terrain, aboriginal petroglyphs, hiking trails, and high number of secluded campsites. There are even walk-in campsites for those who prefer to get as far away from it all as possible.

Located on Georgian Bay, Killbear's rugged terrain has been a hit with Ontario campers for decades. It's a longer drive from Toronto than, say, Balsam Lake, but the reward is more scenic campsites, better hiking trails, and the feeling that you're in the Canadian north.

Algonquin is the ultimate provincial park, with a host of different camping options from portage trips to rustic ranger cabins to car access sites. It's also one of the most gorgeous places in Ontario, and well equipped with various outfitters and supply shops. The park is a must-visit place for those who aren't lucky enough to own a cottage.

What's your favourite campsite within a few hours of Toronto? Let us know in the comments. Photo by Bastian Sander

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