book camping in ontario reopening plan

Camping in Ontario opens Friday in provincial parks but you will need reservations

You can book camping in Ontario starting Friday under the province's Step 1 reopening plan and with a sweltering hot summer expected this year, a trip to a cool lake is a welcome prospect.

Along with short-term rentals, overnight camping is one of the permitted activities under Stage 1, which begins on Friday, June 11.

"This means that Ontario Parks is resuming overnight stays on campground and backcountry campsites and in roofed accommodations including cabins, yurts and cottages," reads a statement on the Ontario Parks website.

But don't pack up the car just yet.

While Ontario Parks says reservations are not always necessary, popular parks such as Killbear Provincial Park, Sandbanks Provincial Park and Pinery Provincial Park fill up quickly. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance.

Last year, Sandbanks Provincial Park was so overwhelmed with visitors, they are asking people to plan ahead before heading out this summer.

Ontario Parks notes some operations may not be offered, or are being offered on a limited basis, due to COVID-19, such as group camping and picnic shelter rentals.

They advise checking the park you want to visit on the Ontario Parks website. Current information is also listed on each park’s social media channels.

On each channel, you will find site-specific information. For example, if you were looking forward to a campfire, maybe give Algonquin Park a miss: It's got a total fire ban.

Outside of the provincial park system, Bruce Peninsula National Park is also open for overnight camping, but reservations are needed from now to October.

If you can't get a camping spot, parks are open for day use, and from Monday to Thursday they are free this year.

Make sure to respect the park during your visit by picking up your trash to leave the area just as beautiful as you found it.

Lead photo by

Scott Goodwill

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