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Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario

Pull on your long johns and enjoy Ontario's best winter camping wonderlands.
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Pull on your long johns and enjoy Ontario’s best winter camping wonderlands

Winter camping is one of the hottest trends in outdoor adventure. Why let your winter run end at dusk. Spend the night in the great outdoors for a unique experience you’ll rave about for months. Best part, You don’t have to be an experienced camper to try. From fully catered, resort-like settings, to heated cabins and yurts, or tents and RV camping in Ontario Parks, there’s something for everyone. Pull on your long johns and pack the hot chocolate: Here are 10 winter camping destinations worth the drive.

#1: Algonquin Park: Whitney, ON (self guided)

Winter activities: The most famous of Ontario’s provincial parks, majestic Algonquin Provincial Park is unrivaled for its wildlife viewing and incredible vistas. Enjoy it while cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or hiking.
Lodgings: Mew Lake Campground has winter camping campsites, RV hookups and fully equipped yurts (heaters, outdoor propane BBQ and fire pit, beds, dining table) with a heated comfort station (toilets, showers, drinking water). Backcountry trips into the park interior require skis or snowshoes.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (320 km?) 4 hours?
from Ottawa: ?(262 km) 3 ? hours

Snow Shoeing

#2: Algonquin Park: guided activities

Winter activities: From dogsledding tours to culinary lessons, yoga retreats and maple-syrup discovery tours, guided adventures are a luxurious entry point to winter camping.
Lodgings: Private tour outfitters will put you up in heated log cabins, chalets or lodges close to or inside the park. All meals are provided.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (320 km) 4 hours
from Ottawa:?(262 km) 3 ? hours

dog sledding

#3: Arrowhead Provincial Park, Huntsville, ON

Winter activities: Although known for its skiing, snowshoeing and tubing, this beautiful park has become famous for its epic 1.5 km-long ice skating trail.
Lodgings: Heated, fully equipped winter camping cabins and yurts near a comfort station with bathrooms.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (226 km) 2 ? hours
from Ottawa:?(347 km) 5 hours

#4: Camp Wanakita, Haliburton

Winter activities: This YMCA camp in Haliburton is the perfect place for bonfires, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and broomball. All gear is provided, and when kids need to warm up, they can head indoors for games and crafts.
Lodgings: Family cabins, shared bathroom facilities, all meals in a communal dining hall.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto:?(212 km) 2 ? hours
from Ottawa: (296 km) 4 hours

Family winter camping at a campfire

#5: Killarney Provincial Park, Killarney, ON

Winter activities: Wildlife viewing, hiking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing on the iconic Georgian Bay Coast made famous by painters including Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson.
Lodgings: Heated and fully equipped yurts. Heated bathroom at the park office.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (396 km) 5 hours

from Ottawa: (550 km) 7 hours

Georgian Bay Coastline

#6: MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Port Elgin, ON

Winter activities: You won?t see any of the carnivorous plants this eco-system is known for, but you can snow shoe, cross country ski, ice skate on a 400 meter oval, or stroll along 7 km of frozen Lake Huron coastline. (Don?t forget your camera!)
Lodgings: Fully equipped yurts, RV hookups and comfort station.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (238 km) 3 ? hours

from Ottawa: (671 km) 7 ? hours

#7: Pinery Provincial Park, Grand Bend, ON

Winter activities: Hiking, snowshoeing or skiiing 38 km of groomed trails. Birders can spot red tailed hawks, tufted titmice at the Visitor Centre birdfeeders. In March, thousands of tundra swans migrate through the area.
Lodgings: Fully equipped yurts and one fully equipped cabin, both near a comfort station.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto:?(236 km) 3 hours
from Ottawa:?(669 km) 7 hours

red-tailed hawk

#8: Silent Lake , Bancroft, ON

Winter activities: Over 40 km of groomed cross-country ski trails beckon. Snowshoe a 3 km snowshoe trail, or try your hand at ice fishing.
Lodgings: Fully equipped yurts and a day-use comfort station.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto:?(222 km) 2 ? hours
from Ottawa:?(247 km) 3 hours

ice fishing

#9: Atelier Arboreal Winter Camping, Wiarton ON

Winter activities: This private camp located in the Bruce Peninsula between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron offers a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and cave or escarpment exploration tours.
Lodgings: Wood-fire-heated yurts and tipis, where you sleep on beds of evergreen boughs. Guests can access a shared log sauna. All meals are provided, including alfresco lunch enjoyed during a guided winter activity.

Road Trip Travel Time:

from Toronto: (220 km) 3 ? hours

from Ottawa: (653 km) 7 hours

Winter camping in a teepee

#10: ?Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, ON

Winter activities: Take in views of towering cliffs and rugged coastline on a cross-country ski tour, or explore by snowshoe or winter hiking. Social skiiers should look into the Sawmill Classic in January and Cross Quetico in March.
Lodgings: The Chippewa Campground has two yurts.

Road Trip Travel?Time:

from Toronto: (1570 km) 18 hours
from Ottawa:?(1676 km) 20 hours

Winter hiking

By Yuki Hayashi

More: Top 10 Winter Road Trips in Alberta

More: Riding the Ontario Highlands Road Trip

More:

  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario
  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario
  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario
  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario
  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario
  • Top 10 winter camping destinations in Ontario

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