Algonquin Park is not only Canada’s oldest provincial park, but one of the most beautiful. The park is located in Ontario, Canada, between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay. The majority of campgrounds are along the Highway 60 corridor, offer plenty of space for large groups and fantastic hiking trails. You will discover delicious restaurants and lovely stores nearby. There is even a shop renting bikes so you can explore the park to your heart’s content.
One of the most gorgeous locations is the Achray Campground. You will find these campgrounds right off of the Trans-Canada Highway on the park’s eastern side. Many campers come from Ottowa since it is just a three-hour drive. The campgrounds to visit are:
- Canisbay Lake
- Coon Lake
- Kearney Lake
- Lake of Two Rivers
- Mew Lake
- Pog Lake
- Rock Lake
- Tea Lake
- Whitefish Group
Some of the campgrounds are filled with energy and excited campers. Others are smaller, peaceful and serene. If you are camping with your family, consider the larger campgrounds with access to beachfront areas. If you are looking for privacy, the smaller campgrounds are quiet and much more secluded. No matter which type of camping experience you prefer, the campgrounds are busy from the beginning of July through the first week of September.
You need to make your reservations in advance. You can make your reservations five months in advance by calling Ontario Parks at 1 (888) 668-7275 or using their online reservation system at www.ontario parks.com. The only way to make certain there will be a campsite available is to book in advance. You can reserve your campsite for as long as 23 consecutive nights.
The on-site recreation is excellent. What is available is dependent on whether you choose RV camping, tent camping or Yurt camping. The comfort stations offer electricity, hot and cold running water and flush toilets. There are also radio free campsites, outdoor fire pits, picnic tables, laundry facilities, vault toilet facilities, propane barbecues, shower facilities, dog-free campsites and swimming beaches.
Algonquin Park offers three stores offering canoe and bike rentals, complete outfitting, gasoline and groceries. The stores are Two Rivers, Portage and Opeongo. Arowhon Pines Resort, Killarney Lodge and Bartlett Lodge offer services for visitors of the park.
Where To Camp
Lake of Two Rivers Campground:
The campground is located along Highway 60. There are enormous pine trees, stretches of sand, and the Madawaska River. Children love the roped-off swimming area. You will find the Two Rivers Store offering supplies and groceries, bike rentals and a restaurant. There are 241 sites, many providing electricity. Algonquin park camping further back is quieter and more private.
Pog Lake Campground:
The campground is located off of Highway 60. The large sites offer you mature pine trees and extraordinary views. Water surrounds three sides of section C, but you will need to take a long walk to reach the beach. The main area is section A which is ideal for families interested in swimming. You will have easy beach access perfect for your kids. You can choose from non-electrical or electrical, pet-free and radio-free sites. The biking trails here are excellent.
You will find this gorgeous campground on the eastern side of the park along the shoreline of Grand Lake. The 45 campsites are more remote with some right on the waterfront. Achray is the ideal place for kayaking or canoeing. You can relax on the beach or take advantage of the majestic hiking trails.
Mew Lake Campground:
The campground is quiet with forest and waterfront sites. You can relax among the small pine trees and enjoy the privacy. You have access to yurts, a lovely bike trail, hiking trails and several lakes. You will be close to Highway 60 so if noise is an issue, you may want to consider a different campground.
Kearney Lake Campground:
This campground is the closest to the East Gate with 104 lake view and wetland areas. Kearney is rustic, tranquil and the best nature has to offer. You will need to bring a tent, but you can visit the comfort station for showers and washrooms. The views of the lake are magnificent.
Canisbay Lake Campground:
This unique campground is right off of Highway 60. Visit in the fall to enjoy the exquisite colors of the deciduous trees. You can choose from 242 non-electrical, electrical, pet-free and radio-free sites. The medium size sites block most of the noise from other campers for a peaceful and relaxing experience.
Rock Lake Campground:
If you have an RV, these small sites are ideal. The location off Highway 60 is perfect for kayaking and canoeing. The electrical area overlooks the beachfront and lake, but there is not much privacy. The non-electrical area offers you small sites with a bit more privacy.
View this post on Instagram
All the colours of the wind. . . . . . #sony #sonyalpha #bealpha #a7iii #sigmalens #sonycamera #landscape #sunset #beautiful #algonquin #camping #forest #nature #park #blue #orange #green #trees #beach #water #lake #cloud #instagood #sunday #colourful #torontophotographer #ontario #goodbyesun
Enter from the West Gate and Tea Lake is the first campground you will see. The 42 non-electrical sites are quiet, small and basic with flush toilets and showers. You can choose a waterfront site and enjoy the cedar trees lining the bank. The location is ideal for hiking and canoeing.
What To Bring
Every camper has different preferences, but the following gear represents good options. A comfortable and easily inflatable air mattress is always nice. During the fall or early spring, you can bring an insulated air mattress to increase your comfort level. Your best options for sleeping bags are warm and compact mummy-style or lightweight down bags as opposed to something bulky.
A tent offers you protection from the elements. You want something reliable and lightweight. The ideal tent depends on the type of expedition you are planning. A camp chair is excellent for enjoying your campfire in style. Despite the numerous pristine lakes, you should treat your water against viruses and bacteria with a chemical or mechanical treatment. Mechanical treatments include gravity bags or pumps. All you need for a chemical treatment are a few tablets.
A stove will enable you to do a lot more than boil water. There are refillable models and single-use canisters. The easiest to use is a refillable fuel stove. You need to bring a large tarp when you are in the woods. Your best option is nylon treated with lightweight silicone. Consider a tarp/bug combination for a more enjoyable experience. Nothing says camping like a spork. A titanium spork will make certain you can enjoy whatever you are eating.
The food you need to bring while camping has not changed in many years, For the first couple of days, you can enjoy frozen or fresh foods. From there, your food should not require refrigeration. Algonquin Park does not allow any bottles or cans. You can keep all of your food safe by hanging a food bag during the nights. You can also purchase groceries at any of the local outfitters or enjoy the restaurants.
Visit one of the local outfitters to rent equipment such as a canoe. If you are not camping near an outfitter, you can usually have your canoe delivered to your campsite. You should stop at an outfitter on your way to your campsite to pick up anything you need. The outfitters are friendly and happy to provide you with excellent information. The chances are good you will be driving for several hours to reach the park.
You should plan your trip to ensure you can reach your campsite without having to get up at two in the morning. If you are traveling a long distance, you can stop at one of the jump-off campsites for the night to arrive fresh and well-rested the next day. There are three stores offering excellent options.
You will find the Opeongo Store at the Access Point. You will discover kayak and canoe rentals, a water taxi service, full outfitting, camping supplies, footwear, groceries, snacks, live bait, a great selection of fish tackle, clothing, souvenirs, gas and ice. You can be taken right to your campsite by the water taxi service.
The Portage Store has been providing canoeists with everything they need since 1937. The Algonquin Park camping store is in the park on Canoe Lake. This is the entrance to the backcountry. The store provides a great selection of rental options and outfitting services including camping equipment, kayaks, canoes and backcountry camping packages. The store is well stocked with everything you need for your camping trip. The restaurant has a beautiful view of Canoe Lake and 100 seats. You can treat yourself to a hearty breakfast or enjoy a relaxing dinner.
The Lake of Two Rivers Store offers fresh fruit and produce, an in-store bakery, frozen and fresh meats, groceries, dairy and sundries. You can purchase a complete range of fishing and camping supplies. The cafe and grill offers delicious prime cut burgers, different wraps, fresh-cut french fries, sandwiches and fresh garden salads. You can enjoy 16 different ice cream cones, sundaes and milkshakes at the dairy bar. You can also rent both fat bikes and mountain bikes at the store.