9 Best Winter Camping Spots In Ontario

From Beginner To Expert

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Winter camping isn’t as extreme or hardcore as people think. At least it doesn’t have to be. Winter camping is a great way to enjoy stunning landscapes, fantastic wildlife viewing, beautiful night skies and a bit of solitude. 

For those who are looking to try out winter camping, here are some great locations to check out. 

1. Muskoka – Algonquin Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Trailer, Backcountry, Guided 

Algonquin is ideal if you are new to winter camping, but it’s also a great option for those with more experience. That’s because they have a wide range of winter options from guided expeditions to backcountry camping. 

Their guided camping trips include accommodations, meals and equipment. While adventuring, you’ll enjoy authentic winter camping and learn about heated wall tents and winter backcountry travel skills. 

If you’re looking for a more self-guided experience, Algonquin also has campsites and backcountry camping options. 

Mew Lake Campground has 9 heated yurts with basic furniture as well as a heated cabin that you can rent. They also have RV and tent camping and access to year-round heated facilities with washrooms and showers. Each site is plowed as weather and time permit and most have electrical hookups. 

Backcountry camping is available on Western Uplands Backpacking Trail and Highlands Backpacking Trail. 

During the day, you can enjoy many different activities. Algonquin has numerous trails and frozen lakes to hike and snowshoe, a skating rink with hockey sticks and nets and a 70+ km groomed nordic ski trail. You can also ride a fat bike, dog sled and snowmobile, as well as take maple syrup tours and cooking lessons. 

2. Lake Huron near Grand Bend – Pinery Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Trailer

Pinery Provincial Park is known for its summer beaches and dunes. But did you know that it’s also a great location for winter camping?  

The park has 12 heated and furnished yurts, 4 heated cabins or 2 soft sided shelters. There are also several tent and trailer sites with or without electrical service.  

While visiting Pinery Provincial Park, be sure to check out their 38+ km groomed cross country trails plus more trails for snowshoeing and hiking. These trails weave through Carolinian forests and oak savannas, over ponds and by iconic rock structures. To make the most of your exploration, the park also offers guided tours.  

Pinery also has great tobogganing hills that are lit up at night so you can enjoy them all day long. There’s also a heated chalet that’s perfect for warming up between adventures and a skating rink. 

3. Georgian Bay – Killarney Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Backcountry

Located on the shores of Georgian Bay, the town of Killarney was originally a fur trading post in the 1800s. Today, it is a short way away from Killarney Provincial Park. 

George Lake Campground is open year round with 6 heated yurts and 2 heated cabins for winter camping. The yurts sleep six and have a dining table and countertop with drawers. Some also have a skylight. The cabins are equipped with kitchenettes and propane heaters.  

Pinery also has 30 walk-in tent sites and hundreds of backcountry sites. 

Because Killarney is classified as a wilderness park, there’s a major focus on preserving the natural landscape. That means that camping sites must be accessed by foot, ski or snowshoe. The good news is, each of the cabins and yurts are just 500 m into the park and toboggans are supplied to transport your gear. 

Killarney was also the first Ontario park designated as a dark sky preserve. That means the area is protected against light pollution to preserve the darkness. This makes it a great spot for viewing the night skies. The park even has its own observatory. 

While there are no comfort stations, there are washrooms at the park office. Outhouses are also available, though they are a bit of a walk from the yurts. 

During the day, you can take in mature pine forests and breathtaking landscapes on 35 km of groomed ski trails as well as snowshoe and hiking trails. There is also a winter warm up station that guests can use. 

4. Haliburton Highlands – Silent Lake Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Trailer

Silent lake offers a magical winter experience with a peaceful atmosphere that allows you to really enjoy the world around you. Not to mention, the park’s dark nights are perfect for viewing stars. 

Silent Lake has 10 heated cabins, 8 heated yurts and plenty of drive-up tent sites at Granite Ridge Campground. There’s also a heated day-use comfort station a short drive from these accommodations.  

At the park, you can enjoy more than 40 km of groomed cross country trails as well as 3 km snowshoe trail. While exploring, you will see stunning views of white birch, beechs, hardwoods and cedar swamps. There’s also excellent fishing on Trout Lake for anybody who wants to give ice fishing a try. 

5. Lake Huron near Port Elgin – MacGregor Point Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Trailer

MacGregor Point Provincial Park is a hidden gem when it comes to winter time camping. In fact, many campers choose to ring in the new year at the park while enjoying hot cocoa by the fire. 

RELATED: 9 fun games to play around the campfire …

The park has 8 heated yurts and 4 heated cabins, as well as tent and trailer sites with electric hookups. There’s also a nearby heated comfort station. 

In addition to great camping, MacGregor also has an incredible 400 m ice trail through the trees. At night the trail is lit up for an even more magical experience.

There’s also a great outdoor hockey rink, 11 kms of tracked ski trails and even more unplowed terrain for hiking, snowshoeing and more.

While exploring the park, be sure to stop at the observation tower on Tower Trail. From here you will be able to take in the scenic wetlands. Back at your site, you can look around for animal tracks or even hang a bird feeder to attract a wide variety of birds and critters. 

If you need supplies or even just a taste of civilization, Southampton and Port Elgin are just a short drive away.

6. Almaguin Highlands – Arrowhead Provincial Park 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations, Tent, Trailer 

Arrowhead Provincial Park has 3 different winter campgrounds for you to stay at in the winter. For easy access to the falls, you will want to stay at East River. Roe is best for privacy or you can enjoy the forest covered sites of Lumby. Whichever you choose, you can be sure you’ll have access to a comfort station. 

The biggest draw for Arrowhead visitors is the 15 km stake trail that weaves through the forest. Like MacGregor, the trail is lit at night for an even more unique skating experience. 

In addition to the skate trail, you can also try out the skating rink, 33 km of cross country ski trails and even more snowshoeing routes. For some of the best sites, be sure to check out Beaver Meadow Trail. This trail goes past Porcupine Bluffs to a large beaver pond where you’re sure to spot local wildlife. 

You can even go snow tubing in the middle of the forest. And, if you don’t have your own equipment you can rent it all at the park. 

For accommodations, you can trailer, pitch a tent or rent on of 13 heated camp cabins 

7. Kingston – Frontenac Provincial Park  

Types of Winter Camping: Backcountry

If you’re the type who enjoys the solitude and adventure of backcountry camping then Frontenac is for you. With more than 13,000 acres located on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, you’re sure to find lots to do. 

The park has 48 backcountry sites. Depending on where you park, each site is 20 minutes to 3 hours away. Because the sites are so secluded, campers regularly see wildlife like blue jays, foxes and deer come right by their tents. 

Once settled, you can explore the 100 km skiing and snowshoeing trail system, including 12 km of ski only trails. There are also 22 frozen lakes that offer great views and ice fishing. While adventuring, be sure to keep an eye out for historical sites and the Frontenac Arch located where the Canadian Shield transitions to the Adirondack Mountains. 

There are also lots of events that take place at the park during the winter months including camping workshops and other programs run by Friends of Frontenac. 

8. Wiarton in Bruce Peninsula – Atelier Arboreal 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations

For a unique roofed camping experience, be sure to camp at Atelier Arboreal. Here you will camp in a heated tipi or yurt. At night, you’ll sleep on a bed of evergreen boughs (bedding provided) and listen to hooting owls and the sounds of nature.

During the day, you can go on snowshoe hikes and explore caves, ski through the forest and take guided adventures. There are also some added features to make your experience more luxurious than a provincial park camping stay. This includes access to a sauna and gourmet meals.  

9. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park – Northern Ontario 

Types of Winter Camping: Heated Roofed Accommodations

Located an hour east of Thunderbay, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is a great destination if you’re looking for stunning views of cliffs, mesas, and the Giant itself. You will also be able to take in breathtaking scenery of Lake Superior.  

Sleeping Giant has 5 accessible heated rustic cabins with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a washroom on shore of Marie Louise Lake. There are also 40 backcountry campsites for those with more experience camping outdoors. 

The park also offers 100+ kms of trail and 50 km of ski trails. 

Some popular day trips include the Sea Lion Trail, or the Kabeyun Trail to Tee Harbour. The Marie Louise Lake Viewing Point is also a great spot at sunset if you want to see an unforgettable view of the Giant land formation. 

Winter camping is truly a one of a kind experience that everyone should try at least once. And with so many great camping locations to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your comfort and skill level. 

RELATED: Winter weekend getaways near Barrie …

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