In July, we decided to take a trip up to Northern Ontario to some Ontario Provincial Parks. and we were gone about 3 1/2 weeks.
(We did go to Algonquin Park in June for a few days, here is a link to that Blog post ………….Algonquin Park – Let there be Moose!)
So for anyone unfamiliar with Ontario Provincial Parks, here’s the scoop…………
Ontario Provincial Parks – there are approximately 330 Parks encompassing over 82,000 km2, which is 8% of Ontario’s landmass. There are more than 100 parks with camping/facilities; this translates to over 19,000 car camping sites and over 8,000 backcountry sites.
The Ministry has different types of Parks; Recreation (camping), Cultural Heritage (i.e. Petroglyphs), Natural Environment (Algonquin, Lake Superior), Nature Reserve (natural habitats and landforms), Waterway Class (i.e. French River) and Wilderness (Quetico, Killarney)
Ontario has a lot of Parks and Clint and I have been to 60+ Parks to car camp/backcountry camp. We have also been to a number of the other types of Parks, too many to count.
This trip we were going to stay at five different Parks; Arrowhead and Restoule, both places we had been to before. We also went to three new ones that we have never stayed at; Mikisew, Marten River and Kap-Kig-Iwan.
Our first stop was at Arrowhead Provincial Park, just a tad north of Huntsville. If you haven’t been to the town of Huntsville, it’s the quintessential “Cottage Country” town, in my opinion. Set right on the water, they have a beautiful downtown. Waterfront restaurants, cute stores, a brewery and more. We like to sit on the deck at Boston Pizza and watch all the boat traffic. It’s a fair sized city, spread out all over the place, it can be confusing to drive around at times. The downtown core is my favourite, park and walk the streets and see all the sights.
Arrowhead Provincial Park is only a few minutes outside of Huntsville and is home to Arrowhead and Mayflower Lakes, as well as the Big East River. There are 3 campgrounds, 4 beach areas, dog beach, 7 trails ranging in length from 1.5 – 5 kms and you can bike or hike 2 of the trails. The Comfort stations are nice and the Sanitation Station is well thought out, lots of room to get around trailers that are dumping if you choose not to wait.
We stayed in Roe Campground and all the sites are pretty large and private.
They have a Visitor Centre and a store (mostly souvenir type items). They do sell firewood and ice but if you need grocery items, Huntsville is your best bet.
It’s a nice walk to the falls. We were here a couple of years ago and after a big long rainstorm, the amount of water was unbelievable. The second photo below shows people swimming at the bottom of the falls, you would not have been swimming that year, so much water.
We weren’t here very long and we are staying here again on our way back home so a second Blog post will be coming soon on this Park with more photos and information. It’s a nice park, lots to do, it is not one of my favourite parks, but we like the area so we do stay here every once in a while. Why is it not one of my favourite parks? Probably because we have been here quite often and there is not as much to do, for us, as we would like. If you have kids and/or just want to relax, it’s a great park.
Next Stop…………….Mikisew Provincial Park…………