For a quick getaway into nature, head to Algonquin Provincial Park and spend a few nights camping under the stars. Wake up on the shores of a calm lake. Sit around a campfire and watch the smoke rise through the trees. Listen to the songs of the loons and the howls of the wolves as you drift off to sleep.
Algonquin Provincial Park is the most popular park in Ontario for camping, with many campgrounds to accommodate large numbers of campers. Most of these are located along the Highway 60 Corridor, about three hours north of Toronto, where many of the hiking trails are located. Also nearby are a restaurant, convenience store, and bike rental shop, adding an element of simplicity to the whole experience.
Camping Achray it’s a beautiful spot on the east side of the park off the Trans-Canada Highway (417) and attracts campers from Ottawa, about three hours away, and from other areas east of the park.
Campgrounds range from large, crowded, and energetic to small, quiet, and peaceful. Families often prefer the larger campgrounds with nice waterfront areas, while nature lovers opt for the smaller campgrounds or those that provide more privacy between sites.
Regardless of your preference, if you’re camping between the beginning of July and the first week of September, the campgrounds are very busy and you’ll definitely want to make reservations well in advance. To sort through the options, check out our list of the best campgrounds in Algonquin.
Note: Some businesses may temporarily close due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. Two Rivers Lake Camp
With a prime location along Highway 60, Lake of Two Rivers has the most beautiful camping setting in the entire park. Huge pine trees tower over the campsites, and a long stretch of soft sand along the shores of the Lake of Two Rivers lies in front of the campsite. Along the edge of the camp is the Madawaska River.
You can rent canoes and paddle from the beach to explore the lake or river. A roped off swimming area is perfect for kids and families. On the edge of the campsite is the Two Rivers Store, with groceries and supplies, a restaurant and ice cream parlor, and bike rentals.
This is a large camp with 241 sites, many of which are electric. Most of the sites are extremely large.
The two loops near the beach are very open, with little to no privacy between sites, but offer easy access to shore. The two loops further back offer much better campsites with brush under pine trees offering some visual obstruction between sites. The further back you go, the quieter the sites, with more weeds and more privacy.
During peak hours July and August, including Labor Day weekend, this campground is busy and, due to the volume of campers, can be quite noisy. It has a bustling feel to it, so if you’re looking for a quiet, woodsy experience, it’s best to try a smaller campground.
if you come here midweek in spring or fall, this campground is perfect, with fewer campers and a beautiful, peaceful setting.
2. Pog Lake Camp
Pog Lake Campground has a lovely setting along a section of shoreline at Pog Lake and the Madawaska River, just off Highway 60. The sites are very large, scattered among mature pine trees, and many of the sites have beautiful views. The undergrowth between the sites lends itself to privacy. It’s hard to go wrong finding a site at this campground.
Section C, which is surrounded by water on three sides, both by Pog Lake and the Madawaska River, offers quiet, private and well-spaced sites, perfect for those seeking peace and quiet, but is quite far from the beach area.
Section A It is where the main beach is located and it is a good area for families want to access the bathing areas. The oceanfront sites, ranging from approximately sites 107 to 112, are open and offer little privacy but have a good water view and easy beach access. The beach here is shallow and ideal for children.
Pog has a mix of electric and non-electric sites, as well as a radio and pet-free area for those looking to escape the noise.
Also noteworthy is the old Rail Bike Trail, which is easily accessible from Pog Lake Campground. From here, you can bike to Lake of Two Rivers Campground and Two Rivers Store, and further to the Track and Tower Hiking Trail. Heading in the opposite direction, you can also bike to Whitefish Lake; Coon Lake Campground; and Rock Lake, where the Booth’s Rock hiking trail begins.
3. Camp Achray
This beautiful campground on the east side of Algonquin Provincial Park sits along a beautiful stretch of coastline in big Lake, with beautiful beach areas.
Canada’s famed Group of Seven artist Tom Thompson visited and also worked as a ranger in this area between 1913 and 1916. Several of his paintings were inspired by the scenery around Grand Lake, including the oil painting, The Jack Pine.
Located about 50 kilometers down a gravel road off the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 417), the campground has a remote feel. The 45 campsites in this camp they are well spaced and many are facing the sea.
Many campers come here to canoe or kayak. You can paddle on Grand Lake and shuttle to nearby lakes for day trips. Alternatively, you can set up a chair on the beach and spend the day soaking up the sun. Nearby are a number of hiking trails, including the spectacular 1.5-kilometre Barron’s Canyon Trail that looks out over the 100 meter walls of Barron Canyon. This is one of the best hikes in Algonquin Park.
This campsite is the most convenient for campers coming from destinations east of the park, like Ottawa, instead of Toronto. The drive to Achray from Toronto is over 5.5 hours, but from Ottawa, the travel time is about three hours.
4. Mew Lake Camp
Mew Lake Campground has a tranquil atmosphere, with a mix of waterfront sites and forest sites. The vegetation here is mainly small pine trees and a good amount of ground cover for privacy. Sites are large and well spaced and for the most part do not face other sites but rather wooded areas or water.
From this campsite you can access the Old Rail Bike Trail, which leads to the Track and Tower hiking trail, as well as other lakes. Unfortunately, the campground is very close to Highway 60, so traffic noise can be an issue for light sleepers.
Mew Lake Campground also has several yurts available for rent.
5. Kearney Lake Campground
The closest campsite to East Gate on Highway 60, Kearney Lake Campground has 104 sites, many of which are lakefront or wetland areas. This is a great camp for people looking to enjoy nature in a quiet and rustic environment.
The sites are small and designed to accommodate tents, and there are no electrical sites. While there is a comfort station with restrooms and showers on circuit 201 to 243, the rest of the facilities are simply pit toilets.
The campground is located on Kearney Lake, and both loops offer a variety of waterfront sites. The waterfront sites on loop 201 to 243 are exceptional, with beautiful views of the lake.
6. Canisbay Lake Campground
On the shores of Lake Canisbay, just off Highway 60 near the Track and Tower hiking trail, this campground has a different setting than many of the other park campgrounds. The trees here are deciduous, making it a good choice for fall camping when the leaves change color.
Most of the campsites are in wooded loops instead of waterfront. The campsite has a total of 242 sites, with areas free of electricity, no electricity and radio and pets. Despite the large number of sites, the campground does not feel crowded or even large. The loops are well spaced and many of the sites are well spaced.
The abundance of leaves, unlike pine-dominated sites, provides a visual barrier and blocks out some of the surrounding noise from other campers. Most of the sites here are medium in size.
7. Camp Rock Lake
Camp Rock Lake established eight kilometers from highway 60, making it slightly less convenient for hikers, but a good option for canoeists and kayakers. From the beach, you can paddle out on Rock Lake and the waterways beyond.
The rock lake electric area, which overlooks a glorious stretch of lake and beach, offers almost no privacy between sites. The sites are small and a lot of people come here with RVs, making the whole area look like a parking lot when it’s busy.
The non-electric sites, on a different circuit, offer a bit more privacy but are still relatively small. The real advantage of camping here is access to the lake.
Nearby is Coon Lake Campground, with very little scenery or atmosphere.
8. Tea Lake
Tea Lake is the first campground you reach in the park when entering from the West Gate along Highway 60. Its location, away from the main hikes and activities in the center of the park, makes it feel a bit remote. However, if you want a small and quiet campsite, this is an option, although it lacks a certain visual appeal.
There is only 42 sites, all of which are non-electric. The sites are small and basic. Many of the sites face the ocean, but the views are mostly obscured by the cedar trees that line the shore. The facilities here are excellent, with flushing showers and toilets.
Camping at Tea Lake is a good option if you plan on canoeing, with access to Canoe Lake and Smoke Lake, or heading to the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail, about five miles west of here.
Reservations can be made up to five months in advance through the Ontario Parks Online Reservation System or by phone. If you plan to camp in July or August, you’ll need to make a reservation to ensure you secure a camping spot. Campsites can be booked for a maximum of 23 consecutive nights. Cancellation of reservations less than four months in advance will incur a fee.