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Favourite Spots To Camp Around Durham Region
Whether you’re just looking to get outside for the day or researching places to set up camp for a few nights, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite spots in and around Durham Region. For each of these provincial park and conservation area options, check out the individual websites for more details, as well as special events and program offerings.
1600 Darlington Park Rd, Bowmanville, Ont.
This gorgeous park is a favourite of locals and out-of-town visitors alike. It’s open year-round for day use, with camping access in the summer months. With a fantastic trail system and a sandy beach along Lake Ontario, you can enjoy birding, hiking, biking, boating
and canoeing, swimming, fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and more. Park facilities include a playground, picnic shelters, campsites with and without electricity, latrines, showers, laundry facilities and a park store.
26071 York Rd 18 (Park Road), Sutton West, Ont.
While not in Durham Region, this provincial park isn’t far and it’s the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend camping adventure. Located on the shores of Lake Simcoe, you can expect sandy beaches and forested hiking trails, as well as a range of campsites. Amenities include a boat launch, several docks, two playgrounds and two dog beaches. If you’re pitching a tent for the night, you’ll enjoy electrical and standard site options, latrines and showers. Sibbald Point is perfect for hiking, biking, swimming, boating and fishing in the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when the mercury drops. Fun fact: Sibbald Point was privately owned by the Sibbald family from 1835 to 1956; a small museum dedicated to the early days of the park and rural life in the mid-19th century still exists on the site
797 Emily Park Rd.,
P.O. Box 340, Omemee, Ont.
Located in the heart of the Kawarthas, this seasonal provincial park is open from mid-May to mid-October (it reopens for the summer on May 13 this year). The perfect summer escape, Emily offers activities that include hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and more. Canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent in the park. Other amenities include an amphitheatre, two boat launches, nine docks, a dog beach, picnic shelters
— everything you need for
a spectacular day (or week!) in the great outdoors. If you’re camping, you can expect all manner of campsites (car camping, RV pull-through, electrical and non-electrical), latrines, showers and laundry.
4366 McRae Park Rd,
Ramara Township, Ont.
Like Emily, McRae is a seasonal park open from mid-May to mid-October for both day use and camping access. Located near Orillia on the shores of Lake Simcoe, this idyllic park offers everything you need to unwind in the summer: hiking and biking, boating, fishing, swimming and more. Campsites (with and without electricity, RV pull-through and car camping) are plentiful, with nearby latrines and showers. Other amenities include a boat launch, a playground, a dog beach and other pet exercise areas.
9293 Woodley Rd., Bowmanville, Ont.
If you’re looking for a place to hike specifically, this is your spot. Located in the spectacular Oak Ridges Moraine, this conservation area boasts 18 kilometres of terrain with varying degrees of difficulty. Long Sault also includes mature forest, plantation, wetland and meadow. It’s an important wildlife area as well, as it is home to tributaries that are a part of the Bowmanville and Soper Creek Watershed.
323198 Durham Rd. E., Durham, Ont.
You can play and stay in this conservation area located along the Saugeen River, within the town of Durham. This gorgeous, 150-acre spot boasts hiking trails, boating, fishing and swimming, as well as activities like horseshoes and badminton. Campsites with water and power are available, and Wi-Fi is accessible at a central location. The beautiful McGowan Falls (named for Robert McGowan, who was instrumental in building the Durham community) are a must-see in
Durham East Cross Forest Conservation Area
4531 Boundary Rd., Nestleton Station, Ont.
Much of the land for this conservation area, located in Scugog Township, was donated to Kawartha Conservation in the 2000s. The area had been severely damaged by off-road vehicle use and required significant effort to clean up the forest and nature habitat. Activities you can access in this conservation area include hiking or mountain biking (there are seven kilometres of marked trails to explore on foot or by bike), birding, snowmobiling (with a valid permit), snowshoeing, cross country skiing and more. If you have access to a horse, you can enjoy the sandy soils for riding, too.
625 Halls Rd. S.,
This beautiful spot is the place to go if you want to see wildlife. Choose from a number of different trails — most of which are stroller and wheelchair accessible — and check out the various viewing areas throughout the site. This conservation area is home to many varieties of nesting birds, as well as being an excellent stopover point for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Kayaking and canoeing are permitted in the marsh from July 15 to September 15, with a permit; the season is shortened to account for marsh bird breeding.
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