Camping gives you the chance to get up close and personal with the diverse natural environments, wildlife, birds and fish found throughout South Eastern Ontario. Campgrounds and nature preserves along Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal offer unique experiences in the outdoors. It could be a carefree afternoon among the dunes of Sandbanks Provincial Park, canoeing along Charleston Lake, or hiking to a remote area in Frontenac Provincial Park.
Sandbanks Provincial Park in Prince Edward County brings together golden sand beaches and giant sand dunes to form two of the largest bay mouth sandbars in the world on the shores of Lake Ontario. Miles of massive sand dunes and shallow waters make Sandbanks camping a great option for the kids. The campground features 549 campsites spread out over five giant areas. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and fireplace grill for those family cookouts by the water. If you want to get out on the lake, kayaks, canoe and paddleboat rentals are within easy reach. While you’re near the Bay of Quinte, enjoy a picnic alongside the crystal clear fresh waters and countryside of Lake on the Mountain. After lunch, paddle your kayak or canoe for a closer look at the shoreline from the water.
Charleston Lake and Frontenac Provincial Park provide great camping – Not far from Kingston and Gananoque in the 1000 Islands region is Charleston Lake, one of the finest campgrounds in Ontario for swimming and paddling. Charleston Lake Provincial Park offers all the amenities – electric sites, flush toilets and showers – you need for car camping or RVing. Two groomed sandy beaches a short walk away from your campsite slope gently into shallow clear water, making it a great place for the kids to splash around. Canoe rentals allow you to get out on the water and explore the hidden coves, caves and rocky outcroppings along Charleston Lake’s shoreline and islands. The area is also popular with anglers, who fish these waters for pike, lake trout and smallmouth bass.
A more back-to-basics camping experience can be had at Frontenac Provincial Park’s remote back-country campsites which can’t be accessed by cars. The park a perfect place to hike, canoe, fish for bass and pike and take in your natural surroundings. A series of challenging hiking trails are found in the rugged terrain featuring granite outcrops, mixed forests, bogs and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled along the way for white tailed deer, black bears and river otters.
Thousand Islands National Park stewards 20 islands and three scenic mainland properties on the St. Lawrence River. Here rugged shorelines mingle with opulent Gilded Age estates to create a surprising and enchanting landscape.
Visitors get a taste of island life with an overnight stay in oTENTik accommodations at the park’s waterfront visitor centre. Some visitors pilot their own powerboat into the park, lounging on a dock enjoying riverside days spotting birdlife among the pines. Other explorers paddle in by kayak or canoe—guided or independent—and tour these islands in total serenity. However you choose to explore Thousand Islands National Park plan an overnight stay and unwind under the stars in an oTENTik .
The Parks of the St. Lawrence offer a number of favourite family camping destinations at their beautifully wooded 8 riverside campgrounds and 6 day-use beach areas along the St. Lawrence River in the Great Waterway.
Spend time at any one of their exceptional campgrounds which include the Glengarry Campground, Long Sault Parkway, Farran Park, Riverside-Cedar Campground, Ivy Lea Campground and the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary Campground (Nairne Island Site). Their day use beach areas are at Glengarry, Mille Roches, Woodlands, Farran or Brown’s Bay.
There are many places in South Eastern Ontario to camp. Please see a detailed listing below and do not hesitate to contact them to confirm vacancy.
Feel the sand between your toes and slather on the sunscreen to explore local beaches in the South Eastern Ontario.
The Sandbanks is the world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation with three expansive sandy beaches that are recognized as being among the best in Canada. White sand gives way to cobalt blue waters for a unique beach experience, complete with sandbars and waves. North Beach Provincial Park in Consecon, is a hidden gem, featuring a paved walking trail, sandy beaches for more than 1 km, and picnic space.
The largest sand beach on the St. Lawrence corridor is shrouded in beauty and intrigue. Mille Roches Beach spans a long arching bay and is on the biggest of the 11 islands connected by the Long Sault Parkway. Crysler Park Marina, offers a beach for swimming, a playground, picnic areas and more. There are also a host of other fantastic public beaches through Parks of the St. Lawrence, including Farran Park Beach and Picnic Area and Glengarry Beach and Picnic Area.
St. Lawrence Park, located at the west end of Brockville, offers a clean, sandy beach where there is even supervision provided during the summer. Washrooms, change rooms and a canteen are also available here; parking and day use at the park is free!
Brown’s Bay Beach and Picnic Area is the area’s largest sandy beach on the St. Lawrence River between Brockville and Mallorytown Landing.
Charleston Lake Provincial Park near Lansdowne achieves the perfect recipe for Canadian natural eye-candy: rock outcroppings, trees and blue water.
Kingston’s Grass Creek Park is also not to be missed – this riverfront park features a sandy beach with a swimming area, play equipment and picnic facilities.
Now picture a bright, sandy, secluded beach, perfect for recharging and enjoying nature. That’s what you’ll find at Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area.
Photo credit: @lydiaraeg
Bay of Quinte Beaches + Overnight Stay
Robin’s Roost Treehouse Experience
UNESCO Discovery Tour
Aquatarium Adventure + Overnight Stay