Photo courtesy of SAIL

This feature is Part 1 of 6 of our “Escape the City” series, presented with SAIL – your outdoor equipment store.

If you’ve been thinking about going camping this summer, but haven’t planned anything, because well, planning is hard…we have some good news. We did the work for you and found 5 places to get you started. The best part is: you don’t even need to go that far. There are tons of great places to “get your nature on” within just a few hours of this wonderful, constantly under construction, bustling city.

If your camping experience is limited…don’t worry, we have you covered. You’re not a rookie, you’re just not as “seasoned” as you’d like to be. In that case, a campground with amenities that you can drive up to would be a good place to start. Less time setting up = more time relaxing.

If you consider yourself one with the wilderness, good for you! Your next stop should be into the back won’t be easy, but we promise it’ll be worth it.

Whichever style of camping suits you, escape from the city and hike, climb, or paddle your way through these epic natural landscapes.

Bon Echo Provincial Park– 2 hour trip

    • Known for: 100-metre high Mazinaw Rock featuring over 260 Indigenous pictographs
    • Don’t miss: The Peregrine Falcon – a threatened species in Ontario, which is often seen nesting on Mazinaw Rock.
    • Camping options: drive-up campsites for tents & RVs, backcountry camping including canoe-in campsites, or cabins for rent.
    • Get directions

Algonquin Park – 3 hour trip

As one of the largest provincial parks, it should come as no surprise that Algonquin Park tops our list of must-visit parks near Ottawa. With its vast interior of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes, it offers something for everyone.

  • Known for: it was the first provincial park in Ontario and is easily accessible to all types of campers
  • Don’t miss: Public Wolf Howl expeditions on Thursdays in August.
  • Camping options: drive-up campsites for tents & RVs, or rent a yurt. Back country camping options accessible by backpacking, or paddle and portage.
  • Get directions

The experts at SAIL say: Stay cozy in this Algonquin Mummy Sleeping bag – it was named after the region and will keep you warm during nights as cool as 5 degrees Celsius.

Adirondacks in Northeastern New York – 4 hour trip

  • Known for: 46 Adirondack High Peaks – can you climb them all? People come from all over to tackle one of the greatest challenges in the Adirondack Park.
  • Don’t miss: The Wild Walk. Takes visitors up a trail of bridges to the treetops of the Adirondack forest. Climb the four-story twig tree house and enjoy swinging bridges, hang out in a human-sized spider’s web, or just sit and watch the forest below.
  • Camping options: drive-up campsites for tents & RVs, island camping, back-country treks, guided Glamping excursions and handicap accessible lean-tos at select campgrounds.
  • Get directions

The experts at SAIL say: Evenings can be cool in the mountains. This collapsible candle lantern provides cozy heat and natural light for up to 9 hours.

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Murphy’s Point  – 1.5 hour trip

  • Known for: It’s great location on Big Rideau Lake, part of the historic Rideau Waterway
  • Don’t miss: Tours of Silver Queen Mine – a restored, early 1900’s partially open mica mine.
  • Camping options: drive-up campsites for tents & RV’s, group camping, backcountry camping including boat-in sites on the Rideau
  • Get directions

Lac du Poisson Blanc – 1.5. hour trip

  • Known for: camping on an island all to yourself! All campsites are located on islands or peninsulas and are only accessible by boat (you can rent a canoe through the park. You choose a site based on how long you want to canoe.)
  • Don’t miss: Hiking trails on the Montagne du Fort. All accessible directly from your boat.
  • Camping options: drive-up campsites by the mountain, canoe-in campsites on your own island, or one “tiny house” if you prefer a roof over your head.
  • Get directions

The experts at SAIL say: Staying on an island? These water purification tablets make water safe for drinking. You never know when they might come in handy.

Wherever your adventure takes you, make sure you’re equipped with the right gear. Visit your local SAIL store for all your outdoor needs.

Filed under: EscapetheCity