10 Best Private Campgrounds in Ontario
Private campgrounds are a great alternative to national parks and Ontario provincial parks. Private campgrounds offer a greater variety of experiences, and often more budget-friendly camping options. Many cater specifically to the RV crowd, so you’ll find easy pull-throughs for the rig you’re hauling. Private campgrounds are far from “cookie-cutter” experiences; each one offers unique attributes that match certain expectations. When looking for a private campground in Northern Ontario, it’s best to align your expectations with what’s offered. If you’re looking for a secluded spot, you’ll find those at private family campgrounds. If you are more interested in a social scene with lake access, great news—that’s available, too.
Here’s our list of the top 10 private campgrounds, with something for everyone all across Northern Ontario.
KOA Sault Ste. Marie
Part of the renowned Kampgrounds of America group, this campground is in a prime spot just outside the Soo. The campground sprawls across more than 70 acres of property, within an easy 15-minute drive from downtown Sault Ste. Marie. There are options for pull-through RV sites, tent pads, and a few cabins to rent. This is a highly social campground, hosting different motor clubs through the summer. There’s a pool, mini-golf and a dog agility course on-site. The best part? The owners are passionate border collie breeders, so expect to see lots of Lassie-lookalikes running around.
Use the KOA as a jumping point for different outdoor adventures.
- It’s a short drive north on Highway 17 to the fantastic Robertson Cliffs lookout trail, or continue on towards Lake Superior, spending the day at the beach in Pancake or Batchawana Bay
- Join Forest the Canoe on a guided paddling trip or interpretive hike in Goulais Bay
- Stock up on any gear you may need at Great Lakes Outfitters before you head on your own
- See why Sault Ste. Marie is a cycling hub of Ontario. Join Red Pine Tours in your preferred style, gravel, road, or mountain bike
Point Grondine Park
Point Grondine is a wilderness park managed by the Anishnaabek people of Wikwemikong Unceded Territory. Located adjacent to Killarney Provincial Park, about an hour’s drive east of Sudbury, this Indigenous Protected Area encompasses 18,000 acres of traditional lands including old-growth forests, inland lakes and Georgian Bay shoreline. Point Grondine is one of Ontario’s only privately-owned backcountry campgrounds, with primitive campsites accessed by hiking or paddling (the closest site to the Highway 637 trailhead is a 3.8 km hike in). These sites are all priced at extremely reasonable rates, and you’ll skip the crowds of the busier parks nearby.
- Don’t miss fried walleye or fresh Sticky Buns at Aunt Bea’s Corner Kitchen in Killarney. Fish and chips at Herbert’s Fisheries is another Killarney dining standby
- Point Grondine Park offers canoe rentals, but you can also check out Killarney Outfitters and Killarney Kanoes for renting and buying gear
- Point Grondine also offers immersive guided outdoor experiences led by local Indigenous people for a unique perspective on this wild land
Brown’s Clearwater West Lodge
Just outside Atikokan in northwestern Ontario, Brown’s Clearwater West ranks among the best family campgrounds in Ontario. Bring your own RV to one of their waterfront sites, or rent one of the RVs they have available. The campground is on the gorgeous Clearwater West Lake (guess why it’s called that). The towering pine stands are reminiscent of renowned Quetico Provincial Park—but motorboats are allowed and no permits needed. Watch the sand ripples deep beneath your canoe or boat as you travel across the crystalline water. Clearwater links into White Otter Lake, where boaters can visit the iconic White Otter Castle. There is phenomenal lake trout fishing on both lakes, and great swimming in the clear waters lined by sandy beaches. This is a social campground, but with quiet hours at 11 pm it’s no problem getting peace at night.
- On your way, stop in Atikokan to grab a bite at the Outdoorsman Restaurant
- Walt’s Dry Goods is the go-to place to grab any last-minute outdoor gear you might need
Manitoulin Eco Park
For those who prefer camping on the quieter side, the Manitoulin Island Eco Park captures the rustic essence of camping under the panoramic views of one of Ontario’s Dark Sky Preserves. This small, family-friendly campground caters mainly to tent campers and those with trailers that don’t need the outdoor equivalent of the Hilton. This is a place to reconnect with nature on “island time”, with bunkhouse-style cabins and tipi rentals available as well. Join the staff on an interpretive astronomy tour, or hike the trails nearby.
- It’s a short drive to Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, where you can hike the Bebamikawe Memorial Trail. Hike up to three vantage points overlooking Lake Huron
- Or choose to dip into Lake Huron with a day at paradisiacal Providence Bay Beach, walking the boardwalk and swimming in the clear water. The Huron Island Time cafe serves refreshments and ice cream in the interpretive Discovery Centre
- Providence Bay is also a great spot to try local whitefish. Keep it casual with Lake Huron Fish and Chips Co, or sit down at the School House Restaurant
Serpent River Campground
Located right off the Trans-Canada Highway, the Serpent River Campground caters to the RV crowd but also has tent sites. It’s just about halfway between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, making it an ideal stopover between the two cities. Campers here have the option of pull-through RV sites with or without electrical hookups (as well as tent pads). The Serpent River runs adjacent to the campground and you can rent a recreational kayak and explore this peaceful river.
- Stretch your legs, taking a day trip up Highways 108 and 639 to Mississagi Provincial Park. Here you’ll find excellent hiking trails and canoeing opportunities
- Pencil in some time for viewing the extensive collection of Indigenous art at the Serpent River Trading Post’s art gallery
The Wild Exodus campground near Timmins pushes the limits of what a campground can be, with boutique cuisine and experiences in a wild setting. Offering RV spaces, yurt camping, and cabins for rent on the shores of Kenogamissi Lake, this campground has something for every camper. Pair your reservation with one of the deluxe meal plans served in the meal tent. You’ll free up more time for fun and enjoy the local eats.
- Rent a canoe or kayak from the campground and explore the local waterways, or take on one of Wild Exodus’ adventure packages
- Head to the nearby Kettle Lakes Provincial Park, and rent a bicycle to explore their 14 km of biking trails
Latibule Resort and Campground
This campground is a little off the beaten path, in one of Northern Ontario’s under-visited areas. Between Thunder Bay and Nipigon lies a band of sandstone lakes characterized by the bright red “Dorion dirt” that covers any vehicle driving the backroads. This is canyon country, with large flat-topped mesas and clear trout lakes running from Pass Lake towards Lake Nipigon. Enjoy paddling the peaceful Crow Lake and sleep under the blanket of stars; you may even be lucky enough to catch the northern lights. Pull-through RV or tent sites are available for seasonal or short-term rentals.
- The nearby Ouimet Canyon makes for an excellent half- or full-day excursion
- Head down the highway to Hurkett Cove Conservation Area, a nature hotspot. This is one of the best places to birdwatch in the area, and home to the Dorion Birdwatching festival
- The Canyon Country Co-op offers a lot, including fuel, groceries and an LCBO outlet. There’s also a seasonal farmer’s market, chip stand, and the delicious Blueberry Hill bakery on-site. What more could you need?
Wawa Resort and RV Campground
It’s hard to beat the location of the Wawa Resort and RV Campground. It’s on the scenic Magpie River, just off the Trans-Canada Highway,and a short distance to the bustling community of Wawa. There are sites for tenting and RVs, as well as amenities like a pool. Take a paddle on the peaceful parts of the Magpie, or toss a line and hook a walleye. There are hiking trails throughout the property as well as the Voyageur Trail nearby.
- Sample delicious blueberry goods straight from Wawa’s Algoma Highlands blueberry farm
- Join one of the expert guides at Naturally Superior Adventures, exploring the Michipicoten River or Lake Superior
- Spend a day at the beautiful Sandy Beach, one of the few spots where the shallow waters keep Superior (relatively) warm for swimming
Tomahawk Resort RV
There are 75 campsites at Tomahawk Resort near Lake of the Woods, but you’ll still find privacy in the trees surrounding each site. This resort has been in operation since 1946, and the Kast family is meticulous in their care for the campground. The sites are a short walk to a private beach, and there is a boat launch available for campers to explore the Lake of the Woods waterways. Roofed lakeside cabin accommodations are also available.
- Travel by water or road over to Sioux Narrows Provincial Park, just 2 km across the bay. There are some short trails here for a half-day of hiking
- Rent a boat at Tomahawk’s full service marina, or chat to the attendant about fishing hotspots and routes around the lake
- Gill’s Trading Post can provide any supplies you might need for your Lake of the Woods adventure. In addition to outfitting and souvenirs, they sell gas and groceries
Happy Land Campground
On a cross-country or cross-province road trip, Thunder Bay is a logical stop. Avoid the busy-ness of the city by staying at Happy Land Campbround, 20 minutes out of downtown. It’s a short drive from the thundering Kakabeka Falls and the surrounding farmland affords the first hint of the Western Canada, even though you haven’t left Ontario. Use the large pull-throughs for big rigs; basic tent sites are available as well, and the campground offers WIFI internet connection. Cabin rentals are a new option at Happy Land. Dogs are also welcome.
- Happy Land is a short drive away from Fort William Historical Park, where you will travel back to the year 1816 and experience a trading post at the height of the Canadian fur trade. The Historical Park also hosts the David Thompson Astronomical Observatory, where you can gaze at the stars or join staff for a night walk
Grab a bite at The Eddy restaurant in the nearby community of Kakabeka. Finish your meal with ice cream or a milkshake at one of the creameries nearby, you can’t go wrong at any of them