KOA Campgrounds in Northern Ontario

From waterfront Sturgeon Falls to the award-winning Thunder Bay site, KOA sites offer Ontario RVers great options for your provincial road trip.

First-time campers and seasoned veterans alike look to RVing as an escape—and many of RVers swear by the tried and true Kampgrounds of America (KOA) brand as their primary destination. Consistency and quality dating back nearly 50 years ensure outdoor enthusiasts come back year after year.

Check out the great KOA Kampgrounds Ontario’s north country has to offer!

What is the history of KOA?

Kampgrounds of America or simply KOA (as most "kampers" refer) is the world’s largest system of private campgrounds, with over 525 franchised and company-owned locations across Canada and United States. It started in Billings, Montana, in 1962 by Dave Drum and John Wallace on Drum’s small Montana property after observing hoards of travellers heading to the Seattle World’s Fair.  At that first KOA property on the Yellowstone River, campers paid $1.75 per night for a campsite, which included a fire ring, picnic table, hot shower facility, restrooms, and store.

This first KOA campground really took off and set the stage for good things to come! By the next summer, the two men and partners worked on creating a system of campgrounds throughout North America, under the name Kampgrounds of America (KOA) where they began selling franchises. With over 525 sites in operation today, KOA has become synonymous with quality and consistency among outdoor enthusiasts.

Why do rvers love koa? 

As a seasoned RVer and someone who has camped in every province of Canada, over the past 40 years, I have seen my share of dinge. I now look to KOA for consistent quality—there are no unpleasant surprises here that you might find at other private campgrounds. Unexpected snags can include an electrical hookup that does not work, insufficient water, or unsanitary washrooms. Trust me I have seen it all! Every KOA campground in operation undergoes an annual 600-point inspection, the most stringent in the business, and it shows.

For RVers heading out and about in our province this year, here's a complete guide to Northern Ontario’s KOA locations. 

Here are 4 amazing KOA campgrounds for RVers in Northern Ontario. 

1. Sault Ste. Marie KOA Holiday

Sault Ste. Marie’s beautiful 74-acre KOA Holliday is a full-service KOA kampgound/resort, located a stone’s throw from the Trans-Canada Highway. 

This KOA campground offers spacious campsites for a variety of RV sizes and configurations, as well as a separate tenting area. For RVers without a rig, they have Camping Cabins and luxurious new Deluxe Cabins with kitchenettes and washrooms available. While staying at this KOA, be sure to stop-by the famous Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, and do a tour of the mighty St Mary’s River, and the world’s largest locking system, at the Soo Locks Tour. Started in 1934 by Captain Milo Beechgood Welch, a visionary tugboat captain, Welch, a Great Lakes Towing Company employee, saw the Soo Locks as an attraction for visitors. 

While staying onsite, other standard KOA activities are at your disposal. These include access to fun bikes and mini golf, taking a dip in the pool, or hiking on the nearby nature trails. This KOA boasts is an outdoor pavilion with big-screen TV right beside the Camping Kitchen. Campers can also enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the park, and dog lovers (like myself) will appreciate the Kamp K-9 playground, Rover's Run, and onsite self-serve dog grooming salon.

2. KOA Thunder Bay

A little further up the lakehead in Thunder Bay, is the KOA Thunder Bay—a 90-acre campground that holds fond memories for me. Back in 1981, on a family camping vacation to Western Canada, the KOA TBay was our stop number one rounding out an 18-hour travel day. What a perfect first stop this campground was—I will never forget it. It has access to Kakabeka Falls, located in a picturesque Precambrian gorge, as well as Ouimet Canyon, a site reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.

Winner of the 2011 Kampground of the Year award, the KOA Thunder Bay provides all you would expect from any top-notch campground—heated pool, Wi-Fi, 50-amp service, and accommodations for 80' max length rigs (if there is such a thing.) They also offer deluxe cabins and premium tent sites.

3. Parry Sound KOA

On your way up north, plan a stop at the Parry Sound KOA located in Sequin Township which is another good-sized property with a vast 75 acres of camping space. With ATV and nature trails connected directly to your campsite, do not forget to bring your 4Wheeler along!  ATV Trail permits are available at the office and visit www.parktoparktrail.org for more details and area trail maps.  

Enjoy the onsite heated pool, trampoline, mini golf, wagon rides, bingo, and kid’s playground at the Parry Sound KOA, situated on the shore of vast Georgian Bay with its 30,000 islands to explore. Just a short distance from the campground is Foley Matheson Park, a popular beach among swimmers. Located on Little Otter Lake off Rankin Lake Road, this large swimming area is equipped with buoy lines for children, washrooms, change facilities, and a playground. 

4. Sturgeon Falls KOA Holiday

Located on the Sturgeon River, a stone’s throw from Ontario’s famous Lake Nipissing, the Sturgeon Falls KOA Holiday, owned and operated by Greg & Gina Demers, is THE place to camp when travelling the north country. With a long list of 5-Star reviews from fellow campers, Sturgeon Falls KOA has all its bases covered, for RVers who love the outdoors and especially water.  

Boating, fishing and kayaking is available right at your campsite, along the mighty Sturgeon River. Take a pontoon boat tour of the river, right from the campground, or enjoy the 80-foot dock with a slide into the water. This KOA is big-rig friendly with 60-foot pads and 30-amp services, as well as 50-amp Pull-Thru RV Sites, up to 110 feet long. Every site offers full service with water, sewer hookup and power. With a 50-slip marina located in the middle of the campground, you may bring your own watercraft or rent one onsite. 

Stay safe!

Enjoy your KOA Kamping endeavors and I will see you in the great outdoors!

Looking for itinerary ideas? Here are our 7, 10, and 14-day RV itineraries for Ontario. 

About Jeff Morrison

Jeff Morrison is an award-winning outdoor writer, book author, and nationally-syndicated newspaper and magazine columnist.

Recommended Articles

The Complete 2024 List of RV Shows in Ontario

Add these RV events to your calendar.

The Complete List of RV Dealers in Ontario

Looking to buy an RV in Ontario? Start here!

RV Sites in Ontario: The Ultimate Guide

A comprehensive list of where to book an RV site across the province!

Why Sleeping Giant is an RVer's Dream

Legendary views and ideal family sites make Sleeping Giant Provincial Park the place where camping magic happens.

The 10 Best RV Itineraries in Ontario

Bucket list trips to destinations all across the province.

Why Everyone Will be Boondocking in Ontario This Summer

Camping off-grid in your RV is a great way to beat the crowds.

Why I'm Glad I Went RVing at Killarney Provincial Park

Whether the rugged Ontario landscape inspires you to paint, hike, paddle or just enjoy, this park is a must-visit.

5 Tips on How to Go Full Time Remote Work With Your RV

From Starlink to bullet journals and making friends along the way—find your inspiration here!

4 Essential RV Itineraries From Toronto

From the GTA to the great outdoors, have you done these road trips?

Back in Time on Lake Superior

A stop at Fort William Historical Park is a must

A Father-Son Historical Bonding Trip to Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

From RVers to Voyageurs at this park that offers more.

Chutes Provincial Park Aces the Family RV Test

Great parks make great camping memories.

A Room With A View

The best of RV Camping at beautiful Finlayson Point Provincial Park

An RV Quest for Fun, Freedom and Fries

5 days from London around the Timiskaming Lake Loop

Closer than you think

RVing adventures in Pukaskwa National Park

Be Bear Aware This Summer

From bear-proof bins to calling in a black bear encounter, here's everything you need to know about camping in bear country.

So You Want to Buy an RV?

One lifelong RV owner breaks down the tips and tricks for finding the best vehicle to suit your needs.

Dig Your Own Souvenir

Take home a piece of Ontario at Amethyst Mine Panorama

RV the Fur Trade Route

Follow in the footsteps of Northern Ontario's Fur Traders with this 9-day RV route

RV Camping at Quetico Provincial Park: Boys' Trip

It's time for a great fishing weekend. Bring friends.