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Campers Flock to Ontario Provincial Parks for Victoria Day Long Weekend

Campers headed to provincial parks in large numbers for the Victoria Day long weekend, signaling the unofficial start of summer. 

Scott Thomas, superintendent for Bass Lake, Mara, McRae Point, Springwater, and Carden Alvar provincial parks, reported that all available campsites and facilities at Bass Lake Provincial Park are reserved, with many reservations made five months ago.

Thomas highlighted a growing demand for camping at Ontario parks. He noted that while many weekends are completely booked, numerous campsites remain available for reservations during weekdays throughout the summer.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Victoria Day long weekend was a busy time for park wardens due to rowdy behavior. This led to an alcohol ban in provincial parks during the May long weekend in 2005. Although the ban has been lifted, Thomas reminded visitors to adhere to camping etiquette and be considerate of others.

“Many weekends are completely full, but there are still many campsites available for reservations over the summer months,” Thomas told New Market Today. “We focus on respectful behavior and being mindful of other park visitors and the natural environment.”

Last year, the emerald ash borer caused significant damage to Mara and McRae Point provincial parks, affecting around 10,000 trees. Ontario Parks worked with a contractor over the winter to address the issue. The infected trees were removed to prevent hazards to the 300-plus campsites and two day-use areas at the parks.

Thomas explained that the removal of white ash trees altered the parks’ forest composition, changing the appearance of many campsites and day-use areas. However, he expressed optimism that the forest would recover and continue to provide a safe and pleasant environment for campers.

In addition to ongoing replanting efforts, with over 400 trees replanted this spring, natural regeneration is being monitored and managed. Thomas assured visitors that there is no longer any threat from the emerald ash borer to the future of the two parks.

New this year for most Bass Lake campers are roofed accommodations, including five soft-sided tents with log bunk beds, a dining area, and a barbecue.

“Visitors are really appreciating these new facilities,” Thomas said. People value opportunities for safe, outdoor recreation, and we are here to provide service excellence.

Campers across Ontario are eager to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of provincial parks, making the most of the long weekend to kick off the summer season.

Featured image by Ontario Parks via facebook.com/ontarioparks

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Julie Roberts
Julie Roberts
May 20, 2024 4:42 pm

Have you explored the guided nature walks and stargazing at Ontario Provincial Parks? It’s a unique chance to connect with nature and learn about conservation efforts firsthand, adding depth to your camping experience.

hannahbanana
hannahbanana
May 21, 2024 7:05 am
Reply to  Julie Roberts

You know, exploring nature on guided walks and stargazing at Ontario Parks is a must! The beauty of nature and the night sky is truly breathtaking. Thanks for sharing this insight!

Thomas Lopez
Thomas Lopez
May 21, 2024 12:02 am

Excited campers are gearing up for the Victoria Day weekend at Ontario parks! You can soak up nature, join fun activities, and even help out with conservation efforts. Let’s all pitch in to keep these parks beautiful for everyone to enjoy!

Tessa Brook
Tessa Brook
May 21, 2024 5:04 am
Reply to  Thomas Lopez

You know, I love how Ontario parks offer a real natural escape for everyone. It’s awesome to see people coming together to enjoy the outdoors and lend a hand in conservation efforts. Let’s keep these parks pristine for all to relish!

RainyGem414
RainyGem414
May 21, 2024 8:06 am
Reply to  Tessa Brook

Let’s continue cherishing our parks together! Remember to leave no trace and respect nature’s beauty. Let’s make sure future generations can enjoy it too.

forestFinn
forestFinn
May 21, 2024 5:11 am

Hey campers! 🏕️ Don’t you think it’s awesome that Ontario Provincial Parks now have guided tours and educational programs? It’s such a fantastic way to enjoy and learn about nature during your Victoria Day long weekend camping trip. Let’s make the most of it! 😊

YolandaFern
YolandaFern
May 21, 2024 9:21 am

Planning a camping trip for Victoria Day in Ontario? Better book early as spots fill up fast! Don’t forget to check out all the cool activities and amenities at the parks!

Jennifer Young
Jennifer Young
May 22, 2024 8:02 am
Reply to  YolandaFern

Planning a camping trip for Victoria Day in Ontario is fantastic! Ontario parks are perfect for nature and good vibes. Did you know Ontario has over 330 provincial parks?

Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox
May 21, 2024 10:12 am

Have you heard about those sneaky raccoons at Bass Lake Provincial Park? They were up to no good, trying to swipe marshmallows from campers! Remember, keep your snacks safe from wildlife antics!

MelodySprint
MelodySprint
May 21, 2024 10:21 am

If you’re planning a trip to Ontario Provincial Parks this Victoria Day weekend, you’re in for a treat! There are tons of cool activities like hiking, water sports, and wildlife spotting. Plus, you can join educational programs to learn about nature. It’s gonna be a blast!

BlueCat92
BlueCat92
May 21, 2024 2:54 pm

It seems like everyone is gearing up for a fun weekend of camping in Ontario’s provincial parks for Victoria Day! Let’s all remember to bring our positive vibes and respect the camping etiquette for a fantastic time under the stars. Who’s excited for some outdoor adventures?

PiperSky
PiperSky
May 21, 2024 3:08 pm

Isn’t it great that campers are kicking off summer at Ontario’s parks? Hiking, swimming, and wildlife sightings await! Let’s explore, support nearby communities, and have a blast camping!

BrookeCascade
BrookeCascade
May 21, 2024 5:16 pm

Planning a camping getaway to Ontario’s parks this summer? Consider hidden gems like Silent Lake or Charleston Lake for a quieter escape. Don’t forget to hit the trails and soak in the breathtaking views. It’s all about immersing yourself in Ontario’s natural beauty!

HeadlingBuzz-5u
HeadlingBuzz-5u
May 22, 2024 6:21 am
Reply to  BrookeCascade

Exploring hidden gems like Silent Lake or Charleston Lake sounds like a plan. Get set for an unforgettable camping adventure in Ontario’s natural beauty. Ready to embark on this journey?

QuentinShore
QuentinShore
May 21, 2024 6:45 pm

Isn’t it cool that campers at Ontario parks can join guided nature walks to discover unique plant and animal species? And those evening campfire stories led by park staff? Pure magic! It’s like stepping into a storybook for a memorable Victoria Day weekend.

BlueSky893
BlueSky893
May 22, 2024 3:01 am
Reply to  QuentinShore

Those evening campfire stories led by park staff are always a highlight. It sounds like a cozy way to connect with nature and other campers.

WaveFins876
WaveFins876
May 22, 2024 1:52 am

Did you know that some Ontario parks now offer eco-friendly camping tours for Victoria Day weekend? It’s a neat way to explore nature sustainably and learn about the park’s ecosystem!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Campers Flock to Ontario Provincial Parks for Victoria Day Long Weekend! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/campers-flock-to-ontario-provincial-parks-for-victoria-day-long-weekend/