The 10 Best Ontario Provincial Parks You Can Visit from Toronto


Of the 300+ parks in Ontario, Canada, more than 100 offer overnight camping facilities. Even for people living in the dense urban center of Toronto, the soothing nature in Ontario’s parks is worth the drive. Growing up in Ontario, I’ve had the chance to explore many of these beautiful places.

Here are some of the best parks to visit from Toronto for a day trip or camping adventure.


Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Robynne Trueman

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is an unsuspecting park within easy driving distance of Toronto. The trails are well-kept without feeling industrialized or urban. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident porcupines—I’ve seen them on a number of occasions while hiking in this park (a great reason to keep your dog on a leash at all times).

Distance From Toronto: 92 km

Reason To Visit: The Lookout Trail offers beautiful fall foliage views in late September and October

Camping: Day-use only

Park Facilities: Toilets


Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Hikers who want to enjoy scenic views without leaving the GTA should check out Forks of the Credit Provincial Park in Caledon. The trails are beautiful in all seasons with a dreamy landscape that’s part of the escarpment biosphere. Just make sure you get your snowshoes out during the winter to avoid slipping and sliding down the hills on the trails like I did when hiking there in March.

Distance From Toronto: 71 km

Reason To Visit: Hiking to Cataract Falls

Camping: Day-use only

Park Facilities: Toilets


Algonquin Provincial Park

Photo By Ivan Ramin Radnik

Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Ontario and perhaps the most famous. Most Ontarians are introduced to the landscapes of the park in elementary school when they study paintings by Tom Thomson. As a child, I was familiar with the park through these lessons, but nothing could prepare me for the tranquility and beauty of camping in Algonquin. I experienced the park for the first time in 2021 and have been camping there annually since.

Distance From Toronto: 276 km

Reason To Visit: Hiking Centennial Ridges

Camping: Car camping, backcountry camping, group camping and walk-in camping

Park Facilities: Boat launch(es), washrooms, showers, laundromat, park store, pet exercise areas, picnic shelters, canoe and bicycle rentals and a visitor centre


Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Robynne Trueman

My earliest memory of Earl Rowe Provincial Park is a childhood camping trip where I believed I was in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. In reality, I was in a very developed campsite near Alliston, Ontario, just one hour and 15 minutes from Toronto. Despite its proximity to cities and towns, Earl Rowe Provincial Park offers a few scenic hiking trails to enjoy and a glimpse of nature that’s great for families.

Distance From Toronto: 88 km

Reason To Visit: Family fun and entertainment close to the city

Camping: Car camping and group camping

Park Facilities: Boat launch (non-motorized boats only), washrooms, showers, laundromat, park store, picnic shelters and canoe rentals


McRae Point Provincial Park

Outdoor enthusiasts can visit a beautiful Ontario Park on Lake Simcoe just one hour and 45 minutes from Toronto. McRae Point Provincial Park is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, swimming and boating. It also offers access to the Trent Severn Waterway via Lake Simcoe.

Distance From Toronto: 158 km

Reason To Visit: Hiking the Water’s Edge Trail

Camping: Car camping

Park Facilities: Toilets, showers and a boat launch


Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is located an hour and 45 minutes northwest of Toronto and is one of the most popular beaches in Ontario. It’s so popular that as of 2023, a reservation is required for day use of the beach. But it’s worth the effort and the drive for the 14 kilometres of sandy shorelines and eight beach areas.

Distance From Toronto: 145 km

Reason To Visit: Beaches!

Camping: Day-use only

Park Facilities: Toilets, boat launch, visitor centre and park store


Sibbald Point Provincial Park

Sibbald Point Provincial is only an hour north of Toronto and offers more than 600 campsites on the shores of Lake Simcoe. This is a great option for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who want a change of scenery and a sense of being in a rural area without spending a lot of time driving to get there.

Distance From Toronto: 89 km

Reason To Visit: Hiking Maidenhair Fern Trail

Camping: Car camping (electrical and non-electrical sites)

Park Facilities: Washrooms, showers, boat launch, park store, picnic shelters and visitor centre


Mara Provincial Park

Mara Provincial Park is approximately one and a half hours from Toronto by car and only 10 minutes south of Orillia. The park is located on the north shore of Lake Simcoe. It provides beautiful sandy beaches and many front-country campgrounds.

Distance From Toronto: 149 km

Reason To Visit: Swimming, kayaking or SUP in Lake Simcoe

Camping: Car camping (electrical and non-electrical sites)

Park Facilities: Washrooms, showers and picnic shelters


Restoule Provincial Park

Robynne Trueman

Restoule Provincial Park is the unsung hero of Ontario’s front-country camping. I’d never heard of this park until 2022 and I can’t understand why it’s not more talked about! Although it’s a long drive from Toronto (approximately three and a half hours), it has 278 front-country campsites, beautiful hiking trails (with lookouts over Restoule Lake) and canoe rentals.

Distance From Toronto: 359 km

Reason To Visit: Hiking Restoule Fire Tower Trail

Camping: Car camping, walk-in camping, backcountry camping and group camping

Park Facilities: Washrooms, showers, boat launches, docks, laundromats, pet exercise areas, picnic shelters, canoe rentals and bike rentals


Awenda Provincial Park

Awenda Provincial Park is a beautiful option for day hikes or camping from Toronto. It’s just a two-hour drive, so if you leave Toronto early in the morning, it’s possible to enjoy a scenic hike on the 31 kilometres of trails in the park and be back in Toronto by the end of the night. However, if you want to experience the beauty on the shores of Georgian Bay, the park also has six campgrounds.

Distance From Toronto: 166 km

Reason To Visit: Summer canoeing at Kettle’s Lake

Camping: Car camping (electrical hook-ups)

Park Facilities: Washrooms, showers, laundromat, park store, picnic shelter and canoe rentals


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