Killarney Park: Canoe Camping

Often regarded as one of most beautiful wilderness areas in Ontario, Killarney Provincial Park is a popular weekend getaway roughly four hours drive north of Toronto. Killarney is well known for its association with the Group Of Seven artists, who lobbied for the creation of the park, and whose paintings often depicted its emerald lakes, lush forests, and white quartzite peaks.

Two summers ago, I was here for car camping and hiking at George Lake, the only front-country location in the park. For this year’s Civic Holiday long weekend, it was time to explore the back-country with 3 days of canoe-in camping. With backpacks mounted and canoes at the ready, our group of five adventurers (plus doggy Alvin) headed into this pristine wilderness.

If you are looking for tranquility and solitude, canoe camping is definitely the way to go. The campsites are spread out along the shores of the many lakes, all clean and well marked, and separated enough to feel that you have the whole lake for yourself. Due to the popularity of the park, particularly on holiday weekends, early reservations are essential as the best spots fill up quickly. On the first night, we camped at Bell (Three Mile) Lake on a great site surrounded by water on three sides. The second night was spent on adjacent Grey Lake, accessed after a short portage and paddle, and was even more remote and isolated. Other than a few rainshowers on the second day, the weather was near perfect; every evening was a spectacular sunset, and the moonless sky was filled with stars.

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