7 Camping Grounds to Discover in Canada


Explore close to home or further afield at some of Canada’s best campgrounds to park an RV or pitch a tent.

Travelling by camper van has always been on my bucket list – hitting the open road, being outdoors, living that beautiful boho life that calls to me from my Instagram feed. But with family and friends scattered across the globe, and a strong desire to visit them anytime I could travel, I kept putting off my big road trip plans. Until the Covid–19 pandemic hit.

My husband and I were planning vacations with our two kids this year to Israel, Morocco and Cape Cod. But with the lockdown and restrictions on flights and border crossings – and even Canadian hotels, cottages and provincial parks off limits earlier in the summer – renting an RV close to home in Toronto was our best bet. It’s no surprise that many other families were thinking the same thing, making it a booming year for the humble RV’s popularity.

August 28, 2020
An RV parked between the trees of a camp ground
A young girl looking out the open window of an RV
   Photos: Claire Sibonney

The adventure begins with a trailer rental

It was also pretty easy. We rented a gently used 17–foot trailer from RVezy on our way to a quaint and private campground in the Cherry Valley of Prince Edward County. We towed it with our SUV, parked it on the campsite for a week and had ourselves a practical two–“bedroom” dwelling on an idyllic lake within driving distance to the treasured beaches and wineries in the area.

It wasn’t exactly the nomadic cross–country road trip I have always aspired to – nor was it in the decked–out Airstream or converted school bus of my dreams – but it was adventurous enough for RV newbies like us, which is to say not without its challenges and a glimpse of the realities of #vanlife beyond the social media highlight reel.

There were mechanical failures and other unpleasantness. A critical jack that connected the trailer to the car snapped and broke. There was no storage for things like clothing, which made me regret packing a week’s worth of multiple changes for all four of us instead of three outfits per person total. And the stench of the waste dump–outs every couple of days was no joke.

A young girl stands on the rocky beach facing the lake
   Photo: Claire Sibonney

RV camping creates lifelong memories

But for every unsavoury whiff of sewage or clogged toilet (because our water tank was unbelievably “compact”), we made many more of the good kind of lasting memories. Our four– and six–year–old girls got to live in their very own hobbit house that was practically made for them, including teeny bunk beds and windows that they could poke their heads out of to watch the sunset and stars. We cooked three meals a day on a charcoal BBQ in the open air and witnessed a snapping turtle lay eggs outside our trailer. We also befriended several retirees in the welcoming community of seasonal residents on the campground.

If the object of the trip was to forget for a fleeting week that the novel coronavirus existed, spend more quality time together and soak up the beautiful country we live in, we got that in spades.

Two people standing by the lake during a sunset
   Photo: Claire Sibonney

RV and camping grounds to explore in Canada

It was also our first experience in a private campground that offers full–service RV sites (including water, power and sewer hookups) and tent–camping options. Many come with extra amenities, such as swimming pools, playgrounds, access to canoes and kayaks, Wi–Fi, showers and laundry  – and are definitely worth checking out when national and provincial parks are booked up. So, go on: explore locally or let these seven destinations inspire you further afield.

An RV stationed next to a picnic table at the Cherry Lane Campground and Cottages in Ontario
   Photo: Cherry Lane Campground and Cottages
  1. Cherry Lane Campground and Cottages, Ontario —

    This campground in Prince Edward County is a lush and quiet 40–trailer property near the white sand beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park and the perfect spot to watch sunsets over East Lake. It offers RV sites and rentals with 3–way hookups, canoeing and kayaking, a swimming pool, Wi–Fi, playground, private picnic tables, firepits and a shallow–water beach ideal for kids. (Cherry Lane is also the summer base of the chefs behind Old Style BBQ, who host famous smokehouse pop–ups in the County.)

Small islands dot the Nanaimo River along the cliffside
   Photo: Seth Hollins
  1. Living Forest Oceanside Campground, British Columbia —

    Nanaimo is home to this site that has more than 50 acres of waterfront land and 300 sites with spectacular views of Nanaimo Harbour and the Nanaimo River. Campers say it feels like a provincial park with full–service utilities and extras including Wi–Fi, trails, canoeing and kayaking, a games room, basketball court and café.

The main lodge of the Mount Kidd RV Park in Alberta is nestled between tall trees and mountain peaks
   Photo: Christy D. Swanberg
  1. Mount Kidd RV Park, Alberta —

    Located in the foothills of the majestic Canadian Rockies in Kananaskis Country, this RV park offers year–round camping and RVing with more than 200 sites to choose from and amenities such as playgrounds, tennis courts and trails for walking and biking. It’s also close enough to the surrounding communities of Bragg Creek, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise for awe–inspiring day trips.

  2. Roaches Line RV Park and Hillside Cottages, Newfoundland and Labrador —

    This property is 45 minutes outside of St. John’s and is located at the beginning of the Avalon Peninsula’s Baccalieu Trail, featuring 66 fully serviced sites with a canteen, playground, laundry and shower facilities. Hike to the neighbouring historic Conception Bay North towns of Cupids, Brigus and Bay Roberts and explore Harbour Grace and Carbonear – only 20 minutes away by car.

A long wooden deck leads to a log cabin at the Caribou RV Park in the Yukon
   Photo: Caribou RV Park
  1. Caribou RV Park, Yukon —

    Just 15 minutes south of Whitehorse, this highly–rated campground is surrounded by pristine wilderness and wildlife including its namesake caribou, plus mountain goats and Arctic foxes. It boasts quiet and secluded forest sites, a restaurant, laundry facilities and a car wash, and is currently open to guests from British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

A cottage with a triangle roof at the Wasagaming Campground in Manitoba
   Photo: Parks Canada
  1. Wasagaming Campground, Manitoba —

    Located in Riding Mountain National Park, this campground offers full–service RV sites within walking distance to Wasagaming Townsite and minutes from the main beach, pier and restaurants. Discover 370 kilometres of trails through windswept grasslands, forests and hills within the national park – and don’t miss the plains bison herd at Lake Audy. If glamping is more your style, you can rent one of the park’s oTENTiks, a cross between an A–frame and a prospector tent with raised wooden floors and cozy beds.

A blue tent pitched between the trees of the Camping Municipal de la Pointe de Riviere-du-Loup ground in Quebec
   Photo: Sébastien Dionne
  1. Camping Municipal de la Pointe de Riviere–du–Loup, Quebec —

    This municipal campground about two hours north of Quebec City lies on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. It has 122 sites, including full–service hookups for RVs, firepits, laundry and shower facilities and plenty of extras for guests, including free bike rentals, a water playground and Wi–Fi. Popular areas to explore nearby include Île aux Lièvres, Parc des Chutes and Parc de la Pointe, as well as the St. Lawrence via riverboat tour.