And our contest winner is…Jonathan Riley – who made one heck of a compelling argument for backcountry site #15 on Big Muise in Kejimkujik National Park. Made us want to jump on a plane and head east! Thanks to all participants for an excellent crop of suggestions. Your efforts mean a lot to us and to our readers. Jonathan, ship us your snail mail and we’ll ship you a copy of Robin Esrock’s The Great Canadian Bucket List. T&C

In Jonathan’s words: “Tough question: Backcountry site 15 on Big Muise in Kejimkujik National Park. In the middle of the lake, at the far end of a string of islands, paddling out there is a quick easy way to get away from it all. It has a private sandy beach with a twisty ol pine growing out over the water. Not only do I have my childhood memories of the site, but I watched my son and his best friend swamp our canoe there for hours one lazy July afternoon. At night a million stars are reflected in the ‘fairy lake’. It is the perfect place to introduce beginner campers and canoers to the joys of the wilderness.”



Are you a Canadian who loves to camp? We parked ourselves at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park last summer and can’t wait to get back. Where’s YOUR favourite campsite and why do you love it so much?

Tell us here by May 15, 2014 (contest closes at midnight) for a chance to win a copy of The Great Canadian Bucket List – an ambitious new guidebook written by Robin Esrock who, for the record, says that when it comes to camping in Canada, Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park (near Tofino, BC) is his number one choice.

OK Canada! We’re standing by. Remember to give us details – where’s your favourite campsite located and what, exactly, makes it so awesome?


Two Jack Lake / Banff / Photo by Toque & Canoe

Two Jack Lake / Banff / Photo by Toque & Canoe


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  1. Jonathan Riley commented:

    Tough question:
    Backcountry site 15 on Big Muise in Kejimkujik National Park. In the middle of the lake, at the far end of a string of islands, paddling out there is a quick easy way to get away from it all. It has a private sandy beach with a twisty ol pine growing out over the water. Not only do I have my childhood memories of the site, but I watched my son and his best friend swamp our canoe there for hours one lazy July afternoon. At night a million stars are reflected in the “fairy lake”. It is the perfect place to introduce beginner campers and canoers to the joys of the wilderness.


    • Jennifer Pierce commented:

      That is one of my fave sites in Keji too! I actually gave my sister a photograph of the site (with an overturned red canoe on the beach) as a wedding present – printed on large canvas! I put my camera in a waterproof sack and swam to the next island to take the pic. We grew up in Keji. I was debating between this one and 16 – so I’ll vote for the other one!


  2. Anita commented:

    Best place to camp is at Berg Lake in Mt Robson Provincial Park. The 21km hike in is amazing and the camp is wonderful!


  3. Sheri commented:

    Best 2 Spots: Kicking Horse campground in YoHo National Park. So many trails, hikes, waterfalls in the area plus a canoe on Emerald Lake on a slow day.

    Second is Waterton National Park. Loved the little town in the park and also the friendly people on the trails. I was there in May and many trails were still snow covered. I’d love to go back and try some of the backcountry trails later in the summer season.


  4. Cheryl McDonagh commented:

    Williamson Provincial campground (in Alberta). I grew up camping there and now I get to take my son!


  5. Giselle commented:

    I’ll just call it ‘Glamping’ and it’s where I live…

    I live in the Edgewood, BC in the Kootenay’s, right on the Innonoaklin River, surrounded by mountains.

    We built a glass bedroom that faces South down the River.

    In the morning we lay in bed and watch the birds travel up and down the River searching for fish or nesting grounds; kingfishers, harlequin ducks, eagles, hawks, geese, river dippers, northern flickers, woodpeckers and countless others…

    (Sometimes we’ll make rules like “we’ll get out of bed when we see 2 eagles”.)

    The snow capped mountains to the East turn pink as the sun sets in the evenings.

    The night is filled with shooting stars and endless wishes as well as the eerie call of coyote packs and wolves.

    We intricately watch the Seasons transform our landscape and mood.

    We have become part of our surroundings and quite in-tune with what miracles Nature presents us.

    I know you’re looking for ‘parks’ to camp at so the closest would be Whatshan Lake.

    There are some breathtaking camping sites around that lake but to me “There’s no place like home.”


  6. Sandra W. Day commented:

    Well I’ve never been camping in B.C., and I’m not sure if I’d even be able to sleep throughout the night with the grizzlies. BUT camping on the first Island at Negwazu Lake, in Northern Ontario, about 12 kms off the highway on an old logging road has some the best camping. It is secluded (either ride to it with a boat and motor or paddle by canoe), the tranquil a.m.’s have several loons calling in amongst the morning mist, it sports an outdoor loo with an open concept design, swimming/diving on the north side from rock crops and some of the most amazing pickerel/walleye fishing from every shore. There is nothing better when you want to just get away from it all and unwind. Oh yes and cannot forget the endless tanning sessions it has to offer as well. And, they are FREE! 😉 HEAVEN is a place on earth!! 🙂


  7. Chris Kern commented:

    Interlakes campground in Kananaskis Country Alberta. Relatively quiet and you can launch your canoe right into Lower Kananaskis Lake right from some of the campsites, sweet!


  8. Muffy commented:

    Favorite campsite has to be anywhere where you can “unplug”, where the air is fresh, the wind blows and it is just you with nature… where you can be grounded!

    Although, I do enjoy camping on the shores of Georgian Bay. 😉


    • Robert Gagnon commented:

      Congdong Creek at Kluane Lake, Yukon territory. The camp sites are secluded and face the beautiful Lake, but there’s some grizzly there and camping in a tent is at your own risk.


  9. Kris Roberts commented:

    We have 2 young kids (ages 5 and 8) and we are car campers… “glampers” really. Favourite campground we’ve been to is Alice Lake in Squamish BC (about 1 hr from Vancouver) as the kids ride around the park all day on their bikes, there is a mini pump track, playground, lake to swim in, trails to hike and just a lovely, lovely campsite. Squamish town is close by to get supplies/wine/ice cream and we’re going to try rock climbing this summer.


  10. Nicole Dunn commented:

    All of the campsites at Grizzly Lake in Tombstone Territorial Park along the Dempster Highway in the Yukon. It’s a tough 12 km backpack to get in to the campground but it’s the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in Canada. You are surrounded by jagged peaks and it’s very secluded and quiet. Just watch out for the outhouse marmot!


  11. Jennifer Pierce commented:

    I’ll happily camp pretty much anywhere in Kejimkujik National Park but one of my faves is site 16 on Keji Lake. The island doesn’t have an official name but my family knows it as Meteor Island because there is a large flat rock there which is perfect for watching meteor showers!


  12. Sarah Harrison-Cragg commented:

    Anywhere in the interior of Algonquin Park! Particular examples include Parkside Bay on Ragged Lake; first site over the portage into Clydegale Lake; or Happy Isle.


  13. Donna Johnson commented:

    Our favourite campground is Awenda Provincial Park outside of Penetangueshene, Ontario. We have been camping there since the park opened. Late 1970’s? Great campsites and Beach Four is perfect.


  14. Cory Shewchuk commented:

    I really enjoy a specific campsite at Wabasso campground in Jasper. The site is small and secluded, but if I jackknife my trailer, it will barely fit.


  15. Ian commented:

    As a few others have pointed out Kejimkujik is fantastic. Our favorite site is 32, down at the southern end of the park. It has its own pebbly beach and the firepit is located on the beach which makes for excellent evenings. The best part of all, is that even if the park is busy, no one goes to the southern lakes because of the lengthy portages. It helps when you’ve dialed in your gear so you just have a canoe and two packs for seven days.


  16. Christopher Nicolson commented:

    Yoho, Waterton, Berg Lake…all stunningly good answers.

    However I would have to contribute Rainbow Falls on Azure Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.
    1. It takes two days to canoe there.
    2. The colour of the lake is magical…yes azure.
    3. The views of the peaks outside the tent door toward Garnet Peak are soulfully inspiring.
    4. The views from the steep trail up to Huntley Col are equal to the rewards offered by the downstream paddle between Azure and Clearwater lakes for the trip home.


  17. janice Cournoyer commented:

    I live on the Prairies, so my view is different that most of you. But we have hundreds of back country camping and my favourite is Nopiming Provincial Park. The park’s lakes and rivers combine into excellent canoe routes through the Canadian Shield on the Manitoba-Ontario border. A woodland caribou herd wanders its northern reaches and moose and wolves are commonly seen. With only 36 sites, Tulabi is not only the closest campground in the park to Winnipeg but also the most private, with its own beach right on the Bird River canoe route.


  18. Susie Ament commented:

    North Tea Lake Algonquin Park Canada. Serene, grassy, winding waterway in for hours. Sun. Turtles. Frogs. Then…it opens up to the most beautiful lake of any moment or relationship. Life altering.


  19. Jennifer Jilks commented:

    I must admit I’ve never been camping, since we cottaged for 50 years in Muskoka.
    I did visit my children and grandchildren who were canoe camping in Murphys Point Park, on an island. I took my hand puppet and canoed in to visit them, since we live nearby.
    A racoon chewed a hole in their water filtration system and drank a beer, cooling in the water!
    They’ve taken the kids since they were babies. I’m so proud of them.


  20. Joan Cole commented:

    My favorite camping spot is the Warsaw Caves. Warsaw, Ontario Canada. A pre-Cambrian experience. Caves, Hiking, swimming, rock cliffs, gorge. Just don’t expect paved pathways or tour guides.


  21. Erin commented:

    There are so many wonderful, natural experiences within Canada to explore. One of my favourites is Le Lac De La Savane in Parc Du Mont Tremblant. Wether you are looking for a Lake adventure or exploring the Trails, this location has it all. Pop your tent next to the lake and set yourself up for a one of a kind experience! Breathtaking sunsets and exceptional sunrise set the background to an experience to remember. A glowing fire just 5 feet from the waters edge is the focal point during the beautiful symphony of evening Lunes and the song of the wilderness around you. Expect wildlife to walk right through your camp and the crisp fresh spring air to remind you of why you leave the world behind. Most of all the calming motion of your canoe gliding across the water while fishing for dinner. Finally after your day is done, lying in your tent 10 feet from the waters edge listening to the gentle strokes of the water washing up against the rocks. This is why I live in Canada, the experience of being quiet, in complete serenity alone in nature, Lac De La Savane delivers and then some. Check it out!


  22. Val Berenyi commented:

    I have several faves! However, one of my most memorable camping experiences happened while kayaking in the Broken Islands Group on the west coast of Vancouver Island. I’ve paddled there several times, but one June we spent several nights on Clarke Island, camped on what was a old homestead site. The stone chimney still stood in the clearing, now a daisy-dotted meadow. As I lay down for a post-paddle afternoon siesta on my Cloud 9 (a.k.a. down-filled air mattress), I felt completely blessed listening to the ocean, the birds and the wind in the trees before drifting off.


  23. Lori Andrews commented:

    Ribbon Lake in Kananaskis, Alberta. You can hike in three different ways and you won’t run into a million people or a single car as it is a walk-in only site. Moose, Big-horn, deer, fish in the lake and views in every direction.


  24. Laura Grace commented:

    I always love tenting at Illecillewaet Campground in Glacier National Park in B.C. The giant trees and rainforest environment are otherworldly for this prairie girl! And the historic CPR infastructure on nearby hikes is so neat to explore.

    Closer to home, I love Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis, Alberta. So many amazing vistas to hike to and lakes to paddle!


  25. Barb Pedersen commented:

    Writing on Stone provincial Park near Milk River in South Eastern Alberta. We’ve been going there for years and it has everything: 30-40Celsius, beautiful shaded campsites, River to float down, sandy beach, Kms of hoodoos, Kms of coulee hiking trails, showers, store, native American buffalo jump and religious site, interpretive centre, hiking tours to explore depression-era rum-running from the United States, petroglyphs and native culture, wildlife like rattlesnakes, raccoons, garden snakes – you haven’t seen hoodoos until to you’ve been to Writing on Stone!