|Camped|||||7 places|||||39 nights|||||2973 km|
|Wellesley Island State Park (Wellesley Island, NY)|
May 18-22, Foxtrot Loop, Site 51, 50A 116VAC, water and sewer.
This year's group camping season opener marked our first return to this state park in ten years. Loop F is an excellent section of the park for group events. I'm glad I thought to purchase a 50A male to 30A female dognone power adapter before the trip, because there was no 30A plug on the power pole.
As usual we had our delicious Saturday night potluck but we did another on Friday night with poutine and hors d'oeuvres. Yummy!
- Park - nicely kept with a wide variety of campsites.
- Full hookups - always a treat because most of the time we camp with electrity only.
- Site - Spacious with nice asphalt pads, though some were significantly sloped.
- Staff - Park staff were pleasant, helpful and courteous
Not so good:
- Exposure - Loop F has few trees and would be pretty hot in the summer.
- Tolls - Every time you visit the mainland you have to pony up USD 2.75 to cross the bridge back to Wellesley Island.
Overall an excellent trip to a park within two hours of home. I think we'll be back.
|Mew Lake (Algonquin Provincial Park, ON)|
June 22-26, Mew Lake, Site 20, 30A (VAC not measured).
Another visit to Mew Lake at the Grand-daddy of Ontario parks. This time Dawn's Mom and Dad camped at a site near us in their class C motorhome.
- The site: Site 20 is huge, relatively flat and easily accessible.
- The park: Algonquin is a magical place and a great way to see a lot of what Ontario has to offer.
Not so good:
- The bugs: Black files and mosquitos abounded, meaning we were either netted up or sprayed down. Dawn and John had plenty of bites as souvenirs.
- The weather: One okay day, two rainy days and one sunny day. Not so bad, I guess!
Despite the less than perfect weather, we had a great time at one of our favourite parks.
|Darlington Provincial Park (Bowmanville, ON)|
July 25-26, Lakeside Campground, Site 93, 30A 112VAC. We booked a lakeside pull-through site in Darlington enroute to Pinery Provincial Park. Not a long stay but a first glance this is a nice park, and it was nice to break up the long drive to Pinery.
- Location: Right off the 401
- Site: Easy pull through access, right across the road from a great view of the water.
Not so good:
- Site: Could have been better maintained
- Stay: Not long enough!
- Sound: Traffic from the 401 could be heard, but only faintly.
We'd come here again, maybe for a longer stay.
|Pinery Provincial Park (Grand Bend, ON)|
July 26 to August 18, Riverside 4 campground, Site 792, 30A, 117VAC. We haven't camped at Pinery since 2010 and have always wanted to try the longest allowable stay on a provincial park site (23 days), so we've combined the two. Pinery is a beautiful park and we met up with family and friends on several occasions. During this trip we passed a major milestone - one year spent in our camper(s). We spent a lot of time in the water or at our site, took in a couple of drive-in movies and toured the area including London, Sarnia, Goderich, Grand Bend and at least a dozen nearby small towns. It's a great part of the province. I even managed to get an Amazon order delivered to our site!
- Location: Nice region, beautiful park, great site, amazing lake.
- Weather: With the exception of a few rainy spells the weather was fantastic - perfect for daily dips in the lake.
- Staff: All of the park staff we interacted with were professional, friendly and helpful.
- Company: Family and friends, old and new, made the stay all the more enjoyable.
Not so good:
- Access: There are no dedicated lanes for pass holders, so if only one of the three main gates is open you have to line up behind everyone checking in - same for the campground gate. The drive from the highway to our site was already ten minutes (it's a huge park) and gate delays compounded the issue.
- Poison ivy: It's everywhere, including the path from our site to the typically distant bush-bound power pole. Park staff claimed they could do nothing about it because "it's natural".
- Enforcement: We seldom saw park wardens and three complaints to the gate staff about the noise on the next site did not have a noticeable effect.
We're glad we tried a 23-day stay, but it might have been a little too long... we were ready for home when the time came. But it was a wonderful trip, and we've passed the 1-year milestone!
|Brighton KOA (Brighton, ON)|
August 18-19, site A3, 50A, 116VAC, water and sewer. A stopover to break up the trip home from Pinery.
This is nice park for a stopover or a longer stay. The park is high above the 401 to the north; the hum of traffic was ever present but the highway is mostly hidden from view from the campground - it was a non-issue.
Access to the park is easy. The owners are very friendly as are most of the staff, though a couple of younger staffers were polite but not especially engaging. The girl who took us on the wagon ride had never driven the tractor before and had to be shown how to put it in gear. Pretty careless, I thought. Quiet hours start at 10 pm but there was no enforcement that I could see.
We stayed on a premium 50A site (we only need 30A but the only one was booked). The site was very nice with a deck and comfy patio furniture, nice grass, and a stone-ringed fire pit. For the price, though, I was surprised that the pad was sloped (nose and curb side low) and unpaved. How can it be Kamping On Asphalt when it's gravel?
The pool is very nice... salt water and cool enough to be refreshing. The onsite chip stand offers decent food but some items cost too much... Like the 3 tiny chicken fingers Dawn got for $5.00. But the fries were excellent. The store is well stocked. Wifi passwords are handed out per device (we got two) and I couldn't connect with my Android phone due to errors. Dawn reports that it was terribly slow, which is no surprise.
Despite some minor hitches (trailer humour), we liked this KOA and would stay here again.
|Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Ingleside, ON)|
September, 15-17, Site 43, 30A 116VAC, water. An impromptu group camping event with old and new friends.
- Atmosphere: In our experience this is a relaxed and quiet park, and it did not disappoint on this occasion.
- Activities: Lots of places to bike and walk - good kayaking too.
- Sites: A wide variety and well spaced. Most are fairly level.
Not so good:
- Beach: The water was low and the swimming area buoy line was high and dry. Not the nicest sand either.
Another great visit to one of our nearby favourites.
|Sandbanks Provincial Park (Picton, ON)|
October 5-9, Woodlands CG, site 710, 30A. Back to Sandbanks for another glorious Thanksgiving! We caught the leftovers of tropical storm Nate with high winds on Sunday and torrential rain on Monday, but there were beautiful clear spells. Campfires, meteor spotting and a dip in the lake for John for the third year in a row!
- The site: 710 is easy access for backing in and the site was nice and large. The only spoiler is the power pole, which is oddly placed near the site entrance.
- The weather: When it was good, it was very very good.
- The area: One of our favourite regions for touring, though we didn't do a lot of it this trip.
Not so good:
- The weather: When it was bad, it was horrid. Pouring rain Monday from before we got up until after we got home. Smart us - we packed everything we could on Sunday night.
Another favourite tradition brings our 12th family camping season to a close.