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Aug 26, 2020

6 min. read

Warm, bright days and cool, crisp nights. Ontario has a lot to offer when it comes to unforgettable fall camping. Here are five reasons why it’s the best time to book a campsite, plus a primer on how Ontario parks are operating in the era of Covid-19.

1. The Colours

From Ontario’s northern reaches to its southernmost tip, a provincial park is the best place to take in the annual splendor of fall. To help plan your visit, Ontario Parks publishes a handy Fall Colour Report.

2. The Quiet

Parks are bustling in the summer months, but everything settles down in September. If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, now is the time to head to the campground.

3. No Bugs and No Sweat

Autumn chases away those annoying mosquitos and black flies, and more moderate daytime temperatures encourage outdoor activities.

4. Warm Lakes, Cool Nights

Many lakes hold the summer heat right into the fall, so a refreshing dip is still possible. Plus, crisp nights make sleeping—and campfires—much more enjoyable.

5. Turkey at the (Picnic) Table

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays to spend at a provincial park. With the advent of turkey fryers, crockpots and hotplates, you’ll be thankful for every bite. Campfire apple pie for dessert, anyone?

What to expect at Ontario campgrounds this year

About 110 Ontario Parks offer camping facilities. This year, visitors will encounter a few differences thanks to COVID-19. Connor Oke, an Ontario Parks Content Development Specialist, says many of the usual services are available to campers, however park showers remain closed, group camping is not available and festivals, programs and large events are cancelled.

To promote physical distancing, parks are limiting day use permits and campsite bookings. Before visiting, check the Ontario Parks website for details on services available at individual parks.

Why camping is a safe option

While pandemic precautions are a necessity these days, the Government of Canada considers camping to be a low-risk activity.

“At Ontario Parks, we think camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors in a way that is safe and responsible,” Oke says. “It’s very easy to physically distance from other people. We are including lots of cleaning and disinfecting in high-touch areas like washrooms, but we also remind people to follow public health advice.”

While summer is the busiest time at Ontario’s provincial parks, September and October shine brightly.

“Our fall season is growing in popularity and as a result we’ve been extending it at some parks,”  Oke says. “I imagine we’ll be doing something similar this year.”

Check the list of park operating dates here.

Get more with CAA

Before heading out on your camping trip, make sure your car battery is in good shape. To get the job done, contact CAA’s Mobile Battery service, which can come directly to you to test your battery and—if necessary—replace your battery on the spot.

Keep reading

Check out the fall 2020 issue of CAA Magazine to read about a particularly peaceful park in Ontario.

Image credit: iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

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