My Favourite Campsite in Ontario – Phillip Edward Island Archipelago Backcountry

Campsite Type: Backcountry

Where: Georgian Bay near Killarney, Ontario

Over the many years I’ve traveled, I’ve had the privilege of camping at some truly incredible places in Ontario; places that leave an invisible imprint on your soul, and forever hold special meaning for you.

At the top of my list is the chain of islands making up the Phillip Edward Island Archipelago on Georgian Bay.

Imagine wide open skies; clear, fresh water; hundreds of smooth, granite shoals and islands, some with trees, some with bushes, others completely open. And, as the saying goes, “that’s just the beginning!”

In the summer, the water is warm, with a colour at times that’s almost turquoise. The swimming is fantastic, and you can pitch your tent just about anywhere. While there are some scattered cottages here and there, most of the islands are Crown Land, and fittingly so: after camping there out there a few days, you might just feel like royalty!

It’s important to remember however that you are on the bay of a Great Lake. In mid to late summer, it’s not unusual to have strong storms, with high winds, and heavy rain. Thankfully, just like early hockey season hopes of the the Leafs winning the cup, these storms sweep in fast, and leave just as quickly! As long as you’re prepared, and have the skills and expertise needed to travel safely on open water, they’re manageable. The good news is that an occasional storm may be the only “price” you have to pay to enjoy this stunning world class destination.

How to get there:

Phillip Edward Island is situated about one kilometer off shore from the coast of Killarney Provincial Park, not far from the town of Killarney Ontario. The easiest place to park and put in is at the Killarney Provincial Park’s Chikanishing Trail trailhead. The cost of parking is about $14.50 per day, but since Canadian residents don’t have to pay to camp on Crown Land, there are no other fees due.

By Swifty Paddler (@SwiftyPaddler on Instagram or swiftypaddler.ca)

Swifty Paddler is an avid Canadian outdoors-man and landscape photographer. His images feature canoes, kayaks, lakes, mountains, camping scenes and some of the diverse wildlife found in these habitats. Swifty Paddler is based out of Ottawa, Ontario

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