Backcountry camping

Get away from your everyday on a backcountry camping adventure and experience Ontario’s true wilderness.

Backcountry camping is both an exceptionally challenging and overwhelmingly rewarding experience. Choose from a variety of ways to travel, from hiking and/or paddling or even snowshoeing into remote areas to set up camp. You’ll need to be fully equipped with all the tools and supplies you’ll need as there are typically less (or no) facilities at backcountry sites in most wilderness parks.

This type of camping requires a great deal of preparation and planning, as well as outdoor experience and survival skills.

Quick guide to backcountry camping in Ontario

Backcountry camping in Ontario Parks

From Frontenac, Bon Echo and Kawartha Highlands in southern Ontario, to Grundy Lake, Algonquin and further north to Temagami, Quetico, Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou, there are boundless opportunities to experience backcountry hiking, paddling, photography and camping in Ontario’s beautiful parks.

Note: Ontario Parks is reducing the maximum length of stay at select parks during peak seasons to help connect more campers with campground sites and experiences.

Backcountry camping in Parks Canada

Ontario’s national parks showcase the tremendous diversity in topography, ecosystems and wildlife.

Pukaskwa National Park is the only one designated as a biodiverse wilderness park and offers unparalleled backcountry experiences.

Backcountry camping is also available in the Stormaven and High Dump areas in Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Ready to explore more? Get started.

Know before you go

What to pack

The tools, gear and supplies you’ll need will vary depending on the type of trip you’re planning and the time of year.

Mountain Equipment Coop compiled a great list of what you’ll need for a backcountry paddling trip in Algonquin Park. It’s a great example of how extensive your planning process will be.

Safety guidelines

From planning to completion, Ontario Parks outlines key safety and etiquette guidelines to keep in mind for a backcountry trip.

Visiting Indigenous heritage sites

Several sacred Indigenous sites are located within Ontario’s parks. Appropriate respect and appreciation are essential as you visit spiritual and culturally significant places.

Ontario represents 46 treaties, use the interactive treaties map to find out which treaty applies to the park you are visiting.

Last updated: December 18, 2023

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.