Enjoying Summer in Northern Ontario

Who doesn’t love a BBQ with some good beer, good company all while in mother nature’s scenic backyard? Northern Ontario is the number one place to have an authentic adventure in nature, or kick back and enjoy the lakeside scenery. Due to its size, it can be overwhelming to try and plan the perfect weekend getaway with your family or friends.

There are almost too many places in the north to choose from so we did the research for you! Here are three curated camping adventures that you can take with your family and friends. You’ll have the inside scoop on where to set up your tent, get the best craft beer and butcher cuts. All you have to do is bring the charcoal.

Our first adventure is over near North Bay, ON at the Lazy Rock Campground. Here at Lazy Rock they offer tenting, RV and roofed accommodations. Lazy Rock is right on the shore of Taggart Lake, and the campground has a beautiful sandy beach as well as ATV / dirt bike trails and canoe/kayak rentals (just don’t drink and paddle).

If you want to go off the campground, the Eau Clair Gorge Conservation area is nearby with plenty of hiking trails. A quick 40-minute drive into the city of North Bay is where you can pick up the provisions! Stop off at Near North Meats for the highest quality beef, chicken and pork and don’t forget to bring the spice rub! The New Ontario Brewing Company, in the heart of North Bay, has your back when it comes to brews. You can get a 12 or 24 taster pack with a variety of their beer, or pick your own cans! (take a second to appreciate their hilarious beer names and interesting can art, Eye of Sour On, we’re looking at you).

The New Ontario Brewing Company

Our second experience is on the biggest island in a freshwater lake – Manitoulin Island! Our campground of choice would have to be Gordon’s Campground, not only because of their great rates but also because of the wealth of camping options they have. Dark sky camping? Tipi tents? Cabins? BnB? Bunkie? They have anything and everything. Not only do they have some unique camping experiences, but they also give you a ton of thank you perks like free wifi at the main office, charging stations, eco showers and comfortable flush toilets (we know you miss those out in the wild).

As for campground activities, they have a beautiful nature center and hiking trails, volleyball net, horseshoe, kids playground, pool and mini-putt. But being on Manitoulin Island you won’t want to stay on the campground the entire time. Get out and explore Manitoulin Island! Watch the ferry come in at South Baymouth, go fossil hunting at Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong, or try and find the geocache box on the Cup and Saucer trail near Little Current.

While you’re out though, don’t forget to pick up the cuts and beer! Manitoulin Meat Boss has you covered when it comes to the finest cuts of chicken, beef and lamb as well as other fireside snacks like pepperettes, cheese and deli meats. Split Rail Brewing is bringing the beer! Stop by their shop in Gore Bay. Try their gold pilsner, it’s the perfect summer beer!


Photo by: @gordons_park


Photo by: @cheerscharlie

Our last experience is far up north near Thunder Bay, ON. Before you head out to the campground stop at North Country Meat Shop to stock up on snacks like kielbasa and salami. Here you have to try something other than your traditional BBQ meats though. North Country offers wild game like deer, moose and bear so you have to spring out the extra cash to try these Northern Ontario delicacies. Nothing goes better with BBQ than local brews so stop by Dawson Trail Craft Brewery to pick up some craft brew cans. Their “Bae’s Haze” is the perfect hazy IPA for summer.

Click together your tent poles at Wolf River Campground. They have 50 tent sites, modern showers, a playground and a beach on site. Located in Dorian (about 75Km east of Thunder Bay) it’s well out of the way of the noisy city. Dorian is a bit far from Thunder Bay and all the popular T-Bay activities but it’s better to stay off the beaten track. Wolf River campground is very close to Amethyst Mine Panorama where you can mine for your own amethyst, Ouimet Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the North) or head out to find the elusive Wolf River Falls hike.

Photo by: @kforchange


Photo by: @kat_yavorskaya

We hope you can make the most of your summer (or offseason if you want a challenge) and enjoy some of these curated off-the-beaten-track adventures your family and friends are sure to love.