You’re not lacking for lakeside cottages or cozy bed and breakfasts in Hastings County. But if you want to get as close as possible to the call of a loon or all that fresh forest air around here, you’ve got to camp out. From family-friendly campgrounds to RV resorts to hike-in sites, here are nine of the best spots to sleep out under the stars this summer, including three specialized camps.
Red Eagle Family Campground
289 Wollaston Lake Road, Coe Hill
Since 1937, this lakeside campground has been welcoming back generation after generation. Today, the Red Eagle offers seasonal RV rentals, pre-loved trailers, cottages, and cabins — all of which are just a stone’s throw from a sandy beach along the tree-lined Wollaston Lake. The sprawling property has been in the Challinor family for over 40 years, and you can feel those family vibes. The recreation program includes everything from beach volleyball to horseshoe tournaments to a Halloween shindig in August.
West Pines Park Resort
42 Centre Road, Lake Saint Peter
If camping among towering pines and along 1,000 feet of sandy shoreline sounds like you, check out West Pines. Found on the serene Lake Saint Peter north of Maynooth, this family-friendly campground has seasonal and overnight campsites, cottages, and trailer rentals. Algonquin Park and ATV trails are a short drive away, while the campground itself offers boat rentals, swimming raft, playground, volleyball court, kids programs, and the smallest (and mightiest) ice cream shop in Hastings, the Scooped Moose.
Crowe Valley Campground
33 Crowe Valley Court, Marmora
Crowe Valley Campground is proof that you don’t have to completely leave civilization to get a great camping experience. The RV, cottage, and camping resort is nestled along the Crowe River within a five-minute walk of the quaint town of Marmora. But you also have access to hiking trails on over 100 acres and 4,500 feet of riverfront to swim, boat, and fish. The sites themselves are reasonably priced and well treed, providing just the right amount of privacy for yourself and connection to the community.
Bear Ridge Campground & Cottages
563 The Ridge Road, Coe Hill
The other campground on Wollaston Lake is Jay and Traci Morrison’s popular Bear Ridge. There are cottages and seasonal spots for RVs and Park models here, as well as pull-through sites and a separate wilderness area for tents. The beach is the big draw at Bear Ridge, where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and motor boats. Each campsite has its own firepit, but if you’re too tired to cook after all that water time, the Bear Ridge Boutique has burgers, pulled pork, Pogos, fries, ice cream, and more.
Silent Lake Provincial Park
1589 Silent Lake Park Road, Bancroft
For those truly wanting to get away from it all, head to Silent Lake Provincial Park southwest of Bancroft. The 1,450-hectare park has car camping and walk-in sites, plus several yurts and cabins. The non-motorized Silent Lake comes as advertised, with two sandy beaches and 19 kilometres of hiking trails and 17 kilometres of mountain biking trails surrounding it. Rent a canoe or kayak if you don’t have one and head out for a peaceful paddle around the 2.5-km-long lake and adjoining Quiet Lake and Soft Lake.
Island Park RV Resort
9 Island Park Road, Stirling
This is another campground close to civilization — in this case, the charming town of Stirling. But like Crowe Valley Campground, you won’t feel too close because Island Park is situated along a secluded, 100-acre stretch of the Trent Waterway. As the name suggests, this is an RV campground only. There are shady and open sites, each of them big, close to the water, and with hydro, water, and sewage. The big draws here are the beach, new docking facilities, and great boating and sport fishing on 12 miles of river.
Hastings also has several campgrounds that cater to more specific needs, including Christian and LGBTQ+ communities. Here are three.
Joy Bible Camp
39 Joy Bible Camp Lane A, Bancroft
This Christian campground largely hosts organized camps for youth 18 and under, although there are family and couples camps too. All of them happen on almost 700 private acres on Faraday and Card Lakes. Each camp is a little different, but the property features great swimming, canoeing and kayaking, tubing and waterskiing, mini putt, hiking and biking trails, and way more. The facilities include modern accommodation buildings, a large dining room and kitchen, a chapel, and a gym.
Graphite Bible Camp
702 Graphite Road, Maynooth
Located just south of Maynooth on Graphite Lake, Graphite Bible Camp is a Christian kids camp with day and overnight options. It’s been around since 1960, and has prided itself on giving all youth a chance to experience summer camp. Campers sleep in dorms and can take part in a wide range of organized activities, from boating and swimming, to basketball and soccer, to music and bible lessons. The newly renovated dining room building can fit 150 people and also has a lounge with a fireplace.
Riverside RV Campground
84 Robinson Road North, Tweed
You’ll find this popular gay campground for men along the Skootamatta River just north of Tweed. It’s been so popular, in fact, that the owners recently expanded it to offer more tent and fully serviced RV sites than ever before. The heated pool is still there, though, as are the 96 acres of woodland, 2,400 feet of waterfront, and theme weekends. As one camper put it: “Riverside has become our summer getaway, home, and a place to disconnect. Most of all the friendships and community are at the top of the list.”