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Old 02-16-2016, 12:53 AM   #1
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Ontario - Stratford to Thunder Bay

Hi, we're planning out a trip for June and will head across the US first to Stratford, then around north of the Great Lakes to Thunder Bay then back down what we call the North Short of Minnesota to home. Just the two of us, no kids, and we prefer the great outdoors, quite campgrounds, natural areas, scenic and private spaces, hiking spots. We water and would do canoeing where available but won't be hauling a boat. We're not hung up on full hookups and can do dry camping for a couple of days, but electricity would sure be nice (which I see at all these places except one - Killarney if I remember right).

I'm thinking about this route, roughly 2 days each:

Wildwood Conservation Area - near Stratford

Killarney Provincial Park - near Sudbury

Lake Superior Provincial Park (or Pukaskwa National Park- no reservations but "rarely full" they say online) - near Wawa

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park - near Thunder Bay

Shooting for about 5-6 hours driving/day max. so we can avoid rushing, enjoy the scenic trip, get settled in a spot well before sunset and still enjoy some of the park the day of arrival. Probably stay 2 days each place.

I figure driving times at 50 mph (80 kmh) average with interruptions and all so that's about 250-300 miles/day or 400-485 km./day. The total trip (straight highway distance) is 1500 km so the math is just a bit off here, but not too much. Google maps says it's 16 hrs just on the highway but I would figure 18, so three days at 6 each, maybe make up some time here and there but there is certainly extra time getting into and out of these parks that are not right on the highway.

What do you think of these choices and plans, or what else would you recommend? Thanks!

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Old 02-16-2016, 01:23 AM   #2
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Rabbit Blanket PP near Wawa is a nice park.

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Old 02-16-2016, 06:08 AM   #3
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I would plan on doing no more than an average of 40 mph and I personally avoid Hwy. 400 like the plague. Way too may crazy drivers for me.

You could consider Algonquin PP but that would take you away from the Great Lakes a bit. IMO, Algonquin is well worth it but then I haven't been to the PPs you mentioned either.

Sounds like a very nice trip.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:15 AM   #4
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We did Pukaskwa National Park and sleeping giant two summers ago. Both parks are very nice. At Pukaskwa National Park the wind was coming off lake Superior so it was cold, highs of 10C (50F) in late July. There were lots of spots available in late July. Seemed to be a stop over park for people. There is good hiking and you can rent a canoe just have to make sure you stay in the coves by the park and not on the lake. Sleeping giant is very nice as well. Lots of hiking and animals. We had dear, rabbits, and even wolves around. We stayed in site 201. very long sight and private.

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Old 02-16-2016, 12:52 PM   #5
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Killarney and Algonquin PP's are both within an easy drive of Toronto so although nice are busy. Once you get past North Bay or Sudbury the real camping begins. Chutes, Neys and Kakabecka Falls are all awesome. Ontario is big. Really big. Lots of driving to get around the lake. Have fun and enjoy!

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Old 02-16-2016, 01:02 PM   #6
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Consider Neys PP. Great place with interesting walkable lake shoreline. Was a German POW camp during WWII. Your itinerary sounds good. It'll be a great trip.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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Have you considered taking the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:40 PM   #8
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Ontario Parks

You may also want to look at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. Located about an hour North of Parry Sound just off highway 400. They have some electric only sites (water and sewer dump station on way in). Scenic hiking trails. Beautiful lakes that are restricted to non motorized boats.

If you do go to Killarney, make a trip into town to try Herbert's Fish and Chips located on the waterfront. THey use fresh caught fish.

Safe travels

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Old 02-16-2016, 01:59 PM   #9
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To avoid travel from Stratford north on a Friday or Saturday. The northbound 400/69 is not for the faint of heart. Make a reservation for Killarney. It is beautiful and popular. It is an hour in off the highway. Grundy is a good option. Stratford is worth exploring. Plan on bugs in the north. Enjoy.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:51 PM   #10
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"... we're planning out a trip for June and will head across the US first to Stratford...." -- please do take your time in and around Stratford! has been a number of years since I was there, but back in the day, which might still be the same, most of a day could be softly passed along the river front, letting the mind wander with the swans, watching lawn bowling matches, just coming down from being on the road -- and then, from about april into october, mozy thru the streets of town, take in a stage matinee, then a light dinner and another theatre to cap the day -- too much to enjoy to stuff it all into a day or so -- Enjoy!!

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