Ontario Free Camping

I”ve been camping for free across Ontario for 10 years now. I have found Crown Land even south of Algonquin Park. I ahve put together a book and maps of locations I have personally camped in Ontaio. If you would like any more info please email me at info@freecamping.ca or go to the website www.freecamping.ca […]

Written By Clayton Kessler

On June 25, 2009

Read more

I”ve been camping for free across Ontario for 10 years now. I have found Crown Land even south of Algonquin Park. I ahve put together a book and maps of locations I have personally camped in Ontaio. If you would like any more info please email me at info@freecamping.ca or go to the website www.freecamping.ca Happy Camping


  1. dave

    Hey there! I am doing a trip from thunder bay to the soo, was wondering where a guy could just pull over and camp for free! I am more interested in the camping in the bush than in a campground! was looking for around white lake for the first night, then maybe around montreal creek the second night! thanks for the time!

    • Janet

      There is a gravel road near the bridge over White lake that takes you instantly to a boat launch and large parking lot. I camped there without problem and kayaked to the full moon with great pleasure. Nobody was there and some fishermen came to launch their boat in the morning. Highlight of my cross Canada trip.

  2. Eric

    I am not familiar with that area but for sure there is a lot of crown land around. Call MNR in that area and ask to speak to a ranger. Go to MND website for a list of areas. These guys travel every road and I have found them to be quite usefull for local knowledge.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Stan Verscay

    I’ve spent about 500 nights in Algonquin over
    past 20 years and I know bears can come to visit
    at 4 am. Now that the interior rate is at $11
    I want to know where you can camp for free at some distance from humanity, garbage dumps etc.
    Someone mentioned Madoc area, there is wild
    ginzeng and minerals. I’ll report when I am back.

    • Clayton

      I’ll be looking forward to your report! Thanks for dropping by. With camping rates going up all over Canada, (in BC where I live anyway and in Ontario we all need as much free camping information as possible!)

      500 nights!!!!!!!!! I’m so envious. Would love to hear more bear stories as well. actually, if you can find a spare moment, – would you click over to my “contact page” and complete the interview questions?? I am sure you would have some first hand bear stories and other outdoor stories that would be entertaining and educational for the rest of us. 🙂

      The interview questions are for any outdoors person – they are at the bottom of the contact page.

    • Grant

      Hey Stan. Love to hear about anything you found in the Madoc area, thanks!

  4. Martha

    Hi Stumbled across you sight.
    I’m looking for a safe family area as I have 2 kids 6 & 8 not to far away and near water a river or lake. We are located in Marmora and don’t have a lot of money to send. If I wanted to pay for camping I’d stay in a hotel there about the same price now a days. Let me know I really don’t have idea of area Just not 3 hours or 4 hours away. let me know what you have
    Thanks MOM

  5. Anonymous

    Can you tell me if there is anywhere close to Napanee that is Crown
    Land and is free to camp there and for how long? I have been living in
    my car for some time now but have not come across any place where I
    might be able to go that the cost isn’t high.
    Please let me know ASAP … thank you

  6. Clayton

    Greetings “My car is my home”, Thanks for dropping by in between campfires. This post was written by another author for TracksAndTrails, and he will hopefully respond as I am not familiar with the area. Also, someone else may respond if they read this question.

    In regards to crown land camping in general, the administration is taken care of by each province. In BC the time limit to camp is 14 days. In Ontario the limit is three weeks if you are a Canadian citizen and in New Brunswick the time limit is oficially – and I quote – “A short time”. Now sometimes it may be hard to determine if you are on Crown Land. So for myself, if I do not see any powerlines and telephone lines and no “No Trespassing” signs etc, and if you are in the country then there is a good chance you might be on Crown Land. But one must remember to respect the land and leave no trace as well as to keep water near any campfire and always make sure the firepit is cold prior to leaving.

  7. kristen

    can someone please tell me where I can camp for free near Toronto that has nice sights.. i would only have a weekend to get away. Algonquin would be okay or other suggestion


  8. karola

    Hi everyone! I am looking for a nice camping site around ontario, not expensive! Please let me know if u know some 😀 thanks

  9. Guy Guy

    If anyone can suggest a spot, I am all ears. I dont want to car camp at Algonquin and would like interior but a woman who wants to try this has never been in a canoe, nor can she carry much. kind of kills it for interior camp at AP so hopefully a wilderness setting on CL ?

    I am all ears !



  11. Ken

    I live in Wooler Ontario (Quinte West) I`m looking for free Crown Land camping in my area . I`m only a few minutes away from Germans Landing . Is there any Crown Land along there that I can camp for free with my wife & daughter ?

  12. Karen

    Looking for a good crown land spot near Haliburton area. If anyone has any suggestions please reply.

    Thank you.

    • Grant

      Karen, did you find anything yet? I’m looking at the same area, thanks.

  13. tiffany

    Westlemkoon lake has a lot of crown land spots on it as well as privatley owned cottages.
    loom lake has 3 crown land campsites and nothing else on it, one site might i add is on an island 🙂 those are the only two that I, personally have been to

  14. mike

    Would anyone know a place very near Cornwall Ontario that has free camping … there are actually lots of managed camp sites in this area , conservation areas etc .also a lot of crown land just sitting doing nothing . I did find an old map online of unmanaged crown land .. but the only spot that looked like it was available is out near Morrisburg Ontario … is there land closer to the city of cornwall that is free to camp on .. also how long are you allowed to camp on these lands … thanks
    ***PS – Hey Mike, as the Proprietor at TracksAndTrails, I like to digitally reward folks who provide real outdoor questions / answers to the TracksAndTrails community whenever possible (giving a free backlink). So for all you Ontario outdoor enthusiasts, check out Mikes Freaking Awesome Much Media page!***

    • Clayton Kessler

      Hello Mike,
      Thanks for visiting TracksAndTrails.ca (sorry for the navigation mess – we are undertaking a huge rebuild) I am contacting Ontario Provincial government departments to access to information on all the Ontario Recreation sites. If I have any success in doing so, I will upload all the recreation sites to my new systems here so the public can find camping information. In BC and Alberta I have all the recreation sites listed already and they can be viewed by inputting a city name and / or province and searching at the TracksAndTrails current Campgrounds Directory of Canada as found in the top menu above. So until I can input all the Ontario campsites so people can find free and managed camping, check out the Backroads Mapbook for Ontario. LYou can use their digital maps or purchase their book for your area. It still does not show all the campsites but it does show the crownland areas as you requested.

    • Clayton Kessler

      I just received this automated response from some government mapping office: Thank you for contacting the Customer Service desk for the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). We strive to respond to inquiries within 48 hours (2 business days). Depending of the volume of requests, or the complexity of the question, we may require more than 48 hours. We will contact you if we need additional time to find the answer to your question.

      Thank you,

      CCMEO Customer Service Office

      I will update here if I get my inquiry on finding Ontario Recreation Site locations answered.

      • Grant

        Hey Clayton. I’ve been trying to get this information for Ontario for several years. I had old maps back in the 90’s but they’re outdated now.
        The official position from MNR that I’ve been given is that crown land camp sites are simply no longer published. From the look of the one’s I’ve seen lately, they aren’t maintained either.
        My thought, there is no longer a budget for this so I guess they’d prefer we herd up in Provincial Parks

        • Clayton Kessler

          We may have to use the Freedom to Information Act to help us out.

  15. Clayton Kessler

    Here is a fantastic response to my email from a fantastic Federal government employee.

    Natural Resources Canada offer many topographic map of Canada. Some are for GIS (Geographical Information Software) user and some for average citizen. I recommend to visit GeoGratis Portal made for average citizen and even useful for GIS users. They are located on 2 web portal.

    To have an immediate access to topographic see Geogratis web site: http://geogratis.gc.ca/

    To download a topographic map see Toporama collection below

    For Ontario forestry recreation sites contact http://www.ontariooutdoor.com/


    Jean Pinard
    Service à la clientèle | Customer Service

    Centre canadien de cartographie et d’observation de la Terre
    Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation
    Secteur des sciences de la Terre| Earth Sciences Sector
    Ressources naturelles Canada | Natural Resources Canada
    2144, rue King ouest, bureau 010 | 2144 King West, Suite 010
    Sherbrooke (QC ) J1J 2E8

    Telephone | Téléphone: 1-800-661-2638
    Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

    Toporama is a digital topographic reference product developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Toporama integrates the best available data sources that cover the Canadian landmass to provide quality topographical information in raster format. It aims to provide a symbolic and current representation of topographical features over the entire Canadian landmass.
    Toporama is much better product than CanMatrix. (More accurate, updated, Georeferenced, available in UTM or Long lat, in Nad83 and planimetric accuracy of 30 meters or better) Validity dates are from 1946 to 2010 (Average of 2007).

    Map Index for Geospatial data of Canada
    For vector indexes of the National Topographic System of Canada

    for Google Earth nts_snrc.Kmz format
    Shape file format nts_snrc.zip
    PDF Indexes available at:

  16. Terri

    I’m looking at camping around the Iron Bridge area – there used to be a couple spots north of there on Highway 129 but apparently one is now private and the other has a no camping sign posted. Any suggestions? Near water would be nice as it is a holiday.

  17. Jean

    I’m looking to camp near London Ontario, I am willing to drive 2 and a half hours for a water front area where I can maybe pitch a tent! Let me know, thank you.

  18. Brittany Thompson

    Hi looking for some crown land in the kawartha lakes or haliburton area? do you know of any???

  19. Norm

    I love this tread. I need to camp in bush with acess to trout fishing near or south of Barrie On. I want to also have a water fall if passable and I take pictures. Thank you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Made In Canada

TracksAndTrails.ca Fire Strikers and Fatwood tinder are Made In Canada

How To Light A Fire Without Matches

Step 1.

Fluff the fatwood by scraping the stick with the edge of your striker. If a hunting knife is available, use the BACK of the blade to fluff.

Step 2.

Practice getting a spark to land on the pile of fluffed fatwood by using your ferro rod and the edge of your striker.

Step 3.

Direct the sparks to the top of the pile of fluffed fatwood by using your QUICK-FIRE and the edge of the Striker. (Or use the back of a blade)