McRae Point Provincial Park - Orillia, Ontario - August 14 - 16, 2009
Aug 16, 2009
|We had been waiting for this, our next camping trip, since we got home from Darlington on July 26. Joe and I both had Friday, August 14 off work and of course the only thing to do with a Friday off was go camping!
We decided to go to McRae Point Provincial Park, a park we had been to many times before with our pop-up. We made a reservation three weeks earlier as there was a particular site we wanted. By the time Friday rolled around, the park did show up online as being completely sold out, but while walking around we noticed a fair number of vacant sites available. McRae is on Lake Simcoe, near Orillia, about 130 km. north of Toronto. Great swimming, boating and fishing.
McRae has two very different campgrounds. The lower area, or North Campground, consists of 166 sites, all electric, with very little to zero privacy. There are a few sites along the perimeter which have some privacy, but for the most part you are packed in like sardines, with little definition between sites. We never stay in this campground. Not for us, although you are closer to the beach/lake.
We always choose to camp in the South Campground which (in our opinion) has much nicer, larger, more private sites. There are 2 loops in the South Campground, one electric and one non-electric. We camped in site 195 in the non-electric loop. It was an extra-large, grassy site with good privacy from our next door neighbours on either side.
This was the nicest weekend of the summer we have had so far. HOT and sunny. We got to our site about 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon and quickly set up and enjoyed the beautiful summer afternoon and evening.
Joe had a brush (literally) with a raccoon Friday night. He was sitting on the picnic table bench, facing away from the table, when he felt something brush up against his back. He jumped up quick and a raccoon jumped off the table just as quick and ran into the trees. We heard the raccoons chattering to each other all night long. That was our only encounter with wildlife this weekend unless you want to count the rather large toad I ended up showering with Friday night. He had apparently hopped into the shower when the door was left open and even though there were a few people waiting to shower, no one would go into that shower. I did. It was just a toad and he barely used any water! I grabbed him (gently) as I was leaving and put him outside. Run toad run!
Saturday was another gorgeous day spent swimming, going for walks, relaxing and reading. It did rain briefly late afternoon but not even enough to get us wet. Just a passing cloud and the sun came out again.
Sunday was yet another beautiful summer day. You have to be out of your campsite by 2:00 p.m. on the day of departure and we enjoyed our last few hours, had some lunch and headed home around 1:30 p.m.
Another perfect camping weekend (is there any other kind?). We really like this park for their large, grassy and private sites, great swimming (Lake Simcoe is usually never too cold) and it's far enough from Toronto so you're definitely out of the city, but not too far if you don't feel like driving for hours to camp.
Our next camping trip is Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Burlington, Ontario in September. I'm looking forward to camping after Labour Day as parks are usually much less crowded and I love fall camping. Warm days, cool nights and no mosquitoes!
McRae Point Provincial Park Website