Camping in Balsam Lake Provincial Park

We had a unexpected visitor from England in September 2014 when Hubbies brother came over to see us.  In order to show him as much of Canadian life as possible we packed up the tent and headed off to Balsam Lake Provincial Park for the weekend.


We chose it because of it’s proximity to home, we only had the friday evening and saturday so we didn’t want to travel much further afield than an hour or so.


We booked site number 143 but when we arrived found it was too boggy so we changed to 177.  Balsam Lake is known as a park for trailers, the sites are just one big field with no barriers and absolutely no privacy which is far from ideal if you are only in a tent.  Luckily there wasn’t anyone anywhere near us so that wasn’t really an issue but I can imagine this park would be noisy and busy mid-season.

The ‘aroma’ from the vault toilet nearby was gag-inducing after being in the full sun throughout the summer months, to say it was unpleasant is a major understatement!

There was a lovely big beach and by the size of the parking lots nearby I imagine it to be jam-packed on a fine summers day.  The water is shallow so it’s ideal for little ones.

Balsam Lake wasn’t an ideal park for us, the lake was too shallow for fishing from the shoreline and the park was too big, too open and too busy to offer the quiet camping experiences we love.  I’m sure if you’re ideal campground is a short drive from Toronto, a big sandy beach, lots of kids around and an open park to get full sun then this is probably the park for you.


We did get to see some beautiful fall colour though and we found a fishing spot along the Trent Canal a few minutes drive outside the park but on the whole Balsam Lake is just not for us.

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