a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Aug, 2015

Camping at Achray, part four (activities at Achray, plus a lot of photos)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|travel talk

I might seem like I’m so down with this camping thing, but I should also tell you that I can’t handle more than five nights of camping. At the beginning of each camping trip I’m thinking: WOW! I love being outside! It’s so relaxing! Outside is great! Fresh air! Nature! By the end of each camping trip I am tired of eating out of a cooler and exhausted from all of that nature and fresh air. But I still love it. And I love that my kids love it and that we can all love it together.

So what else did we do while we were at Achray? I’m sure new campers and non-campers are wondering how we filled our days. Wellll…

We read books and magazines in a hammock we strung up in a spot overlooking the lake.

Feet up and chillin' out

We found a nest of water snakes. Here’s mamma. I think:

Nest of water snakes

The kids went fishing.

Fishing in the morning mist

The fish who silently cried for help

There was rock collecting and minnow-hunting.

Catching minnows and things

We went swimming. The girls had inflatable mattresses and so they swam out with them, which gives one a whole new perspective on the beach. And maybe even life itself.

View of Achray beach from the lake

The beach at Achray

We went hiking.

Mark on the Berm Lake Trail

We rented a canoe.

We can barely fit!

We watched the sun set.

Sunset at Achray

We picked wild raspberries and kept our eyes peeled for local flora and fauna.

The perfect mushroom?

I pose for peanuts!

Toad in a hole

A big family of water birds

I took a few hundred photos of chipmunks. It couldn’t be helped. (You can see more of them here.)

Possibly the cutest chipmunk photo in the whole world

We played Uno.

Campsite card games

We had fun with sparklers and glow sticks.


Glow sticks

We made banana boats.

We cooked our food over the open fire (when we weren’t using the camp stove, that is).

Roasting marshmallows

We built fires. We sat around the fire. We stared at the fire. We let ourselves get hypnotized by the fire.

E by the fire

And sometimes we did nothing.at.all.

The rocks at the end of our site

Suffice it to say, each day was a full one.

(If you like, you can see the rest of our camping photos from Achray right here.)

I have a few parting words for anyone who’s looking to book a site at Achray:

  • Cell/mobile service is almost non-existent. You might be able to grab a very shaky signal near the camp office building, but that’s a big maybe.
  • There is no comfort station, but there are flush toilets and running (potable) water. Don’t let this scare you. There is a lake after all!
  • The camp office is also the camp store. This is where you get your firewood and ice (blocks or cubes), but it’s not a store per se. They sell minimal stuff here: think bug spray, marshmallows, tampons, postcards, a few frozen treats. If you’re out of milk/bread/fuel it’s a 45 minute drive to the nearest store. What they DO have at the camp store is Keurig coffee available to buy and brew on the spot. This came in handy for caffeine emergencies.
  • They do not sell worms. We asked.
  • There’s no kayak rental, only canoe (life jackets and oars are always included FYI)

You can read more about the Achray campground on the Ontario Parks website.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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