a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Jul, 2012

Family Camping at Ontario Parks. This time it’s Lake St. Peter!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

First of all I wanted to send out a big thank you to my three guest bloggers this week: Hollie, Giulia, and Alan for holding down the fort while we were away. I hope you took the time to read their posts and check out their blogs. If not I urge you to take a minute to read and click. Thank you!

Mark picked this year’s camping destination, mostly without me. I was ok with this, but it also meant that if someone asked me where we were going camping I was kind of vague about where that was exactly. “It’s a place called Lake St. Peter,” I’d say, “But I really have no idea where. Algonquin area. I think.”

And then I’d just change the subject because I didn’t want to look like a navigationally-challenging idiot who trusts her husband to book the sites without direct supervision. ;)

Lake St. Peter is one of the smaller campgrounds in the Ontario Parks network of sites and we were not disappointed. In case someone is interested, we booked site 45 (you can reference the campsite map on the Ontario Parks website). It had an amazing view of the lake and was directly next door to the small beach. (There are two beaches at Lake St. Peter, the “Small Beach” and conversely, the “Big Beach.”)

You can view a panorama of our gorgeous campsite here if you are so inclined.

The girls were thrilled that we had a small private path to the beach, it was a lovely discovery for curious explorers. Mark and I were thrilled too, it meant that they could trot off and explore on their own whenever they wanted. There was almost never anyone on the beach either, and for most of the time we were there it was very quiet.

The view from our site was lovely and meditative, especially in the mornings and evenings when boat traffic was minimal. Looking out over the water came with a feeling of peace and rejuvenation, and to think, all this stress reduction was included in our overnight camp fees!

Our campsite, Lake St. Peter

The bugs at Lake St. Peter were minimal, nowhere near our experience at Bon Echo, a different Ontario Parks campground we visited last year. You can read about our buggy adventure at Bon Echo here. (Anyone with a bug phobia may not want to click.)

The lack of bugs is probably a direct result of the very long dry season we’ve had. The tradeoff for that was that the entire area was under a total fire ban. That meant that every hot meal had to be prepared on the Coleman stove. This wasn’t a big deal (I adapted our regular camping menu to fit), but it also meant there’d be no s’mores and no sitting around the campfire, which made us a little sad.) In retrospect I wish we’d thought to buy a small tabletop hibachi as it would have made for better grilling.

So yes, the bugs were tolerable and the other critters we encountered included lot of the usual suspects: chipmunks, squirrels, toads and birds. We saw a bear lumber across the road on the way home, which was kind of cool.

The weather co-operated for the most part. It rained over one night and part of one day. Our brand new tent leaked a bit, which was a disappointment. But there was one good thing about the rain (aside from bringing some relief to the parched landscape of course). It sent us into nearby Bancroft where we encountered a very nice surprise. I will write more about that later. But for now, some photos. I recommend looking at them in large-screen format for the full effect. :)

3 Responses to "Family Camping at Ontario Parks. This time it’s Lake St. Peter!"

1 | Amy

August 2nd, 2012 at 9:33 pm


I went traveling to New Zealand and Australia after university, mostly staying at campgrounds. We knew that NZ especially would be rainy, so my friend put our brand new tent up in her garage for a week beforehand and sprayed it once or twice a day with waterproof spray. It made a big difference.

2 | UsedEverywhere | Camping adventures with the family - UsedEverywhere

January 29th, 2014 at 7:21 pm


[…] family and I just got back from our annual camping trip. It was, in a word, great. But once again I was reminded that everyone has a different idea of what […]

3 | friv e

October 8th, 2016 at 5:57 pm


Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.

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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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