Caliper Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Nestor Falls

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Caliper Lake Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario; seven kilometres south of Nestor Falls. Caliper Lake campground is in the Kenora district, directly off the Trans Canada Highway and sits on the northern shores of the beautiful Caliper Lake.

Caliper Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

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(photo credit to Leanna Mongrain)
The campground features over 80 sites with about one third of them having electricity. The park is broken up into two separate areas, one for the electrical sites while the other having non-electrical.

Caliper Lake campground offers a spacious group campsite that can fit nearly 40 people. The site overlooks the lake and is one of the nicer camping sites in the park.

One of the unique features of Caliper Lake are the walk-in campsites. Eight of the sites have a short walking distance after parking your car away from the site. Ranging up to 50 metres, the sites make you feel like you are in the backcountry and are right on the water.

What to do at Caliper Lake Provincial Park?

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(photo credit to Leanna Mongrain)
Caliper Lake features a great swimming area with sandy beaches, located in the western part of the park. The beach is a great size for an inland lake in Northern Ontario. The lake is shallow which keeps the water warmer but still provides a refreshing swim.

The park also features a great hiking trail located near the entrance of the park.

The Beaver Pond Trail ranges in size depending on which loop you choose. Between 2 and 3 kilometres, this moderately difficult hiking trail takes you around a great reminder of the vast differences in Northern Ontario forests and ponds.

One of the best parts about the campground is the annual Moose N’ Fiddle Music Festival. Displaying a wide variety of upcoming and established musical talent; there is music that everyone can enjoy. Artisan shops, a variety of food trucks and music lessons provide a great interactive opportunity for all of the campers and visitors.

Fishing in Caliper Lake Provincial Park

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(Photo Credit to Leanna Mongrain)
Caliper Lake is home to a wide variety of fish which includes Northern Pike, Crappie, Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. An unforgettable shore lunch is just waiting to be pulled out of the lake.

The boat launch is right in the middle of the two separate campgrounds. One of the best parts of camping in the park is fishing on Caliper Lake.

Caliper Lake Provincial Park is a great campground located in Northern Ontario near Nestor Falls. Located directly off Highway 17; this park features something for everyone.

Blue Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Vermillion Bay

Blue Lake Provincial Park – Camping near Vermillion Bay

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks
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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)

Blue Lake Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario; nine kilometres north of Vermillion Bay. Blue Lake campground is located in the Kenora District. Off of Highway 647, which is directly off the Trans Canada Highway, the park sits on the eastern shores of beautiful Blue Lake.

Blue Lake Provincial Park – The Campground

The campground features over 200 sites with half of them electrical. The park is well laid out and is well marked in order to find your campsite.

The park features two group campsites that can fit anywhere between 40 and 140 people. Both group campsites are in great locations at opposite ends of the park and are some of the closest sites to the shores of Blue Lake.

One of the more unique features of Blue Lake campground are the “trailer equipped” sites. Six sites in the park come ready to camp with trailers already on the site and the only thing you need to take care of is kitchen and personal items.

Blue Lake Provincial Park has a rich history in Northern Ontario. In the early 1900’s, there was a large forest fire that left it’s mark in the Park.

What to do at Blue Lake Provincial Park?

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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Blue Lake features some of the most crystal clear waters in Northern Ontario. A long sandy beach runs the entire length of the park and features buoys to mark the safe swimming area. One of the group campsites has its own buoyed beach.

There is no shortage of available hiking in Blue Lake Provincial Park. The park features four quite unique hiking trails through a variety of areas.

The Boulder Ridge trail is a one kilometre trail that is relatively easy to traverse. A truly Northern Ontario mix of scenery, this trail features it all. Remnants of glaciers and forest fires through the areas and sand runs from rivers that have dried up.

The Goblin Lake trail, the longest in the park, is 11 kilometres long and a moderate to difficult hike. This all day hike wraps around Goblin Lake and provides scenery that would like the same as hundreds of years ago when the fur traders were in the area.

Rock Point trail is a four kilometre trail with a moderate level of difficulty. Beginning at an active beaver pond, the trail traverses through a wide array of Northern Ontario trees from cedars near the shore line to large jack pine and balsam.

The Spruce Fen Boardwalk trail is one kilometre long, boardwalk trail that takes you around a floating island. Similar to the bogs of Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park, this unique feature is really something spectacular. Many animals and insects take advantage of this and can be seen from the walking path.

The park also features a Natural Heritage Education (NHE) staff which offers a variety of programs as well as treks back in time. Along with an old log cabin which houses the Park’s museum, it is really well representative of the great history of the area.

Fishing in Blue Lake Provincial Park

Blue Lake is another great fishing lake in Northern Ontario with a wide variety of fish. Lake Trout, Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike are mainstays of the Lake and provide the usual catches. More experienced fisherman will try to pull Walleye or Musky out of Blue Lake, but they pose much more of a challenge.

Nearby Corner Lake which is located only three kilometres south on Highway 647 features an opportunity to catch Walleye. Although, no other lakes are fully contained in the park, there are many lakes in the area offering a wide variety of fish.

Blue Lake has a fish cleaning hut which is on the opposite side of where the boat launch is located. Somewhat inconvenient, it is well used with all the different fish coming out of Blue Lake.

The lake features a steady number of canoes and kayaks which can be rented directly from the Park.

Blue Lake Provincial Park is a great campground near Vermillion Bay in Northern Ontario. Located just off Highway 17, it is very convenient and will provide countless memories for everyone that attends.

Aaron Provincial Park – Camping near Dryden

Aaron Provincial Park – Camping near Dryden

Northern Ontario Provincial Parks

Aaron-Provincial-Park-Sunset
(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Aaron Provincial Park is located in the Kenora district of Northern Ontario; 11 kilometres east of Dryden.

Located on the southern and eastern shores of beautiful Lake Thunder just off of the Trans Canada Highway, Aaron park is a camper’s dream.

Aaron Provincial Park – The Campground

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    Aaron Provincial Park Entrance, directly off Highway 17 near Dryden (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Park-River-Road
    Driving along the shores of Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Hiking sign for Aspen Trail (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    The Aspen Hiking Trail is two kilometres long (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Park-Point
    Point on Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Overlooking Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Lake
    Overlooking Lake Thunder (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Campsites at Aaron Provincial Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
  • Aaron-Provincial-Park-Mushroom
    Wild Mushrooms - Better safe than sorry (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Devil's Paintbrushes at Aaron Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)
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    Crow overlooking Aaron Provincial Park (Photo credit to Paul Darling)

Aaron Park features nearly 100 campsites with approximately 30 percent of them having electrical hookups.

The campground is made up of two separate sections, east and west. Thunder Creek flows right through the middle of the park which separates the two sections.

Aaron Provincial campground has one group campsite that can easily handle 15 to 20 people.

This park, like so many other Northern Ontario Provincial Parks, shows the effects of glaciers. The glaciers left scratches on rocks as memories of them moving through the area.

What to do at Aaron Provincial Park

Aaron-Provincial-Park-Campground
(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
The park features two beautiful, sandy swim beaches on Lake Thunder.

One beach is located on the east end of the campground and one at the west end. Both beaches feature picnic tables that can be used for a shore time lunch while taking a break from swimming.

One of the best features is hiking in Aaron Provincial Park. The park features two hiking trails that offer up different scenery.

The Aspen Trail is 2 kilometers long and is a moderate level of difficulty. Winding through tall balsam and jackpine, the Aspen Trial shows remnants of the glaciers going through the area. White-tailed Deer are frequent in the area and will leave their calling cards all around the Aspen trail.

The Eastern Cedar trail is just over a kilometer long and is an easy hike. Featuring some of the larger trees in Northern Ontario, this trail will make you feel like you have gone back in time. The trees are a reminder of the strength of the forestry industry in Northern Ontario.

The park store features a wide selection of Ontario Parks items including clothing and souvenirs. Firewood purchases can be made at the park store while grocery purchases can be done in the nearby town of Dryden.

Fishing on Lake Thunder in Aaron Provincial Park

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(Photo credit to Paul Darling)
Lake Thunder features some great fishing with multiple areas on the lake that are hot-spots. The lake features a wide array of fish but is most notable for the Walleye, Lake Trout and Northern Pike.

The Park features a boat launch that directly enters Lake Thunder. Near the boat launch is a fish cleaning station that has running water, a luxury when cleaning a great Northern Ontario catch.

Aaron Provincial Park is truly a gem of a Provincial Park in Northern Ontario. The park is nestled on the shores of historic Lake Thunder provides showcases the importance of forestry while offering great swimming on sandy beaches.

Kenora – Lake of the Woods

Kenora – Lake of the Woods

Northern Ontario Towns

kenora-lake-woods-skylineThe Town of Kenora lies near the Manitoba border, just under 200 kilometres from the city of Winnipeg. This “Lake of the Woods” town is one of the last stops as you leave Northern Ontario while heading west along the TransCanada Highway.

With a population of approximately 15,100, it is Northern Ontario’s 6th most populous center and largest town.

History of Kenora

Kenora (formerly Rat Portage or Portage-aux-Rats) was an essential French trading post since its establishment in the mid 1700’s. Kenora is one of the oldest fur trading establishments in North America, following only Sault Ste Marie.

The provinces of Manitoba and Ontario each laid claim to Kenora until 1889 when it was officially declared part of Ontario.

In the mid 1800’s Gold was discovered in the area and by the early 1900’s, 20 gold mines were operating in the area. Mining continues to be an important aspect of Kenora’s economy as well as Forestry and tourism. The Lake of the Woods serves as a significant tourism lake.

It was once an integral route for alcohol smugglers during the prohibition era in the United States.

The Kenora Thistles won the 1907 Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League. Art Ross, who the NHL has a trophy named after, was a member of the team.

What do in Kenora?

Kenora-ontario-city-hallKenora is right on the shore of the Lake of the Woods. A classically beautiful city, any avid outdoorsmen will enjoy this Northern Ontario town.

In homage to the beauty of the local wilderness, there are multiple family friendly campgrounds in the area. Rushing River, Sioux Narrows, Caliper Lake and Blue Lake are all Northern Ontario Provincial parks within close proximity.

The Kenora Winter Carnival is a town wide event that attracts competitors from all over the region and Northern Minnesota. Along with Fireworks, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Fishing derby and a Farmers Market, the Winter Carnival has something for everyone.

The Kenora Harbourfest is the largest three day music festival in Northwestern Ontario. Featuring three separate nights of music, Harbourfest is an all out party. Visitors come from all over the area to participate in the sandals wearing good time. With three separately themed nights of music, there is something for every taste.

kenora-marina-lake-woodsThe Kenora Bass International is a large fishing tournament that attracts teams from all over North America. The Bass International fishing derby always happens on the second weekend of August. First prize in the tournament has reached levels of $30,000. The derby is an homage to the amazing fishing in the area.

What to See in Kenora?

The town has a significant arts culture. The buildings in the downtown core are covered in beautiful murals that depict the storied history of Kenora. The pride of the town shines through in these paintings.

husky-the-muskie-kenoraOn the north shore of the Lake of the Woods sits the town mascot, a 40 foot high muskellunge named Husky the Muskie. The muskie represents the amazing fishing opportunities around Kenora.

A can’t miss attraction, however, is the award-winning museum. Once called “one of the coolest museums in Canada” by CAA, it offers a step back in time for the visitors. Representing indigenous and fur-traders alike, the Kenora museum successfully represents the history of this great town.

Kenora is a beautiful town on the north shore of Lake of the Woods. With a tremendous history, there is something to do for families and travellers of all ages. You would never think that the town is nearly

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