Spring Camping: Why it’s Awesome

I know so many people who only go camping in July and August, but there are so many benefits to spring camping!

  • Fresh air. There’s nothing like the first camping trip of the season to get outside, take in nature, refresh, rejuvenate, relax and shake off the last of the winter blahs. 
  • No crowds. You won’t have to fight ‘cottage traffic’. You won’t have to wait in a line up for a shower. You won’t have to listen to as many screaming children, barking dogs and blaring music. You’ll have the trails to yourself!
  • Reservation Fees. When campgrounds are less busy, you don’t need to reserve 5 months in advance and you don’t have to pay the $10 reservation fee. Just pick a weekend with good weather and go!
  • Birds. Spring is when migratory birds head north in most places and it’s the best time to be outside if you enjoy birding. And even if you don’t, there’s nothing more peaceful than waking up to the chatter of songbirds doing their morning thing.
  • Wildflowers. Trout lilies, Lupine, Wild Geranium and Trilliums all bloom in the spring.
  • Bugs. If you get out early enough in the year, there won’t be any!
  • Moose. Salt (used on roads in the winter to help melt ice and snow) washes into roadside ditches in the spring. Moose need salt in their diet and will hang out to eat the vegetation in salty ditches. Be extra careful driving in moose country at dawn and dusk in the spring.
  • Animal babies. They’re everywhere! In the Spring when Parks are less busy, animals are more likely to bring their babies out to explore the world for the first time.
  • Fishing. Most zones in Ontario are open for trout fishing at the end of April. Check the Ontario Fishing Regulations for more details.

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Of course, there are some disadvantages of spring camping:

  • Weather. It can be more unpredictable and rainy than other times of the year. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, talk to Parks staff and come prepared (weather-proof your tent, bring warm clothes, rubber boots and proper sleeping bag).
  • Bugs. In Ontario, bug season usually starts around the end of May depending on the year. You will want to bring bug spray, long sleeves and pants, and maybe even a dining shelter and bug net hat if black-fly and mosquito season has already started.
  • Campground Amenities. Parks services may be limited during the beginning of the season. Depending on the date and location, showers, interpretive centres and even some trails and campsites may be closed. Call ahead to be sure.
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