Review Date: We are camping here THIS WEEKEND! I’ll complete review shortly after (June 2013)
General Information / Location
Killarney Provincial Park is located about 60kms off highway 400/69. It borders Georgian Bay, and is full of great hiking trails, and canoeing adventures! I like this area because of the rocky and hilly landscape.
Killarney Provincial Park
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When travelling north, south on Highway 400, and you see the Killarney exit signs….. don’t get to excited yet. It’s still a 57km drive on highway 637 to get to the front gates of Killarney. However, the road is decent, and it’s a nice drive through the forest! Also, be on the lookout for animals! We saw a large black bear, 2 deer, and a fox. The red fox actually lives in the campground, and you’ll see it walking around from time to time.
Right off the highway is the front gates and front office. The front office also has a small gift shop / supplies shop. I found it neat to walk around, and look at the displays that are setup. There is also a Fox that likes to walk around the front office area. You also sometimes see it walking through the park. Once past the front gates, the park is split up into 3 sections. George Lake A, George Lake B & C, George Lake D. I believe there is one main bathroom, with flush toilets, and showers, and there are plenty of vault type toilets scattered throughout the park. There are 2 beaches, one on George Lake A, and the other on George Lake D.
We stayed at the George Lake A campground, in site 29. If your staying in this part of the park, stick to the sites along the river, and not near the parking lot. The sites along the river are spaced out nicely, and all fairly private. You really feel like your camping in the middle of the bush here. There are 3 vault toilets along the river. The only issue is that you are fairly far away from the Flush toilets, and the garbage bins, but I didn’t mind as you are also away from all the noise. There is a turn-around spot at the end of this road, so if you have a truck and trailer, you should be able to turn around. I have a RAM with a 20′ trailer and was able to turn around without troubles.
I didn’t view all the sites in George Lake B & C. From what I remember, the sites are closer together, and less private. Maybe because the bush didn’t seem as thick? However, this campground is alot closer to the flush toilets, which might be nice for some.
I didn’t go into George Lake D at all, so can’t really comment on this section. I believe these sites are mostly tent sites.
As I said above, there is only 1 full featured bathroom, and lots of vault toilets around the campgrounds.
There are 2 beaches. The one I did go to is at George Lake A. For a small lake, the beach is pretty good. There is also a roped off swimming area. This also seems to be the main entry into the back hills of Killarney. Meaning, alot of people are using this beach to begin their canoe trip. You’ll also see alot of people coming back on Sunday’s, etc. I believe the beach at George Lake D has a boat ramp. (Or a canoe ramp?)
The park suggests that you bring any garbage to the garbage containers every night. If you don’t, the raccoons seem to not be afraid to come right in, and steal anything. Even if you’re sitting at the campfire.
In order to rent a canoe, check the Killarney magazine, and it offers 3 different outfitters for canoes. You simple call them, give them your credit card, and they supply you with the combination to the lock on a specific canoe. The one I called was $28 per day. The canoe trip was the highlight of our trip. We paddled along the outside of the lake, and once you get to the other side, the cliffs are AMAZING. There is even one spot where the cliff hangs over you. Canoeing this lake is a must!
The hiking here is AMAZING! So amazing, I’ve created it’s own category below. I’ll describe the trails that we went on, and provide some pictures. First, see some pictures below of Killarney Park.
Here, I will describe the trails that I hiked on. I don’t have pictures handy right now, but will add them eventually. You can see a brief description of all the trails in the park HERE
1) Chikanishing Trail – I suggest taking this trail first. It only takes 1 – 1.5 hours. It’s a loop trail. It follows a river out to Georgian Bay, and brings you a-top large rocks, overlooking the river, and Georgian Bay. Once you see the view of Georgian Bay, you gasp at how incredible it is. We walked right to the lake, and went for a quick swim. IT WAS COLD! On the way back, it winds through the forest, and eventually back to where you started. This trail is fairly easy, and gives you a good idea of what hiking is like up in Killarney
2) Granite Ridge Trail – I also suggest taking this trail. Do it at the same time as the above trail. It brings you out to an incredible cliff, overlooking the Provincial Park. We sat on this cliff for a long time, just taking in the great views. Here’s a video:
3) The Crack – This is the trail you’ve been practising for. It’s a must! I would suggest starting sometime in the morning, having lunch atop the mountain, then start the treck back down. Bring lots of snacks, and a lunch. The trail is fairly easy, but it’s long. There are a few sections where you’re climbing, which can get tiring. The view atop the final destination, is incredible! Once up there, take an hour or two, and soak it all in. Relax, and rest.
4) Bike Path – This is a fairly short path that starts near site 30, and goes to the highway. Here’s a video of it:
– I would say that any campsite along the river are fairly good. Sites 18 – 30. I would also say site 63 is pretty good. It’s got a nice spot you can walk out and see the water.
– Hiking! If you want to hike, and explore, this park is awesome for that!
– When camping, you really feel like your in the middle of the bush. Camping in a real remote area (which you kinda are).
– The park is really quiet.
– You need to watch out for bears, and throwout your garbage every night. Which is kinda neat cause I love seeing bears!
– It’s a treck to get there
I really liked this park because it was really quiet. The sites along 18-30 are spaced out, and give you alot of room. I love being up north, and seeing all these wild animals. All the hiking up there is amazing. Go out and hike all day, come back and relax at your campsite.