RIP Joey

My rabbit Joey has passed away, and I’m not exactly sure why. Joey loved the freedom he had, and I think it got the best of him. A few months ago, he started to enjoy eating the dog’s food. Of course, that contains protein, which is not good for rabbits. He then started peeing uncontrollably around the house, which got him banished to the basement. It was really sad because he would always run up the stairs, and scratch on the basement door wanting out. He still got a lot of attention, as my office is down there. A few weeks ago, I noticed that he was really lethargic. Joey would allow me to pick him up, and cuddle him, which he never allows anyone to do. I was concerned. The next morning, I went down to check on him, and he had passed away in the night.

Joey brought me a lot of happiness, security, emotion. Joey has always been by my side, and at one point it was just him and I in our apartment. 2 Compadre’s. We got through life together it seemed. It was a real sad day to see him go.

RIP JOEY MEYER! Love Always!

DELETED!

Oops…, I accidently deleted my wordpress database. All my previous work GONE. It’s kinda upsetting, as I had alot of Provincial Park reviews, that I spent alot of time on. Oh well, nothing I can do, except continue on, and backup this time!

** Update **

I was able to get my Camping reviews back. I searched google cache for my reviews, and copied and pasted them back to this page.

Inverhuron Provincial Park Review

Review Date: Sept 2012

General Information / Location

Inverhuron Provincial Park, once off the main highway, you need to navigate through small back country roads, and finally end up at the park. It really seems tucked away. It’s located on the shores of Lake Huron.

Inverhuron Provincial Park
19 Jordon Rd.
R.R.# 2
Tiverton, Ontario
N0G 2T0
(519) 368-1959


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Click here to reserve, or view campsites

 

 

Entry / Layout

IR.Overview

Once you’ve navigated to the park, you’ll get to the front office. After that there’s a long driveway to get to the campgrounds. Here we have Lime Kiln, and Gun Point Campgrounds. In each campground, is a main bathroom, with hydro and flush toilets. The beach is a short drive, where you can park your car, and venture on the beach.

I don’t have any pictures of the entry to the park, as we got here later in the night.

 

 

General Discussion

Both campgrounds are fairly similar, thick bush, and all fairly private. The sites seem to all be a gravel base, and range from medium to large. Most of the sites / roads that run parallel to the lake have private trails that go to the lake. This is nice to view the sunsets, and head straight back to your site once done.

This is a fairly small campground, but still has a fair number of sites.

You can ither drive, or walk to the beach. It’s a fairly long beach, and wading into the water is easy. It wasn’t my favorite beach, it almost seemed man made. Instead of going to the beach, we would head out behind Gunn Point, and sit on the rocks right by the water. It’s fairly easy to get into the water for a swim. We were there in August, and there were small bugs biting your ankles, which was a PITA.

There is also a boat ramp right beside the beach.

There is a path that goes from the beach parking, behind all the sites, and continues around to the Bruce Power Station. It then cuts back through the forest, to the front gate. It’s a decent trail, and worth it.

I don’t have a tons of pictures here, but at least you can see the beach, and trail, and the rocky spot we liked to site.

The Beach

The Beach

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

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This is the path that goes behind the sites

This is the path that goes behind the sites

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

This is where I liked to sit

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The gates to the Bruce Power

The gates to the Bruce Power

View of the water from a section on the trail

View of the water from a section on the trail

 

 

Best Campsites

I don’t have a good list of campsites.  Your best bet would be to pick one along the outer roads, as you will get your own path to the beach.

 

Craigleith Provincial Park Review

Review Date: Sept 2011

General Information / Location

Craigleith Provincial Park is located on the southern shore of Georgian Bay, just west of Collingwood.  The park is situated directly on the shore, and water access is plentiful.  It is however also directly beside Highway 26, which is this park biggest criticism.  I Love this area because of the amount of water visible from the roads, and if you veer off the main road, and head south, the back country becomes really hilly, with great views.

Craigleith Provincial Park
R.R.#3
Collingwood, Ontario
L9Y 3Z2
705-445-4467
Click here to reserve, or view campsites

 


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Entry / Layout

CR.Overview

The entry to this park is directly off of Highway 26, just west of Collingwood.  Once off the highway, you are met with 3 gates side-by-side.  In order to get through, you must use a swipe card that you get at the park office after registering.  Don’t park in-front of the gates to register.  The parking lot is to the RIGHT as you come off the highway.  Park your rig there, then go to the office to register.

After swiping, you basically head left or right.  The park is split into 4 areas.  Area A,B,C,D.  I believe the main bathrooms are in area D, and between A and B.  The whole campground is directly on the water.  There is no beach, as the shore is just shale rock, that steps down into the water.  Beside Area D there is a large gazebo with picnic tables.

Craigleith sign from roadway

Craigleith sign from roadway

View from the parking lot of the main gates

View from the parking lot of the main gates

General Discussion

I think I’ll get right into the biggest criticism of this park.  The highway right beside the park.  Is it noisey?  Well, stand on the side of the road, and listen to a car go by at 90km/h.  It’s not “noisey”, but you definitely hear whenever a car goes by.  Worse tho, is that whenever  car goes by, depending on what side of the park you are on, they see right into your campsite.  So, not very private from the road.

We camped in Area D.  This area is the worse for road noise, and roadway privacy, but it’s the BEST for water access.  Most of the sites towards the end of Area D all have trails that go right down to the water.  This makes it worth it!  If your going to camp in Area D, only camp in the sites right along the water, and not on the other side of the road.  If you can’t get a site on the water, then pick a site in Area A or B.

I didn’t camp in Area A, or B, or C, but did venture down there with my bike.  I don’t have alot of information about this side of the park, but if you get a side closer to the water, it’s a lot quieter from the road noise.   The sites are more private on this side of the park, as there are alot more tree’s.  However, there are no sites that back onto the shores of Georgian Bay, which IMO is the only reason to be at this park.

There is a large bathroom in Area D, and between Area A and B.  They have flush toilets, and showers.

There is no “beach” here, but instead a Rock Shelf type beach, where it steps down into the water.  Be careful, the rock under the water is very slippery.  The water is also cold.  I even managed to do some snorkeling here, which was great.  There obviously aren’t reefs, but you do see some fish, and a rocky bottom that’s clear.  There is a dog “beach”, which is on the west side of the campground.  I didn’t go there so not sure what it’s like.

There are no trails, or any hiking within the park.  I think most people drive to Collingwood, and use some of the trails at Blue Mountain.

There is a large picnic shelter / gazebo on the East side of the park.  There’s even a parking lot beside it, so bring your picnic supplies down, and sit on the picnic table and have a picnic.  It’s also a great place to sit and play cards if it’s raining, etc.

In the center of the park, there are some plaques with History information on it.  I don’t remember exactly whats on there, but I think it tells you how the shore was formed, and what used to be here.  It’s a good read!

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Best Campsites

I don’t have a list of the more “private” campsites here.  The only reason to come to this park IMO is to be directly on the shore of Georgian Bay.  So, sites 210, 209, 208 have this type of access.  However, site 210 is directly beside a vault type toilet.  But if you place your camper between the toilet and your site, your fine.  Sites 209 is probably the best.  208 is beside the large bathroom.  There are possibly others in Area D provide shore access as well, but I don’t remember exactly.

Pro’s

– Georgian Bay water access!
– I really like the area. Nice towns, and near collingwood.
– Clean park

Con’s

– Road noise, road privacy.
– No beach, but the rock shelf is fine.

Surround Area Activities

Scenic Caves Nordic Center – I didn’t actually go here, but if your looking for something to do, this place offers cave tours, zip lining, and hiking.

– Blue Mountain Hiking – Drive to the top of blue mountain, and walk around on some of their trails.  The views are amazing, and there are trails that go along the top of the mountain.

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– Drive your vehicle right down to the water – Go to the location in the map below, and you can drive your vehicle right to the waters edge.  Some people drive here, setup chairs and sit by the water.  I Loved it!


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The spot where you can drive your vehicle down to the water

The spot where you can drive your vehicle down to the water

Conclusion

I liked this park because it’s so close to some amazing places (Collingwood, Georgian Bay).  I loved being beside the water all weekend, and hearing the waves.  I wasn’t too fond of the traffic driving by, but being down at the water outweighed that.

Oastler Lake Provincial Park Review

Review Date: July 2012, *Updated – April 2013*

General Information / Location
Oastler Lake Provincial Park is located right off highway 400, just a tad south of Parry Sound. I really love this area, because it’s right in the forest, near alot of really nice lakes. This campground has become one of my favorites. Why? Because some of the campsites are directly on a Muskoka lake. Not a huge, beach lake, but a genuine, Muskoka type lake. I’ve always grown up with a cottage on a lake, and this campsite really reminds me of that. Camping right beside this lake is amazing. The swimming, fishing, boating, it’s all cottage like.

Oastler Lake Provincial Park
380 Oastler Park Drive (former Hwy 69)
Parry Sound, Ontario
P2A 2W8
705-378-2401


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Click here to reserve, or view campsites

 

 

Entry / Layout

OL.Overview

As you enter the park, you immediately get to the park office. There is ample parking there for registering. After that is a larger parking lot, and canoe rental area, then you enter the park.

The park is broken into 4 different sections. Riverside and Hardwood Hill, Beachside Electrical, Lakeview and The Point. Each section has it’s own main bathroom, with running water and electricity, etc. The beach is located just west of Beachside Campground.

 

Oastler Lake Sign

Oastler Lake Sign

Main Driveway

Main Driveway

Highway Sign

Highway Sign

A view of the lake from the front gate

A view of the lake from the front gate

Front Driveway

Front Driveway

Front Office

Front Office

Parking Lot, and Canoe Rental

Parking Lot, and Canoe Rental

 

 

General Discussion

One important thing to note. The sites on the SOUTH side of the park, and near the lake are VERY VERY windy. (South side of Lakeview, and sites close to water in Hardwood hills). I think the wind comes off the lake, and cause it to be windy. The sites on the North side of Lakeview are calmer then anything.

Beachside Electrical is designed for really big trailers. This campsite seems really open, and privacy is not very good. Directly after Beachside, don’t go up those 2 large hills if you have a big trailer, as it’s very tight up there, and turning around will be difficult. I wouldn’t bring anything larger then 19-20′ up those hills. Turning right, over the bridge, and into Riverside and Hardwood Hill is really nice. The sites are large, but not motorhome material. The campsites in Hardwood Hill, up in the loop, and closer to Oastler lake, are really nice! They seem really deep in the woods, and have great high up views of the lake. (More on specific sites down below).

The Point seems really nice, it’s a TENT only section, but it’s RIGHT out on the water. It’s also walk in only. See picture below The Point.

Lakeview campsite I think is my favorite. This is where it gets a little tight, but I did get my 19′ Surveyor in there, without a problem (if your a good driver!). The sites that are on the water, are directly on the water! Swimming in the lake it great. There’s no beach directly here, but you can wade out in the rocks, and then swim. Pictures below show how close you are to the water, and the nice rocky muskoka shores! Some people even brought their boat, and let it sit in the lake right out front of their campsite. This is cottage country!

Most of the camp roads are gravel, and narrow. Some of them have fairly tight turns, so be careful if you have larger trailer. The campground really seems to be geared toward tent trailers, and tenters, like I mentioned above. I believe there is only.

There is only 1 full featured bathrom. The rest of the bathrooms have plumbing, but more of a vault type toilet.

The beach is actually pretty good. I didn’t go in, so I can’t comment on what the water is like. However, the beach is long for a Muskoka beach. It’s located directly behind Beachside Campground.

There’s not much hiking here. There are a few trails that follow the lake, but they are more paths, and not very long.

Renting a canoe is $25 for 4 hours, or $42 for 8 hours. Oastler lake seems really nice, so going for a nice paddle is definitely worth it.

There is also a boat ramp, inside the park, used for small fishing boats, etc.

On the south side of the “Boyne River”, inside the park, there is a spot designated as the “Pet Exercise” area. If you go here, then follow the trail that goes parallel to the water, you’ll find some 20-30 foot cliffs that you can jump off of. See picture below.

Parrysound is only 5-10 minutes away so a day trip there, on a rainy day might be nice. Other then canoe rentals, there isn’t really much else to do at this park. Also, the park says they don’t have a park store. But over in Hardwood hills, there’s a park that leads to the end of the property, and there’s a store sitting right there. I think this is the unoffical park store.

 

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

Walkin campsites at The Point

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A few of the LARGE tree’s in the campsite

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The view of my front door. Lakeview

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A campsite on the top of this hill. Great view!

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Paved road leading to the campsites

Paved road leading to the campsites

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An example of how tight the road gets. Also see the low hung branches

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Another example of how tight road gets

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Great views right from the campsite!

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This is a picture of the cliffs

This is a picture of the cliffs

This is a picture of the boat launch

This is a picture of the boat launch

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Best Campsites

The campsites on the water, in the Lakeview area are really nice. Sites 118 – 126. They aren’t private, but they are sitting directly on the water. See the photos above. We are currently on site 123, and it’s amazing. There is a nice rock shelf in the water to sit on, or use it to walk out a bit, into the water. I did manage to get my 21′ hybrid on this site. Sites 127, 128, 129 are neat because they are in a cool tree’d area, but there is a LARGE dropoff to the water. Great views tho! The other sites in Lakeview that have a really high waterview are 148, 148, 145. These sits are not private. There’s a drop off to the water, but still nice for a good view. The sites in Beachside seem fairly close together, and not a ton of privacy. They are located near the beach, which is a plus.

Here’s what I wrote in my Journal:
-121 is really big, nice view of water, and a nice platform to get into the water
-126-125 share a natural like beach. So kids can sit on small sandy beach before going in water, but 126 had drainage problems. Water runs right through center of site.
-143 has 1 parking spot, then you walk up this hill to a nice site, you camping on this hill, that you can walk out onto a big rock, and your really high and can see the whole lake. Probably really windy tho
-145,146 are really windy, but they have a great tree’d view of the water. no privacy, and across from vault bathrooms
-406, nice and big. Forest is really cool. HUGE trees. Fairly private. You are high up, and can walk down to the lake. It’s also right near the cliff for jumping. It has a little bit of slope to it. Thick forests. Muskoka forest type feel
-408, same as above. Deep in the forest. Really flat. Only 1 neighbour. Privacy good.
-409, same as above. Slightly uneven. There is a path down a steep hill to the water, and you have your own water entry here. Not a beach, but a spot you can get into the water. Private. Near cliffs as well. I’d pick this one.
-302, 303, 304. Private sites. Your deep in the forest. But, your so far from the water. Why not get a similar site RIGHT on the water? These are big sites. 5th wheels. Big trailers. Private.
-310,309, 308. There’s private property here behind the site, and they have motorized vehicles ripping around making noise. MEH

Some addition comments courtesy of Kate:

  •  Sites 133-134 (Lakeview) small trailer or tent only – sites are very (very) close together long & narrow – could be one site but if you set up properly you can ‘make your own privacy’ – water tap on 133 – they both have spectacular water views and have very large trees – take a hammock! 133 has a small beach & 134 has rock frontage – there is a significant hill which could be an issue with small children (toddler age) or with someone who has mobility issues – otherwise easy to navigate from the site directly to the water from both
  • Site 135 (Lakeview) corner site – fairly large – top of rock outcropping – steep drop to water – not toddler or small child friendly – borders the peninsual walk-in sites – very private – considered a ‘walk-in’ BUT you park your vehicle right beside the site and walk 12-15 feet down a gentle incline to the site – it is TENT ONLY – again a great view with sunset – path behind the site down to the water and large flat rock for sunbathing & swimming – we had paddle boards that we kept down there and you could easily get a canoe/kayak in or out of the water from there

Pro’s

-It’s up north, with lots of trees and water near by.
-It’s on a small, but really nice lake
-Some sites are really nice. Deep forests.
-Some sites RIGHT on water.

Con’s

-There is a train track outside the park, that gets used frequently. Meh, not a huge deal.
-South side of park is very windy
-Canoe rental is expensive.
-They don’t have an official park store. The one that’s off property is a little dingy
-Very TIGHT park. Careful with bigger trailers

Surround Area Activities

Parry Sound – This city is nearby, and worth a drive to see the harbour, etc.

Conclusion

I liked this park. I liked how some sites in Hardwood were so deep in the forest. Some of them in Hardwood, on the EAST side are really high up on a hill, overlooking the lake. I like that some sites are right on the water, and jumping in the water for a swim is great. However, the park is kinda small, with nothing really to do. For me that’s not an issue. Everyone was friendly there as well.

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