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
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Click here to reserve, or view campsites
Entry / Layout
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
A view of the lake from the front gate
Parking Lot, and Canoe Rental
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
A few of the LARGE tree’s in the campsite
The view of my front door. Lakeview
A campsite on the top of this hill. Great view!
Paved road leading to the campsites
An example of how tight the road gets. Also see the low hung branches
Another example of how tight road gets
Great views right from the campsite!
This is a picture of the cliffs
This is a picture of the boat launch
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
-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.
-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.
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.