If you are anything like us and always looking for a rugged, off the grid, quiet place to camp than Quetico Provincial Park is the perfect place for you. Quetico is an iconic wilderness class park that is world renowned for its rugged beauty, rugged rock cliffs, picturesque views at every twist and turn in the water and is one of the best places to canoe in North America. With over 460,000 hectares of remote wilderness and over 2,000 lakes you could be exploring this hidden gem of a provincial park for weeks and never see it all. Quetico offers one of the most peaceful places to camp and experience the true wilderness all steps from your tent, RV or however you choose to camp.
Quetico has 100 campsites reserved for car camping in Dawson Trail Campground located on the beautiful French Lake. Split up into two different campground loops – Chippewa and Ojibwa. Both campgrounds offer electrical campsites and can accommodate both large RV’s and tents. There is also roofed accommodations that are open year round. We got a beautiful waterfront site that had a little canoe launch down a short hill on the French River. We were in site 5e in the Chippewa Campground, the smaller of the two campground loops, and although it was only rated for an 18 foot RV the parks girl assured us we would have no issues fitting our 24 foot trailer in the spot and we did not! A beautiful long site with thick trees offering privacy from your neighbours. We were very impressed and loved the peace and quiet felt at Quetico.
Backcountry camping is also available. There are over 2,200 interior sites located throughout this wilderness park. Some of these sites offer the most beautiful views of the various lakes, while being sheltered from some of the trees. While we were canoeing through Quetico we saw some of the places you could stop and backcountry camp for a night or as long as you would like and we could only imagine how incredibly peaceful and amazing it would be to spend sometime completely alone in this slice of heaven.
What Is There To Do in Quetico Provincial Park
Hands down the most popular option to do in Quetico Provincial Park is Canoeing. People come from all over North America and even beyond to explore all the lakes and various canoe routes this incredible park has to offer. Stretching 60 miles from east to west and 40 miles north to south there are so many options for you to explore on Canoe or Kayak. There are no roads throughout Quetico beyond the road into Dawson Trail Campground and the park is only accessible by water. This is what makes Quetico so incredibly special is to explore and get the most of out it you have to leave the confines of your car and hit the water.
With hundreds of lakes and rivers that are linked together by 550 maintained portages that average 400m in length and provide a wide range of canoeing opportunities from a one day trip to several weeks! Before you hit the water it is always best to check in at the visitor centre to inquire about the water levels and portage conditions. We had not actually intended on visiting Quetico Provincial Park but since it was under two hours from Thunder Bay we couldn’t miss this incredible place. So we added it in to our trip but were only able to stay for 24 hours. So we chose to do one day paddle trip that took us from French Lake to Pickerel Lake to visit beautiful untouched white sand beaches. To read about our paddle trip check it out here!
If you do not have the time to canoe or would prefer to explore in other ways there are several other options in the park. Including Hiking, Birding and Swimming among other things. With over 35km of hiking trails there is a lot of great options ranging barrier-free to moderate difficulty. With so much to do and see in Quetico Provincial Park you could easily say for several days if not longer.
What To Do Outside of Quetico Provincial Park
Atikokan is the only city in Ontario that is on a different timezone. It does not observe daylight savings. This small town is the gateway to the canoe capital of Canada – Quetico. Here you can get groceries and any necessities you may need during your stay at the provincial park.
Visit Little Falls
Little falls is a beautiful waterfall in the town of Atitokoan. If you are visiting during summer time make sure to bring bug spray as the mosquitoes are awful around this area!