So you've decided to head out camping. You have the equipment, the meal plan and the excited kids. Where should you go? Perhaps you don't want to go too far the first few times. Here is a list of campsites and parks that are within 45 minutes of Ottawa that we've been to:
This is the ultimate spot for "easy" camping and it's all about the kids here. It comes with built-in entertainment in the form of organized activities as well as activity amenities like a pool, splash pad, jumping pillows, a jungle gym, large water slide, a pirate ship play structure, swings, baseball diamond, large chess, mini golf, bike rentals, wifi... you get the picture.
The lots for tents are small but conveniently near to the playground as well as clean and well-maintained facilities. Note that the mini golf and bike rentals cost extra. Our site, J06, was directly across from the playground which made it easy for us to sit and monitor the kids while they played. It's definitely not the quietest site though.
This is another campsite with activities for kids AND it has a beach. Activity passes are available for the zip lining, water slides, paddle boats, water trampoline, mini golf, hiking trails etc. There are playgrounds there for kids and a sandy shallow beach suitable for little ones. Campsites for tents are available in an open area or in wooded shady areas. The facilities are well maintained and a short walk from sites.
This provincial park is a great place to try camping and it's only 40 minutes from Ottawa. There are lots of shaded campsites a short bit away from a nice sized beach. You can hike, canoe, fish, bike, go birding etc. My only criticism of this campground is it's near a swamp which makes for bad mosquitoes at certain times of the day and year. The park is near to Baxter Conservation Area where there is another beach to visit one day.
This provincial park has really good sized camping lots, some along the river and some along the lake, making for beautiful mornings and evening views. It has one large main beach and a smaller one among one section of campsites, both of which we found very clean. Again, you can hike, canoe/kayak (bring or rent), fish, bike and go birding. There is a great store on site to pick up necessities or ice cream.
You can't get much closer to Ottawa than Welsey Clover Park. There's a general store and WiFi, but sadly no body of water. BUT, kids can cool off in the splash pad or get revved up on the playground. A great place for people who are new to camping.
What nearby campsites do you return to year after year and why?