Private vs OPParks pros cons and suggestions

Discussion in 'Ontario' started by DMAGZ6, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. DMAGZ6

    DMAGZ6 New Member

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    Looking to do a camping trip with another couple in September and used to be tenters just purchased our first Pop Up.

    Keep in mind we will have a 3month old and the other couple a 2year old

    I have always camped at OPParks and have never given private parks a thought til my cousin gave me the suggestion.

    What are the pros and cons you have in your experiences of private parks vs OPParks and suggestions of private parks with natural water on the premise between Lake Simcoe and North Bay and also out Bancroft way. Not much for the pools when in parks.

    TIA
    Dave,
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I split them into 3 types of campgrounds.. Provincial/state/Conservation Areas Etc. Private campgrounds and Resorts.

    Provincial/Conservation Areas/ Parks of the St.Lawrence Etc - Pretty self explanatory to someone who has been in these types of parks...
    Private campgrounds - Again Self explanatory
    Resorts - I place a campground like KOA into this category because most of the ones I have been to have various activities and features not found in most private campground I have been in..and certainly more then a pool that a PP or CA might have.

    So by my grouping of things I have been to all of these types, each one is different in it's own way.. I prefer PP's, CA's and SLP's (havent been to an SLP in many many years..
    It's not so much pro's and con's.. It all depends on what you want to do or see.. When we did our Nashville trip a few years ago, each of the 3 State Parks we stayed during that trip I would classify as Resorts.. they all have huge marinas, two of them had a golf course, two had horses you could rent for riding one for sure had a pool.. We chose these parks based on the "extra" activities to do with the kids (ages then would have been mid teens and high teens).

    How late or early in September.. PP's and most CA's have a 6 month reservation window.. now if you are talking after Labour Day .. I would look at Samuel de Champlain PP (east of North Bay,) Arrowhead PP at Huntsville almost any PP in the are really... For Private campgrounds... Whispering Pines (Bracebridge, across from Santa's Village, look for discounts on their website).. Oh and just cause it's in the town I live in.. The Franklin Hotel in North Bay.. 3 minute walk to the beach..lol
     
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  3. Tulip

    Tulip Active Member

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    We camp almost exclusively in provincial parks or local conservation area parks. When we did our Quebec and East Coast trips 2 and 3 years ago, we did stay in a few private campgrounds we liked but they were quite rustic and more like PP versus the resort type.
    For us provincial parks offer the kind of experiences we want which tend to be nature based, with hiking or biking trails and access to water for kayaking and the occasional interpretive program and the vibe is about keeping families together vs having stuff that entertains and distracts the kids.
    When we were in Quebec we stayed at a few different private campgrounds - one was very resort like with a themed water front/pond, big pool, bingo hall, wifi etc. We were only there to facilitate exploring other areas but it was our least favourite experience - it was loud, crowded, bright, lots of bands of roving kids and golf carts and NO privacy. We had similar experiences at a private campground between Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury on our way back from the west. They also had very stringent rules about arrivals and departures and we encountered a few very sketchy looking bathrooms.
    We stayed in another private campground in QC and the site was lovely with nice sites but was SUPER strict with a variety of rules especially related to noise, kids being unattended at washrooms or playgrounds etc. We felt a bit like prisoners on our site even though my kids were responsible teens.
    That being said, our site in Fundy National Park was very small and open. We were literally on top of our neighbours. So it's a bit hit or miss.

    Amenities we did appreciate when travelling and staying in private campgrounds
    - almost all have laundry facilities which are a huge bonus on a long multi week trip.
    - camp stores are generally a given and well stocked.
    - service can be exceptional. We had firewood delivered to our campsite while staying at Deer Island in NB as part of our fees and the young man was happy to bring us a carton of milk as well.
    - can sometimes be easier to get a site, as PPs are getting more popular/booked. We found some lovely but inexpensive private campgrounds in BC and on the East coast.

    Cons of private sites
    - OPP parks offer very similar experiences/facilities/vibes. You can count on a certain standard for the most part.
    Private campgrounds are all over the map in our experience.
    - A private campground with a large number of seasonal campers can be a party place, and the established relationships with some campers can make it feel like you are walking into situations where everyone knows each other but you.
    - In our experience sites tend to be smaller, and less private and there can be no/limited waterfronts and often not much in the way of nature.
    - Cost varies dramatically vs standardized rates for provincial parks
    - rules can be odd/arbitrary or restrictive, or not enforced at all. It's a crapshoot.
     
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  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Most if not all PP's have at least one laundry facility.

    PP's have a teard pricing system. . Parks like Grundy, Arrowhead and Algonquin are all clased as "A" parks.. Parks like Oastler, Emily and Restoule are "C" & "D" parks, off the top of my head I can't think of a "B" park.. These designations are all based on popularity of the park.. "A"s cost more per night then a "B" park on down to "D" parks... the cost difference isn't much couple bucks..

    And to add to the Confusion with in each park the sites are rated A thru D.. again a small price difference. .

    So a water front sight at Grundy will cost you about $6 more than a water front site at Oastler. ..

    But yes.. for the most part it costs $50 per night at a PP.
     
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