Just ten minutes by car from Orillia in Ontario, Bass Lake Provincial Park, located on the western shore of Bass Lake, is an excellent destination for exploration year-round. With a sandy beach formed over 10,000 years ago, the area that surrounds the lake is a mixture of forest, wetland and agriculture, meaning that there is plenty to see and plenty to do during your visit.
When visiting Bass Lake Provincial Park, you can plan to engage in activities on land and in the water. Hiking in the park will allow you to explore past geological, natural and historic features. You may also have the opportunity to view beautiful wildflowers as you explore the park. After getting your blood pumping from the hike, take a dip in the lake to cool off or spend some time on the water in a canoe or paddleboard. Visiting during cooler months? No problem; you will still be able to take in the park’s beauty along with participating in a variety of activities like cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
With plenty to see and do, a trip to Bass Lake Provincial Park is sure to be a hit. So, what are you waiting for?
To drive to Bass Lake Provincial Park from Toronto, you will want to access ON-400 N. Take the ON-400 N toward Barrie, traveling for 83.5 km (51 miles). Keep left at the fork to continue on ON-11; you will follow signs for Orillia/North Bay. Once on ON-11, you will drive for 26.9 km (16.7 miles). Take exit 131B toward Old Barrie Road/County Road 11. Take Old Barrie Rd. E and merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/ON-12N and make a right on Line 15 N. After 2.5 km (1.55 miles) turn left onto Bass Lake Side Rd. E. Make a right after 1.1 km (.68 miles) and after 600 meters (1968.5 feet) turn left into the park.
Parking is available throughout the park.
Bus service is available from Toronto to Orillia, which is about 6.8 km (4.22 miles) from Bass Lake Provincial Park. Upon arriving in Orillia, car rentals are available.
One of four campgrounds at Bass Lake Provincial Park, Lakeview Campground offers 58 campsites. The campground has a shower building and fully serviced washroom that are centrally located, along with smaller washrooms throughout. The campground does not offer electric hook-ups and is best for tent campers and those with small RV’s or trailers. One of the sites is accessible and is first-come first served, while all other sites can be reserved online for the season, which begins May 17 and ends October 14. Tap water is available at different locations throughout the campground. Lakeview Campground is a great place to relax after a fun day of adventure!
With 50 campsites, Eastside Campground in Bass Lake Provincial Park is an excellent choice for spending a night (or more!). All sites offer electrical hook-ups and the campground can accommodate RV’s and trailers that are up to 32 feet. Two of the sites are barrier free (#5 and #6) and are able to be reserved online. Each campsite has a fire ring and there are washrooms with flush toilets and a shower building available within the campground. Enjoy easy access to all that the park has to offer while staying at the Eastside Campground!
Like the Lakeview Campground, Cedar Campground is a non-electrical campground. The closest of the campgrounds to the lake, Cedar Campground is the smallest campground in the park. Able to accommodate RV’s and trailers up to 32 feet (depending on the site), the campground offers easy access to the lake and the day use area, making the campground perfect for those anticipating spending a lot of time on the water. The campground does not offer a shower building, however campers can access showers at one of the campgrounds nearby. Vault washrooms are easy to access from the campground and sites offer firepits.
Able to accommodate RV’s and trailers up to 32 feet in length, Hilltop Campground is situated between Lakeview Campground and Eastside Campground. The 68 campsites at the campground include those with electrical hook-ups and those without. Wash rooms are available within the campground and each site has its own fire pit. Those staying at Hilltop Campground are able to access shower facilities at the nearby Eastside Campground. From the Hilltop Campground, it will be easy to access the lake and all of the activities it offers, making it a perfect home base for your adventure!
Three group campsites are available to the west of Cedar Campground. These group areas can be reserved from the Friday of Victoria Day weekend until Labor Day. After Labor Day, the areas are first-come first-served. Group campsites include two large areas that are sufficient for up to 60 individuals and one smaller area that can hold up to 40 individuals. Electricity is not available at these sites, which include small parking lots for those camping there. There are additional parking lots available throughout the park for overflow. Included at the group sites are vault washrooms and drinking water taps and visitors can access showers at one of the nearby campgrounds.
While visiting Bass Lake Provincial Park, you will want to explore all that it has to offer; a great way to so is to go on a hike. Within the park is a 2.8 km trail that will allow you to view the park’s natural and historic points of interest and experience multiple habitats. During your hike you will come across the Rowe Homestead, which has been a working farm for over 100 years. You will also have the opportunity to view the effects of glaciers from many centuries ago; like a giant rock that is a glacial erratic (the rock was dragged and let by an ancient glacier). Enjoy walking among ferns, cedar, birch and aspen trees; depending on the time of year that you hike, you might even come across beautiful wildflowers. The first half km of the trail is paved, making it accessible. Be sure to visit the Park Registration Building for a trail guide
Looking to cool off after a hike or other activity in the park? Relax on the sandy beach of Bass Lake and go for a swim! The water in the lake is very clear and is sure to feel refreshing. The lake is also an ideal place to enjoy numerous other water sports. You will see plenty of canoes and kayaks traversing the water, along with power boats. Other options include water-skiing, jet-skiing, tubing, sailing and windsurfing. Exploring the lake by watercraft is a great way to explore the park with ample opportunities to cool off with a quick dip in Bass Lake’s inviting water! There are no lifeguards at the lake; water activities are at your own risk.
Bass Lake Provincial Park is a popular location for those who enjoy fishing, so be sure to being along your fishing gear. Anglers may find success in catching largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as crappie, perch and sunfish. The spring-fed lake’s calm, clear water is ideal for casting a line and you can take in the park’s gorgeous surroundings as you wait for a nibble. The season begins on the last Saturday of June annually. Why not take the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate while possibly catching your dinner?
Bass Lake Provincial Park can be explored in the winter as well. After the fourth Sunday of September and before the spring operating season begins in May, visitors can still enter the park and enjoy its four km network of cross-country ski trails. The trails are well-groomed and easy to access. As you glide along the park’s trails, revel in the beautiful scenery that the winter months deliver. Take in the solitude of the park during the cooler weather, when there are fewer visitors, while also getting in a good workout on your skis.
Do you love fishing? At Bass Lake Provincial Park fishing does not have to just be a warm weather activity. Pull on your warm clothes, grab your fishing pole, ice fishing equipment and perhaps something warm in a thermos, and head on over to the park for some ice fishing. While relaxing and waiting for a bite on your line, make sure to observe your gorgeous surroundings. Ice fishing is a great way to not only relax and refresh yourself, but possibly come home with some dinner! Make sure to dress in layers so you can be comfortable while you fish.
During the winter months, a hiking trail within Bass Lake Provincial Park is also maintained and is a perfect place to enjoy some snowshoeing. Once you put your snowshoes on you will be able to traverse the park at your own pace, taking in the beauty of a frozen Bass Lake and trees covered in snow. As the park has less activity during the winter, you will likely have a peaceful experience in exchange for braving the chilly weather! Keep your eyes out for wildlife as you romp through the snow!