Darlington Provincial Park
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Introduction

Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario and McLaughlin Bay and featuring more than 320 campsites, Darlington Provincial Park offers wonderful camping opportunities for RV vacationers. Located 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Oshawa, along Highway 401 (Highway of Heroes), this 2 sq. km (0.8 sq. mile) provincial park offers unique family camping experiences through recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, birding, hunting, interpretive park programs, and winter activities. The experience at the park is immensely fulfilling.

Facilities and amenities available at Darlington Provincial Park include an amphitheater, comfort stations, showers, pit toilets, food concessions, group barbecue, picnic tables, water taps, historic building, laundry facilities, picnic shelters, playground, dump station, and Visitor Center.

At Darlington Provincial Park, there are wonderful group picnic and camping opportunities for RV campers, particularly at the day-use facility in the park.

Established in 1959, Darlington Provincial Park is part of a greater monarch conservation program and is well-known for migrating monarch butterflies. Annually, there’s a monarch tagging and educational program offered in the park.

RV Rentals in Darlington Provincial Park

Transportation in Darlington Provincial Park

Driving

Darlington Provincial Park is located 7 km (4 miles) southeast of Oshawa, along Highway 401 (Highway of Heroes), Ontario, and is hence a simple drive-in park easy to access by RVs, trailers, and other motorized vehicles. Within the park, there are local paved roads that lead to the various campgrounds and places of interest. There are no driving restrictions within the park.

Parking

There are numerous parking options for RV campers in Darlington Provincial Park, since the park has nine parking areas; four large parking areas distributed within the park, as well as five parking lots across the three campgrounds. You’ll find two parking lots each at Hilltop Campground and Cliffside Campground, and one parking lot at Lakeside Campground. Overnight parking is available in the park.

Public Transport

Rail services from Toronto to Darlington Provincial Park are offered by GO Transit and VIA Rail, while Greyhound Canada operate a bus service from Toronto to Darlington Provincial Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Darlington Provincial Park

Campsites in Darlington Provincial Park

Reservations camping

Hilltop Campground

Hilltop Campground in Darlington Provincial Park features 136 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. 24 campsites in the campground are equipped with electric hookups for RVs, while the remaining campsites do not have RV hookup options. RV length limit in the campground is 32 ft (10 m), however vacationers with larger rigs can call ahead to find out if there is space available. Amenities available in the campground include water taps, picnic tables, fire grills, restrooms with showers, pit/vault toilets, garbage station, laundry facilities, and parking lots

Cliffside Campground

Cliffside Campground in Darlington Provincial Park features 84 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. 10 campsites in the campground are equipped with electric hookups for RVs, while the remaining campsites do not have RV hookup options. RV length limit in the campground is 32 ft (10 m), however vacationers with larger rigs can call ahead to find out if there is space available. Amenities in the campground include water taps, picnic tables, fire grills, restrooms with showers, garbage station, laundry facilities, and parking lots.

Lakeside Campground

Lakeside Campground in Darlington Provincial Park features 102 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. All the campsites in the campground are equipped with electric hookups for RVs. RV length limit in the campground is 32 ft (10 m), however vacationers with larger rigs can call ahead to find out if there is space available. Amenities in the campground include water taps, picnic tables, fire grills, restrooms with showers, wheelchair accessible area, garbage disposal, and parking lot.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Darlington Provincial Park

In-Season

Boating/Canoeing

The sheltered waters of McLaughlin Bay in Darlington Provincial Park are perfect for paddle boats and canoes. Large motorboats and sailboats are more suited to the open waters of Lake Ontario. Hence boating, canoeing, and kayaking opportunities are abundant in the park for RV campers of all skill and experience levels to enjoy. Watercraft rentals are available in the park.

Fishing

McLaughlin Bay in Darlington Provincial Park is a popular destination for RV campers to enjoy fishing with family and friends. Through the Tackleshare Program in the park, campers can borrow fishing rods and tackle to enhance their fishing experience. The park also offers a Learn to Fish Program which teaches new anglers hands-on fishing methods. Consequently, anglers of all skill and experience levels find Darlington Provincial Park perfect for fishing.

Hiking

There are four hiking trails available at Darlington Provincial Park that add up to 6.5 km (4 miles) and vary in difficulty from easy to moderate. These trails include the Burk Trail, McLaughlin Bay Trail, Robinson Creek Trail, and Waterfront Trail. Burk Trail traverses fields, mature forests and meadows leading to a scenic lookout over Lake Ontario. McLaughlin Bay Trail takes hikers through a marsh ecosystem to a transition area between dry and wet land where nesting waterfowl can be seen. Robinson Creek Trail takes campers through the creek, along forested ravine with diverse plants and wildlife. The Waterfront Trail follows Lake Ontario’s shoreline from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Trenton.

Off-Season

Birding

Bird watching is a popular activity among RV campers at Darlington Provincial Park, since various species of migratory birds are seen in the park during spring and fall. Elusive Coopers Hawk and songbirds are seen at the bluff and meadows respectively in the park. A comprehensive list of bird sightings in the park is available at the main park office.

Swimming

Darlington Provincial Park features a beautiful stretch of sandy beach on the shores of Lake Ontario which is perfect for swimming. No lifeguards are on duty at the beach; hence children are to be supervised when swimming in the lake.

Flora and Fauna

Darlington Provincial Park features abundant plants and animals that decorate and beautify the park. The park was reforested in the 1960s, hence the flora is mostly second-generation regrowth. Wildlife in the park include white-tailed deer, squirrels, coyotes, and grey wolves.

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