Sitting on the eastern arm of Lake Temagami, Finlayson offers world-class fishing and paddling, plus access to a spectacular old growth pine forest.
Spanning over 50,000 acres (20,000), Lake Temagami presents endless opportunities for recreation and exploration. Canoeists and kayakers can weave between forested islands and paddle along scenic shorelines. Anglers can pull up bass, pike, trout, walleye and more from the lake's cool, crystal-clear waters. Finlayson also sports two sandy swim beaches on the lake; they are a boon to mid-summer visitors who'd like a way to escape the heat.
Just across the highway from Finlayson is White Bear Woods. Hikers, photographers and naturalists alike will want to take the chance to explore this ancient forest, which includes many old-growth red and white pines. These venerable, towering behemoths recall the days when Ontario's forests were even grander and wilder than they are today. There are many miles of trails for hiking, and there's also a fire tower that offers a spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Finlayson's forested, lakeside campground sports 117 sites, most of which can accommodate RVs and trailers. Electric hookups are available at some 33 sites, and the campground boasts several modern amenities, including showers and a laundry station. Reservations are taken at most sites and can be made up to five months in advance.
Finlayson is located in northeastern Ontario, just off of the Trans-Canadian Highway. Though the park and its surrounds have a remote feel, Finlayson is just an hour's drive from North Bay and only two hours from Sudbury. The park's main access road is paved, well-maintained and leads right to the campground. In all, the drive to Finlayson, even for large rigs, should be a stress-free one. There are no steep or windy stretches of road to worry about.
Camping sites at Finlayson are spread over three loops, each of which has additional overflow parking areas. Parking is also available at the camp headquarters and at the day use area (where the boat launch, playground and fishing pier are located). The park itself is quite small, so once you park, everything should be within walking distance.
Most of the sites at Finlayson are back-ins, though they are spacious and should pose few problems to patient drivers. There are also fourteen pull-through sites that can accommodate very large RVs and trailers.
No site at Finlayson's campground is much more than a stone's throw from beautiful Temagami Lake. In total, 117 sites are spread over three loops. Sites are surrounded by aspen, birch and conifers that, while not as tall as the towering trees in nearby woods, are enough to provide privacy between spots.
Most spots can accommodate RVs and trailers, with several being able to fit even very large rigs (no specific length cap is given, but many sites are listed as suitable for trailers and RVs that are 32+ feet; plus, fourteen sites are pull-throughs). There are also 33 15/30 amp electric hookups sites available. Sites do not have water or sewage hookups, however, they are many potable water spigots, and the park has a sanitary dump station as well. Modern restrooms, showers and a laundry station are available too. Firewood is available at the park office. For food and other supplies, you can head just a minute up the road to the small town of Tenagami.
Almost all of Finlayson's sites are reservable. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance via the park's website. The campground is open from mid-May through late September.
Lake Temagami presents an idyllic north woods setting for anglers. Towering pines line the shores and gentle hills bend across the horizon in the distance. Smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, lake trout and lake whitefish are just a few of the game species native to the area's waters.
Many choose to boat or paddle out onto the lake's crystal-clear waters in pursuit of their catch, but there are plenty of great shore-fishing spots at Finlayson, too. For those planning on having their catch for dinner, the park also sports a fish cleaning station.
Temagami just may be a paddler's paradise; the massive body of water has hundreds of miles of shoreline and contains over 1,200 islands. The lake's waters invite adventure, and paddlers can undertake everything from a relaxing day-trip to a week-long wilderness trek. Expanding your possibilities even further, there are thousands of smaller lakes are also accessible from Temagami via short portages. Finlayson Point, with its lovely campground and convenient boat launch, is the perfect place to begin your trip. (Plus, if you didn't bring a boat, don't fret - there's canoe and kayak rentals available at the park).
Even here, on the edge of the Canadian Shield, summer days can be sweltering. July and August high temperatures can routinely surpass 80 degrees (27 Celsius), with a fair bit of humidity to boot. Luckily, Finlayson offers a refreshing respite in the form of two lovely swim beaches. Both are easily accessible from the campground, and both sport long, sandy shores that make for a great post-swim sunbathing session.
Designated swimming areas are marked off by buoys, but visitors should note that the park does not staff life guards.
Though Finlayson Point does not have any hiking trails of its own, opportunities lie just across the road. On the opposite side of the Trans-Canadian Highway sits the venerable White Bear Forest. White Bear encompasses nearly 2,000 acres (800 ha) of stunning, old growth pine forest, where ancient white and red pines rise imposingly above their younger brethren. This striking patch of woods is one of the last of its kind.
Over 11 miles (17 km) of trails weave their way across the forest's richly vegetated floor. One short hike leads to the Temagami Fire Tower, which sports a mini-museum at it's top and offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
The forests, marshlands and lakes around Finlayson provide abundant seasonal food for migratory birds. Just sitting at your campsite, you may spy flycatchers, warblers, vireos and other colorful songbirds flitting across the pine boughs. Eiders, teals, loons, mergansers, and more can be found foraging in Temagami and all of it's surrounding lakes. You're sure to come across several species on even a short paddling trip. Or, head deeper into the woods, and you may see a Great Horned or a Great Grey owl.
Photographic opportunities abound at Finlayson. The glassy waters of Lake Temagami can capture on their surface the stately walls of pine that line the shores, or they may reflect the blues, oranges, purples and reds that color clouds and fill the sky at sunup. The Temagami Fire Tower offers the chance to create a marvelous panorama. Moose, bear, waterfowl and more make great subjects for wildlife photographers, who can snag photos of fauna in a truly gorgeous setting.