Located in southeastern Ontario, along the northern shore of Georgian Bay at Lake Huron, Killarney Provincial Park spreads over 187 sq miles or (485 sq km) of pristine natural landscape. The unique topography of the land includes pine and birch forests, white quartzite rocks of the La Cloche Mountains, unique pink granite of the wild Georgian Bay coast, and 50-odd freshwater lakes with beautiful deep blue waters. It all makes Killarney a phenomenal outdoor experience for any camping or outdoor enthusiast.
At any time of the year, this provincial park is covered in the vibrant colors of nature, creating such contrasting shades that one can’t help but fall in love at first sight. Since the scenery around the park is so ravishing, this wilderness area grabbed the attention of famous artists before enticing adventurists and vacationers to its remote location. Artists such as A. Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael and A. J. Casson of The Group of Seven were, in fact, the ones that convinced Ontario’s government to preserve this area as a provincial park, safeguarding its unique ecosystem and scenic beauty.
Today, the park welcomes hundreds of tourists and campers with its high-end facilities and amenities along with offering many recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and much more for an entertaining and comfortable RV adventure.
Killarney Provincial Park is located close to the La Cloche Range on 960 Highway # 637. The signature white quartzite is very easy to pick out even from afar. The campground starts right from the entrance of the park with many of the park’s amenities also situated close by. However, depending on the campsite you have reserved for yourself, you might have to park your car and make it on foot for the rest of the way. Killarney Provincial Park has wide paved and gravel roads and can accommodate large sized motorhomes, RVs and even Big Rigs.
George Lake Campground in Killarney Provincial Park provides 11 large campsites for 18’ to 32’ trailers. It also provides 70 medium sized campsites to RV campers with up to 18’ trailers.
The sites vary in their locations and some are placed right on the shores of George Lake, while others are situated in the woodlands offering greater privacy and shade. Certain campsites are also situated right beside the white ridges and rocky outcrops for those seeking a more rugged and remote camping experience.
None of the sites have electricity and campers will have to do without any kind of water or electric hookups. Washrooms, comfort stations, and barrier-free facilities are available on the George Lake campground during the summer months.
Alternatively, the park also offers 183 backcountry canoe-in sites and 33 backcountry hike-in sites for those wanting a more adventurous and rugged outdoor vacation.
Cabins and shelters are also available for rent for those seeking a more luxurious and comfortable stay in Ontario's vast and beautiful wilderness.
Biking along the trails of Killarney Provincial Park allows visitors to appreciate its natural beauty as they bike along the well-maintained and well-paved biking trails. That feeling of zooming past glistening sapphire lake water and feeling the rustle of the green and orange leaves of the birch and alpine forests is both relaxing and exhilarating.
You can either bike on the park roads or on the bike trail along the Chikanishing Creek.
Birds are drawn to this oasis of nature as much as us humans. The rich landscape and diverse ecosystem of Killarney Provincial Park make it the home of many species of local and migratory birds. Birdwatchers can have a great time at this park as they are likely to catch sight of many exotic species of songbirds and waterfowl. Additionally, during the winter months, the park hosts a Christmas bird count festival and during spring and summer a loon count festival for all bird loving enthusiasts.
Over 33 km or around 20 miles of trails wind through the wilderness of Killarney Provincial Park that is reserved just for the winter season.
Eight km or five miles of the Chikanishing Trail loops around the snow-covered evergreen forests, while The Collins Inlet offers almost 15 km of wild and rugged trails that wind through frozen-over marshlands, open fields, and pine forests.
The Freeland Trail is also popular in the winter months as this almost eight-mile long trail loops towards the east side of the park and through open coniferous forests, hardwoods, and past the Cranberry Bog all the way towards the scenic Freeland Lake.
There are many hiking opportunities in Killarney Provincial Park for both novice and experienced hikers. Five designated trials are reserved for hiking enthusiasts and they range in difficulty and length.
Chikanishing Trail is a three-km or less than a two-mile hike that takes about an hour and a half to complete. Cranberry Bog Trail is around four km long and takes about two and a half hours to hike while the two-km long Granite Ridge Trail takes only 1 hour to cross. These trails are relatively easy and can be tackled by less experienced hikers.
The almost four-km long Lake of the Woods Trail is more of a challenge for hikers and can take upwards of three hours to complete. Seasoned hikers looking for a challenge can take on The Crack. This trail takes over four hours to hike and goes over mountainous terrain including huge tumbling boulders, dense woodlands, steep inclines and rugged trails that will test the skills of even the most seasoned hiker.
The expansive backcountry wilderness comprises of countless lakes, rivers, and streams that make for an incredible canoeing experience. A boat launch area at Chikanishing access point provides access to Georgian Bay and the intricate and vast freshwater network of Killarney Provincial Park. The rivers, lakes, rocky outcrops and surrounding woods are teaming with wildlife and flora that can be spotted on a number of canoeing routes in the park for visitors to explore. The vast body of interconnected lakes can take weeks to explore depending on how adventurous you want to be. Bring your own canoes or rent them from the park store.
Killarney Provincial Park comprises of over fifty freshwater lakes that present excellent fishing opportunities for keen anglers. However, many of these lakes are fish sanctuaries so visitors should always make sure that they are fishing in an authorized area of the park, especially when fishing in the park’s eastern and northern sections. Killarney Provincial Park is home to many species of panfish including bass, crappie, and walleye and offers a reclusive fishing experience for both amateur and professional anglers.