With its beautiful natural scenery and a host of family-friendly attractions, Peterborough is the perfect destination for an RV camping vacation. Located in central Ontario, roughly 80 miles from Toronto and easily accessible from Ottawa, this welcoming city offers the best of both worlds. Not only is it large enough to offer a wide range of quality tourist attractions, but it's also small enough to ensure easy access to nearby parks, trails, and wilderness.
Regardless of whether you're looking for a relaxing family getaway or an action-packed outdoor escape, you'll find plenty to enjoy in Peterborough. Keep reading to find out how best to explore the city and its surrounds in a rental RV.
The Great Outdoors
When you first set out to check out the city in your camper rental from Peterborough, make Jackson Park one of your first stops. Located near the heart of the city, this huge expanse of green space offers an oasis where you can escape the busy downtown area. A network of trails winds its way through the park and is popular with cyclists, joggers, and those out for a relaxing morning stroll. And if you're looking to explore a little further afield, the Great Trail (also called the Trans Canada Trail) passes right through the park.
Another lovely park worth checking out in your rental motorhome from Peterborough is Millennium Park. Located on the western bank of the Otonabee River, the park is home to a pretty walking trail that leads you alongside the water and links up with the Great Trail. There are sculptures, a butterfly garden, and even a cafe along the way, making it a great spot for a relaxing morning outdoors. And if the weather's warm, you might want to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat and get out on the water.
Then, when you're ready to head out of the city and explore the surrounding terrain, head north towards Petroglyphs Provincial Park. Located within an hour of Peterborough, the park is home to the largest selection of indigenous rock carvings anywhere in Canada. The "Teaching Rocks" here feature carvings of humans, turtles, birds, and more. You can learn more about the culture of the Ojibwe and Anishinaabe people at the visitors' center.
Camping in Peterborough
After you book an RV in Ontario, you'll need to find somewhere to park your rig during your stay. Happily, as Peterborough is a reasonably large city, there are several RV parks and campgrounds to choose from.
One option you might like to consider is Beavermead Campground, found a couple of miles southeast of the city center. Situated on the shores of Little Lake, the park boasts 98 sites in total, including a mix of serviced and unserviced sites. Features include a beach and boat launching area, while canoe and kayak rentals are also available.
Another option you might like to consider is Bailey's Bay, which is found northwest of the city and overlooks Chemong Lake. There's a mix of overnight and seasonal sites available here, with overnight sites featuring 30-amp power, water, and sewer hookups. The resort also has its own sandy beach if you're keen to go swimming in the lake.
Savage Bear RV Park, located in Lakefield, can also be used as a base for your Peterborough RV camping adventure. This park offers spacious electrical sites, many of which enjoy full shade during the summer months. Other features include a kids' playground, Wi-Fi, and a heated outdoor pool.
Exploring the City
There are plenty of great attractions to explore in the area, but the first destination you should head for in your RV rental in Peterborough is Riverview Park & Zoo. Found just to the north of downtown, this popular attraction is home to 48 different species, including everything from two-toed sloths to wallabies. But it's not just about the animals, with this 55-acre park also home to a miniature train ride, a splash pad, and a frisbee golf course.
Next, you'll definitely want to check out the Peterborough Lift Lock, found on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Opened in 1904, this was the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, lifting boats by more than 60 feet. The lock works using a balance system and is still in use today. It's a fascinating piece of engineering and quite impressive to watch in action.
Finally, before your adventure in your RV rental from Peterborough comes to an end, don't forget to make a stop at the Canadian Canoe Museum. Built to celebrate the unique watercraft that has played a crucial role in Canadian history, this family museum is home to over 600 canoes, kayaks, and paddled watercraft. More than 100 canoes will be on display when you visit, so you could see anything from dugouts and bark canoes to watercraft from destinations as far afield as the Amazon.
The range of experiences and attractions available in this central Ontario city is extensive, so find an RV rental near Peterborough and start exploring the best the region has to offer.