Taking to the open road in your RV can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. The ability to set up camp wherever you want, and explore the hidden gems of Ontario at your own pace, is a dream come true for many adventurers, especially those on a budget. One of the key advantages of RV vacationing is the opportunity to find free RV parking and camping options. In this article, we will provide valuable tips and information on how to find and take advantage of free RV parking in Ontario. From camping for the night on Crown land to setting up in city parks, there are abundant (and beautiful) places to park without breaking the bank.
Nothing says Freedom like ‘Free’
Freedom is the essence of RV life and its appeal. The freedom to chart your own course, explore off the beaten track, and establish camp in unique locations without breaking the bank is undeniably enticing. Free RV camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature, escape the crowds, and connect with the serene beauty of Ontario’s landscapes. Paid campsites have their perks, of course (such as amenities and community), but there is something uniquely special about finding a place that speaks to you and making it your home for the night.
Camping on Crown Land
One of the best-kept secrets for free RV camping in Ontario is Crown land. Crown land refers to public land owned by the government and managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. These vast tracts of land offer excellent opportunities for adventurers seeking free camping experiences. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governing Crown land camping. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
- Permits: Generally, a permit is not required for recreational camping on Crown land. However, certain activities such as hunting or fishing may require specific permits or licenses.
- Duration of Stay: The maximum duration for camping on Crown land is 21 consecutive days in any one location. After that period, you must relocate at least 100 meters from your previous campsite.
- Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and leave your campsite as you found it. Ensure you dispose of waste responsibly, minimize impact on vegetation, and leave nature undisturbed for future visitors.
- Fire Safety: Follow fire regulations and guidelines set by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Exercise caution when building and extinguishing fires, especially during dry seasons.
City Parks near Sault St. Marie
For RV enthusiasts seeking free camping options near the SOO, there are a couple of city parks worth considering:
- Scenic High Falls City Park
Located in the picturesque town of Wawa, Scenic High Falls City Park offers free camping opportunities for self-contained RVs. Enjoy stunning views of the cascading falls, hike scenic trails, and soak in the tranquility of the surrounding wilderness.
- The Harbour Centre
Situated in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island, The Harbour Centre provides free RV camping spaces for short stays. Explore the charming town and vibrant local arts scene, indulge in water activities, and revel in the breathtaking vistas of Lake Huron.
Both of these city parks offer an ideal blend of natural beauty and convenient amenities, making them perfect for RV travelers looking to embrace freedom on a budget.
Membership-Based Free Stays
Did you know that there are membership-based platforms that connect RV owners with wineries, farms, and other unique locations where they can park their RVs overnight for free? Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome give you membership-based access to a network of hosts for self-contained RVs. In exchange for the free parking, RV owners are encouraged to spend money at the host location, whether that be buying wine, fresh produce, or other items.
Membership is very inexpensive (around $99 USD per year, essentially paying for itself once you take advantage of your first free stay), and allows you to enjoy unique and memorable travel experiences with thousands of hosts across Canada and the United States!
Ontario is full of beautiful places to explore, and you don’t need to dish out for campgrounds to enjoy the province’s picturesque landscapes to the fullest. The allure of free RV camping resonates strongly with adventurers on a budget, offering the chance to pave your way and set camp off the beaten track. Remember to explore the many opportunities for camping on Crown land, adhering to regulations to ensure a positive experience for yourself and the local environment. Not sure where to start? Many websites, apps, and online communities are dedicated to helping you find free campsites, such as freecampsites.net and campendium.com. Use these resources and let the friendly #RVLife community guide you!
Additionally, consider the city parks near Sault St. Marie, such as Scenic High Falls City Park in Wawa and The Harbour Centre in Gore Bay, where you can enjoy free camping while immersing yourself in the beauty of Ontario’s natural wonders.
Are you ready to embrace the freedom and adventure of RV life and camp for free? Whatever you need before embarking on your Ontarian adventure, Christie’s RV is here for you. Happy camping!