The one thing I love about camping is the affordability. Camping at Ontario parks is around $30-$40 a night (depending on where you go and your site preferences), and the hiking trails and beaches and are just some of the free activities you can do while you’re there.
This year’s camping trip took us to Bon Echo Provincial Park home of the Mazinaw Rock. A beautiful park located an hour and twenty minutes north of Belleville.
One of the “must do” activities at this park is to rent a canoe or kayak and get up close along the infamous rock.
Apart from the Indigenous pictographs on the rocks there is also a memorial to Walt Whitman which was created by a woman named Flora MacDonald Denison who owned the Bon Echo Inn which used to be in the park before it burnt down. Flora was a huge fan of Walt Whitman and decided to etch his words into the rock as a tribute to his 100th birthday.
The inscription has faded quite a bit since then but you can view the original old time photo here.
Whether you’re viewing the rock from on the water…
or on land, there are so many opportunities to get a good glimpse of this natural beauty.
The only two complaints we had which could not been helped at this park was:
- The bugs! As we went in mid July they were out in full force to bug (pun intended) visitors like crazy. One of the best investments we made was to purchase a mesh canopy to go over our picnic table. It not only kept our stuff dry but we were able to escape the bugs while preparing and eating our food.
- Fire ban on our last night due to the drought we were having in Ontario. Always good to have is a deck of cards on hand for entertainment (best spot for a good ol’ game of Crazy Eights).
Unfortunately because the bugs were so bad, one of the last things we wanted to do was go deeper into the forest on a hike. Luckily we were still able to find a decent hike in the park where we didn’t get eaten alive. For $5 per person, the park offers a small ferry over to the tops of the cliffs where you can hike the Cliff Top trail. The trail is about 1.5km long and there are a few lookout platforms along the way.
It takes about an hour to go up and come back down and can be challenging for some people given that that most of the hike consists of the climb up to the top of the cliffs.
But the view at the top is sooooo worth it!!!
All in all an awesome camping trip and I would definitely camp here again!
Until next time!