Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Population Density and Eviction in Ontario’s Parks

Danielle and I packed up the car on Friday and made a run up the 400 to Craigleith Provincial Park (just outside Collingwood, and only a stone’s throw away from Wasaga Beach.  Despite our worries and fears about traffic, we never went slower than about 60, even when we got caught in a torrential downpour.  We made the mistake of eating at the Pita Pit off Hwy 26 in Barrie (don’t do it… ever) and arrived at our campsite while daylight was dying and struck our camp while we waited for our friends to arrive.

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We were pretty disappointed in how the site was setup, and once we toured the campground, we realized it was the same for all the sites.  Instead of grass, the sites had been purposely coated with crushed gravel and all the sites were barely big enough for three tents, let alone a car and a picnic table.  They were packed in tight like cottages on a lakefront, and at best were separated with just a branch or two of a tree.  Noise travelled through the park like a it was one big speaker.

On the site behind us, two couples spent the night getting ridiculously drunk, driving their car and laughing and swearing at full volume.  This went well past 4am, and since they were sitting about 25 feet from our tents with nothing to separate us but air, we didn’t sleep too well.  The next morning, the Park Ranger (an awesome guy) came by to tell them that there had been complaints and one more complaint would have them evicted.  There were moved to another site for the second night, but were caught drinking on the beach and evicted from the park.  Good riddance.

Craigleith has a beautiful shoreline and it’s easily accessible from every site, but the tradeoff in a lack of privacy, gravel campsites and very little in the way of trees or other natural vegetation around mean that we probably won’t hurry back to that park.  It was nice to go hiking on the Bruce Trail near Blue Mountain, and the beach was gorgeous, but finding a good beach and decent hiking isn’t too hard at any provincial park in Ontario, and it’s nice to find a site where you aren’t kept up most of the night by the residents of Animal House and the woken up the next morning, but some keener intent on splitting wood at 7am.

All in all, it was a great weekend spent with good friends.  We got our house cleaned up and even managed to get caught up on our sleep and relax.  Now, bring on the fall!


2 Comments so far

  1. Kenneth September 2nd, 2008 10:38 am

    Since when was camping about enjoying nature and not drinking?

  2. Kenneth September 2nd, 2008 10:43 am

    I meant that totally in jest. I hear ya … although only a few years ago in a place called Bon Echo … 😉

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