Finding hidden gem campgrounds

As camping continues to boom in Canada, Parks Canada has released a reservation system designed to allow more people to camp than ever before by aiming to address website failures and limit the number of campsites individuals can reserve. But, did it actually work?

User reviews have been mixed, and spots in Canada’s most popular parks still sold out within moments this year. But even if would-be campers missed the boat on national and provincial park campsites, they aren’t entirely out of luck. Canada has a wealth of privately-owned campgrounds that may have last-minute availability.

Private campground ownership ranges from your typical family business to commercial operators with locations nationwide. When choosing a private campground, campers may find added amenities like pools, private beaches, playground structures, kids’ clubs, family-friendly events and campsites to suit all manner of guests and budgets – from cabins and yurts to RV and tent sites.

Jean-Marc Desy is a regional manager at Parkbridge, which owns and operates 37 campgrounds and RV resorts. He has seen many campers make the switch. “The value is unbeatable, particularly in Quebec,” he says. “Our locations near Montreal have pools or splash pads, pickleball courts and a legendary BBQ Festif event.”

Private campgrounds can also be booked a year or more in advance, meaning you can plan well ahead of schedule and skip the early-morning reservation rush to book your preferred site.

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