Ontario to Allow Backcountry & Crown Land Camping From June 1


Photo by Sayan Nath on Unsplash

The Ontario government will allow backcountry camping in OntarioParks and recreational camping on Crown land starting June 1, 2020.

Ontario Parks manages 340 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves, covering over 9.8 million hectares of land in the province. Crown land, managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, represents approximately 77 per cent of the province.


Ontario started reopening provincial parks on May 11.The closure of all other overnight camping and some day-use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserveshas been extended to June 14. All buildings and facilities including campgrounds, roofed accommodations, visitor centers, park stores, playgrounds, and beaches remain closed. Some washroom facilities may be available.

The government said backcountry camping is allowed as the activity involves hiking or paddling through park lands and setting up camp in remote areas. Backcountry campers are typically in small groups, fully equipped with supplies, and do not normally require the use of any facilities, such as washrooms, showers or other amenities.

Ontario Parks will begin collecting fees for day-use and backcountry camping access as of June 1.

Camping on Crown lands is free for Ontario residents.


  • Backcountry camping will be available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails.
  • Advanced reservations or registrationswill be required at most of the 20 operating provincial parks that are offering backcountry camping.
  • Ontario Parks will also be expanding day-use activities to include picnicking and off-leash pet areas.
  • No more than five people will be allowed to occupy a backcountry campsite during their stay, unless they live in the same household.
  • Recreational camping on Crown land is allowed.
  • People can use Crown land for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing and hunting.


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