Algonquin & Beyond


Lake Name: Parkside Bay

Number of Campsites: 20

Number of Permits Issued: 19

Closest Access Point: Smoke Lake (#6)

This Report: Campsite #13

Length of Stay: Day Visit

Date Visited: September 2023

Map of campsites on Parkside Bay in Algonquin Park, updated for 2024
To purchase your own copy (physical & digital formats), visit Maps By Jeff

If you’re looking for the worst campsite on Parkside Bay and one of the worst campsites you’ve ever seen, look no further! But seriously, I had to walk back and forth from the waterfront to the interior a few times to figure out what was going on with this campsite. Let’s start with the canoe landing. The canoe landing is perfect. But that’s the only perfect thing about this campsite. Directly in front of the canoe landing is a very large open area of land. There’s a small ring of rocks to create a fire pit, along with one piece of driftwood that I guess hypothetically could be used for seating. But let’s be real, you don’t want to sit on that. If you had good weather, you could pitch a tent at this front area and use the fire pit, but you would be completely exposed under the sky the entire time. It’s also surrounded by lots of tall grass that I could only imagine would get very muddy after rainfall and very buggy in the spring and early summer seasons. To get to the “real” campsite you would walk through a path in the tall grass. I say “real” like that because the main campsite is just as bad as the front area. The “real” campsite is a very tiny opening in the forest with a tiny overgrown fire pit that has no seating beside it. There’s practically nowhere to pitch a tent either. It’s simply just the terrible fire pit, a trail to the thunder box, and nothing else. So wait, was that the “real” campsite, or was the front area the “real” campsite? Like I said at the beginning, I had to walk back and forth a few times with my hand scratching my chin. If you end up needing to camp here, you better hope you have good weather. And you might want to bring a chair or two.

1) Follow Leave No Trace (LNT); leave the campsite in better condition than you found it!
2) The campsite numbering system (for backcountry canoeing) is not official from Ontario Parks. It is a community-based effort for easy referencing.
3) Reservations for backcountry canoeing are lake-specific, not campsite-specific. You do not reserve a specific campsite. Campsites are first-come-first-serve.
4) Only camp on lakes where you have a valid permit; do not camp off-permit.
5) Physical campsite features can change throughout the season (eg. water levels, leaf fall) and due to human intervention (eg. fire pit, seating).
6) To book a reservation, visit the Ontario Parks website:

Algonquin & Beyond is not affiliated with Algonquin Park or Ontario Parks.

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