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Recommended Tent Camping Sites for 2011 - ON
Ontario Tent Camping Trip
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Your Ontario tent camping trip through the marvelous and mammoth province of Ontario can take two different routes. TCH-17 begins in the capital city of Ottawa and heads northwards along the shoreline of Lake Huron before ending at Saul St. Marie near the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The other storied route is TCH-7, which carries you southward and ends near London, Ontario.
Let’s start in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Without a doubt, it’s one of the finest cities in Canada, surrounding visitors in stunning neo-gothic architecture. Interestingly enough, many of these structures serve as the offices of government buildings. It’s a great walking city, too, as many of the best attractions are within an easy stroll of one another. Start with a tour of the grand capital. The Parliament Buildings house Canada’s Senate and House of Commons. Out front you can also witness the ceremonial changing of the guard, commencing each morning at 10 a.m. Afterwards, take a break at the historic ByWard Market, where Ottawa’s cosmopolitan heart comes to life. The various ethnic populations have made this part of Ottawa a multi-cultural area with food from all over the world.
If you’re curious and still have energy to burn, head on over to the Sparks Street Market, conveniently located just a block from Parliament Hill. Boaters won’t want to miss an expedition on the historic Rideau Canal. This National Historic Site is a series of waterways that carve a 300-mile route from Ottawa to Kingston. Renting vessels in and around Ottawa is fairly easy, but if you prefer to stay behind the wheel of the RV, paralleling the canal to the west offers a terrific scenic drive though old Canada. Ottawa Municipal Campground is one of the great Ontario tent campgrounds to rest your head at here.
Still on Hwy. 17, northwest of Ottawa, the town of Pembroke, founded in 1828 as a lumber town, still holds much of the character of its rough-and-tumble beginnings. A series of Heritage Murals located around town depict its rich history. Strategically located along the scenic Ottawa River, Pembroke also hosts a variety of whitewater rafting outfitters. Another favorite local destination is the Champlain Trail Museum, which boasts a working smokehouse and bake oven, and a one-room schoolhouse.
Your next stop on Hwy. 17 is the town of North Bay, the “Gateway to the North.” Head to the North Bay Waterfront located along scenic Lake Nipissing. If you want to take a load off, board the Heritage Railway Company’s Mini-Train that rumbles nearly four miles along the waterfront. North Bay experienced one of the most unique events of the 20th century. The odds were 57 million-to-one against it occurring, but on May 28, 1934, long before fertility drugs were available, the Dionne Quintuplets were born. Their combined weight was just over 13 pounds! Today, a museum in North Bay celebrates this world-famous, post-depression-era event.
In the town of Sudbury, Canada’s largest producer of copper, is also the world’s nickel capital and they’ve got the roadside attraction to make sure no one forgets it. “Big Nickel” stands on a hillside overlooking the town. This 30-foot tall replica is touted as the largest nickel in the world and once you’ve seen it, you’ll have to agree.
Your final stop along TCH-17 in Ontario should be at the town of Sault Ste. Marie. This is a terrific town to get off the road for a couple of days and relax. Enjoy a stay in this quaint tourist village, only steps away from the remote Canadian wilderness. A great way to explore the region while letting someone else do the driving is to climb aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, which rambles 114 miles north to scenic Agawa Canyon. Passengers enjoy a two-hour layover at the mid-point to explore before embarking on the trip back to town. Sault Ste. Marie takes great pride in its waterways and they can be explored through several avenues around town. First, stop by the Roberta Bondar Park. It’s located along the waterfront and regularly hosts cultural events. Another great way to take in the sights is via walking tours along the Sault Ste. Marie Canal or the Waterfront Boardwalk on the St. Mary’s River, right from the downtown area. Sault Ste. Marie is also home to plenty of Ontario tent camping sites.
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