Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Recommended Tent Camping Locations - MB, NB, NL, NS, ON

Manitoba Tent Camping Trip

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The route of choice in Manitoba is TCH-1. It doesn’t take long before you leave the lake-laden landscapes of southern Ontario behind and head west into the prairie provinces of Canada. But let’s take first things first. Take the time to explore the splendid lakes and streams found throughout the town of Falcon Lake. There are also a few Manitoba tent campgrounds to stay at here. Start at Whiteshall Provincial Park. With more than 200 lakes and streams, it’s the perfect venue for waterborne adventures such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing and Manitoba tent camping.

Jump off TCH-1 and head southwest to the town of Steinbach. The authentic replica of an 1877 windmill is the town’s marquee attraction.

Keep moving west and the provincial capital of Winnipeg soon comes into view. Situated at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, early Winnipeg benefited from several railways routed through the area. Winnipeg soon became a major trading center and a gateway to the west. Evidence of the town’s history can still be found in abundance around town. For example, the Hotel Fort Gary, a near 100-year-old institution, can be found downtown. Fort Gary Gate sits across the street, which once stood as the gateway for the Hudson Bay Company’s fort in Winnipeg. But the heart of Winnipeg lies at The Forks, a restored gathering place and park situated at the fork of the city’s two rivers. After more than a decade of restoration work, The Forks attracts visitors with its grand walkways, museums, and nightlife. There are several Manitoba tent campgrounds here to choose from that have not been visited by Woodall's. We suggest you call ahead for more information.

For something even more unique, step aboard the Prairie Dog Central, a vintage steam locomotive that regularly travels the 75-miles to Goose Isle. The steam train also makes other rail-borne jaunts including historical tours and “murder mystery” trips. If you find you’re still pining for Winnipeg’s by-gone days, treat yourself to a tour of the Living Prairie Museum with its spellbinding mix of prairie flowers that once dominated this terrain. Grant’s Old Mill, an 1829 replica of the original, is a fun stopover before leaving town.

Pioneer life can be explored in the town of Portage La Prairie at the Fort La Reine Museum and Pioneer Village. This living history museum reveals the story of the 1738 outpost and what life was like at the prairie’s first fort. If you’re lucky enough to be here during July, don’t miss the National Strawberry Festival, one of central Canada’s premier annual events. If it can be made from strawberries, you’ll find it here. From Portage La Prairie, another great route is to take TCH-16 northwest and into Saskatchewan (more on that in a moment). Manitoba tent camping is also available along the way.

If you want to keep heading west on TCH-1, there’s one last stop in Manitoba to consider making. The town of Brandon is considered the agricultural capital of Manitoba. On that note, an interesting place to visit while here is the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre. This experimental farm facility tests land resource management techniques in Western Canada. Another favorite local attraction is the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, commemorating the time when Brandon served as a vital training facility for the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

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New Brunswick Tent Camping Trip

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TCH-2 leaves Amherst, Nova Scotia and enters Sackville, New Brunswick, before traversing the westernmost maritime province westward to Grand Falls. The lovely little town of Moncton should be your first stop, home to the splendid 1922 Capitol Theatre and to New Brunswick tent camping. Camper’s City RV/Resort is one of the recommended New Brunswick tent campgrounds to visit. Today it continues its legacy as a top venue and one of only a small handful of historic theaters left in Canada. Just outside of town you’ll find one of Canada’s most unique tourist attractions, Magnetic Hill. This supernatural marvel was discovered in the late 19th-century when horses strained to pull carts downhill. However, when going uphill, the carts seemed to bunch up behind the horse. Today, the hill has the same effect and seems to pull autos uphill. Start at the bottom, put your vehicle in neutral gear and let this oddity pull you skywards. And you’ll have to try it yourself to believe that this phenomenon really occurs. For some more pastoral wonders, stop by the banks of the Petitcodiac River which displays stunning tidal movements courtesy of the quixotic Bay of Fundy, located just a few miles south.

TCH-2 then heads west cutting through New Brunswick’s rolling central lands until you reach the provincial capital of Fredericton, situated along the banks of the beautiful St. John’s River. Be sure to visit Officer’s Square, which was part of a larger military compound from 1785 to 1914. Today it holds numerous cultural events throughout the summer. A quaint stop in Fredericton is a visit to King’s Landing Historical Settlement, a living history museum that Attractions Canada dubbed “Canada’s top international attraction.” This open-air facility offers 10 working buildings that capture rural 19th-century New Brunswick life. Duffers won’t want to miss shooting a quick 18 holes at Kingswood, recently named one of the country’s top new courses.

Stay with TCH-2 and drive north to the town of Woodstock, the province’s first town, founded in 1856. Woodstock is one of those unique old-fashioned towns where time seems to have stopped long ago. It also has a nice central downtown area with plenty of historic architecture to make for a perfect walking tour.

Further north you’ll come to the town of Hartland, best known for its fabulous 100 year-old covered bridge. In fact, it’s also the longest covered bridge in the world, stretching out at 1,282 feet. If you’re looking for more examples, two other historic bridges can be found within a few miles of Hartland.

The final stop along TCH-2 in New Brunswick may be at the scenic town of Grand Falls, where the St. John’s River gains momentum and drops more than 75 feet to create impressive falls. Legends say that a Maliseet princess led a marauding band of Mohawk warriors to their death by plunging over the falls. Whether or not the story is true is debatable, but what evidence remains is one of the largest waterfalls this side of Niagara Falls – and it’s located almost downtown in Grand Falls. New Brunswick tent camping is available in Grand Falls and in its surrounding areas. If you’re passing through here in late June, don’t miss the region’s unique Potato Festival, a rip-roaring good time and homage to the region’s agriculture industry.

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Newfoundland Tent Camping Trip

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The Trans-Canada Highway veers gently throughout Newfoundland beginning in the romantic seafaring town of St. John’s, on the island’s eastern coast. The city is one of North America’s oldest, where famed explorer John Cabot landed in 1497. For nearly five centuries St. John’s has thrived as a bustling seaport and the lives of its residents are closely bound to the sea. The town’s rich history can be discovered at several famed attractions. Begin your Newfoundland tent camping trip at the easternmost point in North America at the Cape Spear National Historical Site. The site is home to a historic lighthouse, as well as one of the most scenic drives in Eastern Canada. The Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist is a remarkable edifice and homage to the city’s namesake. This centuries-old cathedral is now a national historic site. Nearby is Newfoundland’s oldest church, the diminutive St. Thomas’ Anglican Church. Built in 1836, it is a unique attraction known mainly for it’s famous black tower. If you’re lucky enough to be in St. John’s in August, don’t miss the Royal St. John’s Regatta, a major annual event started in 1825 and the oldest continuous sporting event in North America, on land or sea. Butter Pot Provincial Park is one of the great New Brunswick tent campgrounds to stay at in the area.

Most folks know that RVs and auto racing goes together like peanut butter and jelly, but would you believe you could find authentic road racing here in northeast Canada? It’s true. During the summer weekends, outside of Clarenville, look up the town’s namesake dragway. Here, all sorts of pumped-up racing machines and the people who love them congregate to match wits and mechanical muscle, on the former airstrip.

At the town of Gander, learn about Newfoundland’s contribution to aviation. The town’s airport played an integral role during WWII as a busy refueling stop. Today, the North Atlantic Aviation Museum celebrates the area’s aviation history with displays, exhibits, and several preserved relics of retired aircraft. In late July, don’t miss Gander’s Festival of Flight, an aviation-themed fair with rides, games, cook-offs, and a demolition derby. New Brunswick tent camping sites are also available here.

The U.S. is populated with oversized roadside attractions, so why should Canada be any different? Get your first taste of Canadian roadside oddities in Deer Lake, where you can see a ten-foot tall strawberry and an enormous moose. The real highlight of this sleepy town is no doubt the unique Newfoundland Insectarium and its impressive butterfly pavilion, an ideal way to get up close to these beautiful winged critters of the six- and eight-legged variety.

As TCH-1 heads southwest and approaches its end in Newfoundland, make a stop in Stephenville. The town is home to an extremely popular and award-winning summer theater festival. Continuing your drive south takes you towards Channel-Port Aux Basques, a seaside town that actually has a pair of sandy beaches – something of a rarity in this corner of the world.

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Nova Scotia Tent Camping Trip

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From Channel-Port Aux Basques, hop aboard the Marine Atlantic Ferry to carry you across the Cabot Strait to North Sydney in Nova Scotia. Mira River Provincial Park is one of the great Nova Scotia tent campgrounds to stay at. From there, the route heads west and turns into TCH-105 as it ventures southwest through this fantastic province. Your first stop is the town of Baddeck, a town that has been attracting visitors for more than 100 years. One of its most famous residents was Alexander Graham Bell. Today, Braddeck is home to the famous Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, one of Canada’s finest museums. Here, you can explore the world of one of history’s greatest minds through his notes, writings, and examples of some of his inventions. Bell and his wife fell in love with Baddeck and you just might too. Today, Baddeck is a favored vacation spot and is home to several pleasant inns, lodges, and loads of good shopping, restaurants and Nova Scotia tent camping.

Heading southwest as TCH-105 turns into TCH-104, get in touch with some Scottish traditions at the town of Antigonish, home of the longest-running Highland Games this side of the Atlantic. Held each year in mid-July, the games have been held each year since 1861 - a remarkable run!

Down the road in the town of Stellarton, visit Atlantic Canada’s largest museum, the Museum of Industry. More than 37,000 artifacts are on display tracing the history of Nova Scotia’s industrial heritage.

TCH-104 then begins to head northwest towards New Brunswick. Before doing so, consider driving south on Highway 102 to the capital city of Halifax. This dazzling seaside metropolis is arguably the finest in the whole region. A city of nearly 400,000 residents, Halifax is a bustling hub of culture and history. Like other great historic cities, your best bet is to park the rig and explore Halifax by foot. Start in the historic downtown area located along scenic Halifax Harbor. Before you leave, stop by the storied Fairview Cemetery. There you’ll find the final resting place of 121 souls who perished on the Titanic.

Continue your tour of maritime Canada in the town of Amherst, your last stop along TCH-104 in Nova Scotia. Amherst is the geographic center of the region and the apparent crossroads where history and innovation meet, creating a charming seaside experience for its visitors with plenty of Nova Scotia tent camping sites.

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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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