Restoule Provincial Park is located about 45 minutes from North Bay, Ontario and may be one of the real hidden gems when speaking about Awesome parks to go camping with your family.  This is truly a family friendly place that has numerous camping options depending on how you like your outdoor getaways.

DSCF1371Kettle Point Campground is the most luxurious, with electricity and water easily accessible from every one of the well spaced campsites.  Privacy is good when compared to other parks I have been to and the bonus of having a beach, showers, a fully functional and almost always clean flush toilet comfort station and laundry facilities close by make it a no brainer for anyone traveling with kids.  I would be remise if I didn’t mention though that while being able to wash clothes and blankets after a night of rain is great, having machines that are two dollars to operate that don’t accept toonies can leave one a little stranded looking for change after adding soap to a load, the moral?  Make sure you have change! (It’d be a great idea for the facility to update the machines as well).  This trip was a bit of a last minute endeavour so our site selection was rather limited, leaving us with a site adjacent to the main road that caused a large amount of dust due to all the traffic.  This is not an issue with any site into the second row though I learned from conversations with other campers, lesson learned.  I will say that for those travelling with a trailer the Kettle Point sites are almost all above average although some of the angles may require an experienced driver.



The beach that is accessible from Kettle Point is a nice clean way to break up your day, and is at most an 8 minute walk from the furthest point of the campground.  There is a volleyball net on the nice clean sand and a sectioned off piece of shallow lake that make it a very safe and fun place to spend a few hours.




Putts and Bells Point Campgrounds are two other options at Restoule.  Both have all non-electric sites and like Kettle Point both have beach access points.  Bells Point is perfect for those with four-legged friends joining them as it is home to the parks popular dog friendly beach.  Putts point has a comfort station with showers and flush toilets but Bells campers aren’t so lucky.





There is also an option for larger groups with two groups sites located water front with spectacular views.  Even if you are just on a regular campsite at Bells, Putts, or Kettle Point  I highly recommend venturing  over to the group sites.  They are truly Awesome and as I by chance found, a great place for the kids to fly kites.




This was my first tip to the park so I had planned a number of things to do after reading all of the reviews I could find on-line.  Unfortunately between weather and a four-year-old, many of those plans were thwarted.  We didn’t make it to any of the highly touted  hiking trails, and rain caused us to miss the community campfire at the clearing but one of the things that I would not be denied was a trip to the review famous Gerry’s General Store.


After reading the rave reviews of the store I have to say that having been to a number of small town General Stores in my time Gerry’s is rather average.  The Prices are high (as they are at all these types of stores) but not exorbitant, the staff is very friendly, and the selection is pretty good.  As with many stores of it’s type, Gerry’s is your only option to pick up anything you may have forgot, and they know it.  All in all your best bet is to not forget anything, and just head to Gerry’s to grab the kids a freezie, or go to the neighbouring ice cream shop for a cold treat.


BearCountryFor first time visitors to Restoule the signage leading up to the park entrance is a bit lacking.  Don’t worry, it’s about ten minutes after your last turn before you reach the park, your going the right way.  One sign that should be taken very seriously though is the “Bear” warning as you enter the park.  Do not keep food in your tent.  A racoon sign would also be a good idea as Restoule is home to some of the most brazen night walkers I have ever come into contact with, lock all food and cooking equipment in your car or trailer or you will have a nice surprise mess to clean up in the morning.


Restoule is home to many kinds of wildlife that even on the busiest of weekends still pay the park a visit.  This is definitely a place where you want to always have a camera at the ready because you never know what could be around the corner.  The deer are as always majestic and the kids love the cute chipmunks that regularly scurry through the roadways and campsites. My worries about a possible bear encounter were put at ease by the regular patrols by very friendly park rangers.



After four nights, a few that included rain and a few that didn’t I am happy to say that I am a big fan of Restoule.  Although (as with any park) there are some drawback, the natural beauty, the friendly staff, the abundance of things to keep you busy, and the clean facilities have made Restoule one of my favourite places to pitch a tent. I do plan on making another trip to the park, one that will include a lot of hiking so expect an update to this post next summer.  Now get outdoors and have some fun at Restoule Provincial Park!


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