Just south of Lake Nipissing and a short jaunt southwest of North Bay, you’ll find Restoule Provincial Park. It’s one of the best-kept secrets of Explorers’ Edge, a stunning region spanning from the rocky shores of Parry Sound to the deep wilds of Algonquin Park. It’s Canadian Shield country at its best and home to a host of lakes, craggy cliffs, rambling rivers, and primeval forests. How you explore it is up to you.
Start planning your fall trip now! Here are our top five suggestions for an incredible family getaway in Restoule:
#5: TAKE THE FAMILY CAMPING
With over 250 campsites spread over three campgrounds, Restoule Provincial Park is ideal for families looking to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life. Trade in the stresses of work, city smog and traffic for fresh air, beautiful backcountry scenery and sunny days by the lake.
The three main campgrounds are Bells Point, Putts Point, and Kettle Point. Tent, trailer and RV campsites are also available and park stations at each campground are outfitted with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities. The more adventurous might want to venture forth to the more remote walk-in campsites. Learn more
#4: BIRD IS THE WORD
Every year, birdwatchers flock to the park to catch a glimpse of the over 90 species of birds that make their home in the dense forests and lakes. But you don’t have to be an avian expert to have a little fun—just some binoculars and comfortable walking shoes. Stroll around the grounds and see what you can spot! It’s not uncommon to see Peregrine Falcons, Osprey, and even Bald Eagles. Learn more
#3: CAST AWAY
Restoule Provincial Park is riddled with lakes and rivers, offering some of the best fishing holes you’ll find in the Explorers Edge region. Whether you’re looking to spend a day trolling for the big one on one of the lakes, or casting from the shores of Restoule River, you’ll find plenty of fish biting. Some of the main species include lake trout, lake whitefish, large and small mouth bass, Muskie, pickerel, and pike. Learn more
#2: PADDLE ON
There are a plethora of lakes and rivers to explore in Restoule by canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. We recommend paddling Stormy Lake, which is the quieter and more picturesque of the two big lakes in the park. The other, Restoule Lake, is shared with cottagers. There are plenty of routes to choose from… one of the most popular is a five-day trip that follows in the wake of Samuel de Champlain through the French River into Lake Nipissing. Learn more
#1: HIKE TO THE FIRETOWER
You’ll find one of the most interesting landmarks in Restoule, along with a breathtaking panoramic vista, atop the 100-meter-tall Stormy Lake Bluffs. It’s the park’s historic fire tower! The trail itself winds its way from the picnic area, just west of the park road, through red pine forests and beautiful plantations up to the lookout. It’s a 7-km loop and takes approximately 2.5 hours to walk. Be aware that it does include a few steep rocky climbs—but it’s well worth the effort when you reach the summit. Learn more