Oastler Lake Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: September 2021

Oastler Lake Provincial Park is located along the rocky shore of the Boyne River near Georgian Bay and Parry Sound. It’s a relatively small park and its main draw is the lake and its water-based recreational activities such as swimming, boating and fishing.

On the drive back home from our two-week Northern Ontario road trip, we stopped at Oastler Lake to check another park off our Ontario Parks Challenge and organize our cars. The park is conveniently located right off of Highway 400.

We drove to the day-use area near the main beach, but unfortunately there’s no parking there. Instead we drove through the campground in search of any empty site, which also proved to be challenging. Despite the fact that it was mid-September, the campground was packed. We finally managed to find something.

Sure enough, within a few minutes of us unloading everything out of our two cars, someone pulled up saying that this was their site. Awkward. We told them we were just packing up and that we would be another 10 minutes or so. Thankfully they didn’t seem to mind and patiently waited for us to finish. Since we knew someone was waiting on us, we just kind of threw everything back in the two cars and probably made a bigger mess than when we started.

On the drive out of the park, we tried to use the washrooms at the comfort station, but again, there was no parking. We didn’t seem to have much luck here. We then drove back to the day-use area so I could hop out and check out the beach and surrounding area. There’s a sheltered picnic area here, which is always a bonus, but again, not ideal since you can’t actually park your car there. There’s also canoe rentals, which are on a first-come, first-served basis for campers.

Overall this park didn’t leave a good impression. Besides the obvious lack of parking, the campsites themselves were close together and there wasn’t much privacy. I’m glad we made a short detour here to check it out as I doubt we’d ever return, or at least not during the peak season.

On the drive back home, we made another detour in Barrie at Allandale Station Park for another Moments of Algoma installation. The easel faces the train station and is located near the pavilion. Lawren Harris often used Allandale station as his basecamp to Northern Ontario. In addition to being an artist, Harris had served as a gunnery instructor at the nearby Camp Borden and spent his summer at his family’s summer home at Woodend, Allandale.

We then continued our drive back home. And just like that, we were done our road trip.


My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

60 thoughts on “Oastler Lake Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The issue with having nice weather on the weekend is that it tends to bring out the crowds. It’s too bad we didn’t visit Oastler Lake on a weekday as I’m sure we would have had a difference experience. Oh well, it was still nice to check out another park, even if we didn’t stay long and couldn’t park anywhere.

  1. wetanddustyroads says:

    Well, no one can say you didn’t try 😁. It looks like there is a great beach at the park … at least you’ve got a few nice pictures!
    Noooo, is the road trip really over now? Hopefully there are still a few more hiking in parks waiting for us …

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Exactly. We came, we saw, we left … in the span of like 15 minutes. That’s the issue with having nice weather in the fall is that everyone then wants to extend their camping season. At least we know what the park is like in case we ever return. Our two week road trip felt like it went by so quickly. I do have a few more parks to write about and a last minute trip we took later in the fall. 2021 really does feel like it dragged on considering I’m still writing about it 🙂

  2. kagould17 says:

    Obviously this was a favourite place to play for the locals. Too bad about the lack of parking. It does look like a nice place on that sunny day. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I find that most people who go camping like to return to the same places. It’s too bad we didn’t visit on a weekday as I’m sure it would have had a totally different vibe. Some of the sites along the shoreline looked nice, but I don’t think we have any plans on returning anytime soon. Thanks for reading, Linda.

  3. leightontravels says:

    I love that last shot from Oastler Park. Clearly such lovely weather prompted all the locals to head to the park and beach area. You were really out of luck there. That was a great road trip and as always I’ve enjoyed following your adventures.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. That’s the issue about having nice weather is that it tends to bring out the crowds. I’m glad we managed to squeeze in one last park on our road trip, even if it was a bit of a bummer. Overall it was a wonderful trip. Thanks for virtually coming along on our adventures 🙂

  4. John says:

    That park was a bummer compared to many others you guys visited. Why the lack of parking? The beach looks beautiful though. ❤️🇨🇦

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Right!? Perhaps it’s designed that way to keep out day-use visitors? I’m glad we stopped to check this park out as it’s been on my radar for awhile. I don’t think we’d ever return though.

  5. Ab says:

    We stopped by Oastler Lake last fall on our way to a weekend getaway to Killbear. I agree with you there isn’t much to see here but the nice beach provided a lovely detour.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Sounds like the scenery was beautiful and that it was a lovely spot to camp. I like the sound of those cabins. We’ve done a lot camping over the years, especially during the pandemic. We’ve stayed in some pretty awesome campsites. Anything by the water is always a fan favourite.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We had a some pretty rainy weather at the start of our road trip, but I’m glad we ended on a high note. Having nice weather makes such a huge difference when camping. I was sad to say goodbye to Northern Ontario, but it was nice to sleep in a real bed again.

      • Little Miss Traveller says:

        I’m sure you returned home with happy memories but I can imagine that sleeping in a comfortable mattress was a joy after so long. Really enjoyed following your adventures in Northern Ontario Linda.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        You are too kind. It was nice to trade in our tents and sleeping pads for our warm house. Northern Ontario is such a scenic area and I’m glad we were able to visit for so long. I have a feeling we’ll be back someday.

  6. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    It looks like a great park so it’s too bad that you weren’t able to stay. I’m guessing that it’s a popular local area. Strange that the spot you tried to camp in was “booked.” And the lack of parking seems like very poor planning. Following along on your trip has been very enjoyable. Cheers. 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oastler Lake definitely looked like a hot spot for the locals. The campsites were a bit too close together for my liking and I can see that the noise levels could be a problem. If we came on a weekday we might have had a different experience. I had so much fun exploring Northern Ontario that it was tough to return to hustle and bustle of the city. I have a feeling we’ll be back someday. Thanks for following along on our adventures 🙂

  7. Island Traveler says:

    The trees, the lake, the Sun peeping, calling…just the perfect motivation for me to get out of the couch and enjoy outdoors now. I have been lazy lately and tired. Exercise is like an ordeal and uninteresting. It’s nice to see positivity and happiness through another person’s eyes and lenses. 🙏

  8. Bama says:

    I wonder how “booking” a parking site works over there. Did those people who claimed that you were on their site somehow managed to book it online? Was there a proof that they had actually booked it? I’m really curious about this because it’s quite different from what I’m more used to here. On a lighter note, at least there were blue skies when you were there.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I think they did book it either online or in person when they checked in at the park office. It was just bad timing for us. We were just looking for an empty campsite to organize our cars and eat a snack. And yes, while we didn’t have the best experience at this park, at least it wasn’t raining!!

  9. elvira797mx says:

    Wow! The blue of the sky is so beautiful, amazing place, looks fo me. You are an expert. Thank’s for share Linda. Have a wonderful time!
    Keep well.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks! I definitely feel like an Ontario Parks expert (and fan girl) these days after visiting so many provincial parks last year. Even though we didn’t stay long at Oastler Lake, it was still nice to explore a new park. Take care. Linda

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The lack of parking was bizarre. I guess the park is more geared towards campers than day-use visitors. I think if we came on a weekday we would have had a totally different experience.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Exactly, I’m glad we were here for a quick pit stop as I don’t think we’d have enjoyed camping here. The campsites were close together and I’m sure noise can be a real issue on weekends.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Even though we had some issues with parking at Oastler Lake, I’m glad we managed to squeeze in one last visit to a provincial park on our drive back home. Plus it’s always good to take advantage of the nice weather. The Moments of Algoma art installations were such a fun scavenger hunt and a good excuse to pull over at certain areas that we otherwise would have driven straight through. It was a neat way to learn more about Canadian art and the Group of Seven.

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