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