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Happy campers: LGBT camping in Ontario and nearby

Whether your style is a simple tent or a tricked-out RV, here are a few places to pitch or park

Whether your camping style includes a few tent pegs and a relatively flat patch of ground or a tricked-out RV with more glitz and glitter than Liberace’s living quarters, you’ll find a bevy of LGBT-friendly places to pitch or park. Heres a selection of Ontario and nearby gay campgrounds.

Stella’s Getaway 
Burleigh Falls, Ontario

Where: A three-minute walk from Burleigh Falls, on the shores of island-dotted Stony Lake, a 40-kilometre-long body of water known as the “Jewel of the Kawarthas.” The restaurants, stores and LCBO of Lakefield are a short drive away.
Who: Women only.
What: A lakeside campground with tent sites, cabins, a 27-foot trailer and one converted van. Some cabins have dishwashers; all have barbecues. Campsites have fire pits. Guests can use the resort’s canoes and kayaks. Stella’s Café has burgers, wings, cedar-plank salmon, and salads and sandwiches, and there’s a fine-foods store on-site. Activities include swimming, fishing, boating and canoeing, plus hiking in Petroglyphs Provincial Park. Nearby, water crashes over the pink granite of Burleigh Falls from Lovesick Lake.
When: until Oct 13, 2015.
How much: Sites from $40. Van accommodation from $55. Cabins from $125.

Cedars Campground 
Hayesland, Ontario

Where: Just west of Millgrove, 20 minutes north of Hamilton.
Who: LGBT.
What: Celebrating its 31st birthday this summer, Cedars offers cabins and tent and RV sites, plus a baseball diamond, sand volleyball court and tennis court set on 130 partially wooded acres atop the Niagara Escarpment. Un-serviced sites can avail of a water and battery charging station. The Cedars has a licensed nightclub, licensed pool bar and fully licensed restaurant on-site. A pool, tuck shop and clubhouse (with library and board games) round out the offerings.
When: until Oct 12, 2015.
How much: Day passes from $10. Sites from $17 per person.

Plein Bois 
Sainte-Marthe, Quebec

Where: Near Rigaud, Quebec, less than an hour’s drive from downtown Montreal and an hour and a half from Ottawa, near the banks of the Ottawa River. There’s a shuttle bus to the camp for those who don’t drive.
Who: Men only.
What: 60 wooded acres with 414 sites, two pools and a choice of bars and terraces. Chez Leo provides breakfast, lunch and dinner, including grills and a substantial fisherman’s platter. This season’s calendar includes karaoke, happy hours, theme weekends, concerts, a garage sale, workshops and movies.
When: until Sept 20, 2015.
How much: 12-hour day passes from $11. Tent sites from $30.75. Trailer rentals from $48.

Tweed, Ontario

Where: A 2.5-hour drive from Toronto, just north of Prince Edward County and outside Tweed.
Who: Men only.
What: A campground and RV park on 96 wooded acres in eastern Ontario’s Land O’ Lakes region. Opened in 2011, Riverside basks on the banks of the Skootamatta River and offers 110 serviced and unserviced sites, all with picnic tables and fire rings, a cottage, trailer, clothing-optional pool and camping area, baseball diamond and volleyball field. Weekend themes range from Boots and Boxers to Drag Divas to Riverside Olympics.
When: until Oct 1, 2015.
How much: Day pass from $10. Sites from $18. Trailer from $65. Cottage from $85.

Hillside Campgrounds
New Milford, Pennsylvania

Where: Close to the town of Gibson in northeastern Pennsylvania, just south of the Finger Lakes, 5.5 hours by car from Toronto.
Who: Men only.
What: Hillside celebrates its 30th anniversary this summer. Two hundred and thirty-five acres in the mountains of Pennsylvania with trails and a shady creek. Sites range from central and socially situated to remote. A café takes care of all meals you can’t be bothered to cook. Social offerings include volleyball contests, BYOB cocktail events, art walks and weekend parties where the tunes swing from country and western in the early hours to club sounds as the night progresses. Party themes include Heroes and Villains, Uniform, and Fantasy and Fetish.
When: until Sept 30, 2015.
How much: Day passes from $5. Sites from $22.50 per person per night. Cabins from $60.

The Ridge
(formerly Rainbow Ridge Resort)

Grand Valley, Ontario

Where: On the Grand River, an hour’s drive north of downtown Toronto, close to Caledon and Orangeville.
Who: LGBT, plus pets.
What: Seventy-two acres of hiking trails and fully serviced sites, with picnic tables and fire pits, on the Grand River. Field and pool volleyball, badminton, horseshoes, cricket, Saturday night dances, a clothing-optional area and three games rooms with ping-pong, pool, foosball, weights and a TV.
When: until Oct 31, 2015.
How much: Day passes from $8. Sites from $20 per person. Bunk rooms from $65.

The Point Tent and Trailer Resort
Vittoria, Ontario

Where: Near Turkey Point Park on the Lake Erie shore, a 15-minute drive from Port Dover.
Who: Men only.
What: Tent and fully serviced trailer and RV sites, surrounded by Carolingian forest, with an abundance of trails. Other draws include biking, swimming and a slew of summer mixers, cabanas, a saltwater swimming pool, sun decks and a general store. The Point is particularly popular with bears and leathermen, and the events calendar caters to that, with events such as BearForce and Lumbearjack.
When: until Oct 31, 2015.
How much: Day pass from $12. Sites from $18. Cabins from $56.

Jones Pond
Angelica, New York

Where: A rural retreat for men in the gentle hills of the Genesee Valley
Who: Men-only.
What: Boasts 120 acres, 117 seasonal sites, 192 permanent seasonal spots, a slew of cabins and a season that stretches all the way from April to October.
When: until Oct 1, 2015.
How much: Day passes from $10. Tent sites from $16. Trailer sites from $38.
For more information, read our feature on Jones Pond.

Editor's note, Jun 29, 2015: This article is an updated version of “Happy Campers: Selected LGBT Campgrounds in Ontario and Nearby” published in May 2014. 

This story is filed under Travel, Hospitality, World
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