Backcountry Camping Fees Are Changing In These Provincial Parks

Some provincial parks in Ontario are changing their backcountry camping fees for the 2020 season.

User on the Algonquin Adventures forum posted about the change which will affect the Temagami area parks and Massassauga Provincial Park.   The change would see campers pay a flat rate of $20 – $40 per site, per night rather than paying for individual campers per night.


Below are the new backcountry camping fees for The Massasauga and parks in the Temagami region.

The Massasauga Base Fee HST Total
Regular – per campsite fee $40.75 $5.30 $46.05
Ontario Senior – per campsite fee $32.60 $4.24 $36.84
Youth / Ont. Persons with Disabilities * – per campsite fee $20.38 $2.65 $23.03
Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater, Makobe-Grays River, Obabika River, Solace, Sturgeon River Base Fee HST Total
Regular – per campsite fee $32.50 $4.23 $36.73
Ontario Senior – per campsite fee $26.00 $3.38 $29.38
Youth / Ont. Persons with Disabilities * – per campsite fee $16.25 $2.11 $18.36

The new fee structure is fine if you’re traveling with a group, but for solo paddlers, the flat rate fee structure is pricey.

In an email response about the change, an Ontario Parks rep said:

Ontario Parks is making this change in order to simplify the booking process by streamlining the backcountry fee structure and making it consistent with our car camping fee model.

Most users on the Algonquin adventures Forum don’t like the change and worry the new fee structure could extend to more Provincial Parks including Algonquin.

One forum member wrote:

It’s too bad. I was planning to check out Massassauga this summer for the first time, but as a soloist, it is now getting out of reach. I chose this hobby because it was relatively cheap (once the up-front camping equipment costs are paid). Looks like crown-land camping for me, if this catches on and spreads to places like Algonquin.

Another user did some math:

$12.43 per night at Algonquin. $46.05 per night at Massassauga.
Mon-Fri trip in Algonquin is $62.15. In Massassauga it will be $230.25. Yikes.
So parties of four or more? It’s a deal for you. The rest of us, not so much.

What do you think of the fee changes? Let us know in the comment section below.

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1 Comment

  1. I cancelled my eight day trip to Massassauga. Encouraging large groups in that park is an issue, many trees cut down, more than one firepit, garbage, food, nuisance bears, and a lack of firewood with 400m of site. Was my favourite park, and I would always go in the off season when it wasn’t busy so I wouldn’t be blocking others from enjoying the park. It is a shame, but make no mistake they will be doing this to all the parks and death to the solo and couple paddlers out there. Wasnt it like within the last decade that Massassauga was free. And in Temagami that price doesnt guarantee you a site. They oversell them as is. I couldnt get a site last year on Bob lake, and was forced to make camp on crown land in the conservation area. Didnt mind my 12.43 donation to the park but now that is just robbery. For that price I expect to be able to flag down a warden and get permits checked so I can have my site.

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