Few of us know camping like the Scouts, so who better to weigh in on the country’s most epic camp sites.
Of course, it will come as little surprise that several of those sites – including two in the top 3 – are here on the West Coast!
The Scouts Canada survey recently polled 46,704 members, including adults, children and parents, asking various questions around finding the best campsite for any level or type of adventure.
“With camping emerging as an adventurous and affordable option for many Canadians, we wanted to make sure that every Canadian knows where the most epic campsites in the country are and which criteria they should consider when searching for a spot,” said Mike Eybel, a volunteer scouter of seven years.
Just shy of 40 per cent of surveyed Scout members cited Alberta’s Jasper National Park as Canada’s No. 1 ‘most epic’ camp destination in Canada.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island was favoured by about 35 per cent of respondents. Following in third was Algonquin Provincial Park, in Ontario, at 32.9 per cent.
Asked about hidden gem campsites some people have never heard of, data showed Canadians enjoy the Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta because its rich history and its position straddling the Milk River, nestled in the incredible rock structures of the hoodoos.
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve was also cited as a hidden gem, located in southernmost Haida Gwaii, with lush rainforest islands and rich in Haida culture, learning opportunities and wildlife sightings. Spruce Woods Provincial Park, in Manitoba, was also noted due to its sand dunes to explore where the Assiniboine River once flowed.
The scouting community had various responses when asked about what makes a campsite screensaver worthy. The views marked No. 1, at 85 per cent, and proximity to water in second, at 64 per cent. Other reasons included activity options such as hiking, swimming, biking, wildlife views, quietness and accessible washrooms.
For solo camping trips, the views and proximity to water still ranked at the top as factors that make a site best for a solo vacation.
Fifty-nine per cent of Scouters said “a drive-in site” is their favourite way to camp. Meanwhile, 24 per cent of daring members prefer to access their campsites by paddling in and 17 per cent of adventurous respondents prefer to hike into camp.
The top six Scouts reserves were voted as:
• Blue Springs Scout Reserve, Mississauga, ON
• Camp Samac, Oshawa, ON
• Camp Barnard, Sooke, B.C.
• Camp McLean, Vancouver, B.C.
• Camp Opemikon, Ottawa, ON
• Camp Attawandaron, London, ON
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