Scouts Canada members have announced this year’s most epic campsites in the country, with one B.C. destination cracking the top three.
The survey polled 46,704 and asked 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 volunteered scout members, adults, children and parents, of those polled 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.
Gros Morne National Park, in Newfoundland, got 27.3 per cent of the votes while Fundy National Park, in New Brunswick, was ranked fifth with 22.5 per cent of votes.
When surveyed about hidden gem campsites some people have never heard of, data showed Canadians enjoy the Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta because it straddles the Milk River and is nestled in hoodoos (incredible rock structures) and rich history, a news release said.
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve was also cited as a hidden gem by the survey, 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 number one, 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.
When asked where Canadians have camped and where they would go back, campgrounds ranked as follows:
• Algonquin Provincial Park, ON – 42.9 per cent
• Jasper National Park, Alta. – 32.6 per cent
• Pinery Provincial Park, ON – 23.6 per cent
• Fundy National Park, NB – 22.0 per cent
• Cavendish Campground, P.E.I – 20.4 per cent
Ontario had the highest number of visited campsites with both Algonquin and Pinery Provincial Parks. Nearly half of the respondents have camped at Algonquin Provincial Park.
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 votes as:
• Blue Springs Scout Reserve, Mississauga, ON – 18.3 per cent
• Camp Samac, Oshawa, ON – 16.7 per cent
• Camp Barnard, Sooke, B.C. – 14.4 per cent
• Camp McLean, Vancouver, B.C. – 10.9 per cent
• Camp Opemikon, Ottawa, ON – 10.9 per cent
• Camp Attawandaron, London, ON – 8.23 per cent