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“Noisy, and poorly run”

Oastler Lake Provincial Park
Ranked #13 of 35 things to do in Parry Sound
Attraction details
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Noisy, and poorly run”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Our site here was beautiful. There are a couple of site right along the lake, and there's nothing better than being able to jump in the lake right from your temporary home. (Tip: 129,130,131 and there are few on the other side)

Sites however, are pretty close together, and some in the oddest of places which remained empty all weekend. Between sites, are barely a few trees, if you're lucky enough, so if you're looking for something more private, I would avoid this park. I saw some sites where you're dining with your neighbour the entire time. I think there must be more trees in my neighbourhood at back in the city.

I was also shocked and annoyed by the freight train that rumbles and honks its horn very loudly. Friday night, it was happening almost every hour until past 12am, less on the weekend, but unavoidable. Everytime it happened, it reminded me that I'm not secluded in the woods and that I will have to back to the city. It was great when it was quiet.

They also had some weird rule about having only 1 car parked at your site, even though in most cases, there clearly was enough space. I don't know if this was just a cash grab of $12 a night, but highly inconvenient.

This was the first place I've seen with non-outhouse toilets scattered about. They were even cleaner than the comfort stations (area with showers). That was nice for someone like me.

There's not much to do here really, and it is perfect for those who want to just relax and not do much. Swim in the lake and enjoy being outdoors. For hiking, you'll have to drive 30mins to Seguin park as there are no trails here. They have canoe rentals (with ridiculous policies, more on that later), but really can go just around the lake and not much to see. There's a beach, but it's not big, and the sand was damp with tire marks. It seemed like the type of place you would stay, but during the day venture out to do other things. There was even movie times posted in the office for Parry Sound, and wondering if that is an activity people do here.

Do not trust the signage in the office. For some reason they are wrong and are not updated. The girls in there, would give conflicting information and was extremely confused the more questions we asked. It was frustrating.

Our canoe rental experience here has prompted us to go and purchase our own, as this was probably most convoluted process I've experienced. They state in the newspaper and signs that a full day rental $42, 4 hours $25. Apparently a full day means 8am-4pm, and not overnight. The canoe has to be returned at 3pm or 3:30pm (depends who you ask) as the office closes at 4pm.
We had assumed that full day meant an overnight rental (we also called to confirm) so Saturday morning we weren't in a rush to go get the canoe or use it. most other parks have this policy.
When we got to the office around 1pm, we were told we had to return the canoe at 4pm or be charged a penalty of $42. We only had the option of renting it at $25. Now if they just had stated an overnight rental would be $67....

After checking if there was other places to rent a canoe, we decided on the now 3 hours of canoe. But then filling out the paper work (she was so slow!) and then going out to check the scratches on the canoe so thoroughly like rental car ate into our paid canoeing time at least 30mins. And we were the only ones renting, so what was the fuss. There was also a $500 deposit. Upon returning the canoe she almost forgot that we rented 2 canoes, and therefore should be owed $1000 back.

I wasn't impressed by the whole thing more infuriated by the consistent information given to us by the office.

The area is great, but probably would only come back to this park wiser, with our own canoe, and stay longer (so that going out to excursions wouldn't seem like it was so wasteful) just to have access to the beautiful lake.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank pikachiu132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Englehart, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Nice area, but noisey park.”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

The park itself is nice, love the dog area. The sites are not very private and the noise level is very high. Not to mention the trains that run many times during the night. We were beside a campsite with TONS of kids and people coming in and out. Only one vehicle per site but our neighbours had up to three vehicles during the day! Love the Parry Sound area, but will not come back to Oastler Lake Park.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank sarbecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beginners campers will enjoy this park”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Just came back from Oastler Lake PP and as a first time camper enjoyed my time here. Went with some friends who had experience here and recommended coming there. I appreciated the "comfort" bathrooms that were there. You will need a car here. There is not much to do outside of the beach and canoeing. Port Perry is ten minutes away and has plenty of small town appeal with big city convenience. Dog beach is there for those with furry companions. Showers were pretty clean.

The trains are a big issue that you will hear from other reviewers. I wouldn't let this discourage you from coming here, but families with small kids will not like the noise simply for the trains.

This is a good campsite for beginners who are looking to check out what camping is like. Being only two hours from Toronto makes it a short getaway from the big city.

Beautiful views of the lake and great offsite noise free campsites will attract those that simple like the peace and quiet.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank monnomestgrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parry Sound, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“great for beginners and families with small children”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

If you have never camped before and are a bit hesitant to take off into the great wilderness, Oastler Lake Provincial Park is the place for you. Good camp sites. Only 10 minutes from town. Very nice clear water lake for swimming and canoeing. And, if you get thirsty, there is a pub just across the lake. Despite all this, the park tends to be rather a quiet family park since the more rowdy crowd goes further north.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank interesteduser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

All the other reviews are smack on right about everything!!! TRAINS,TRAINS AND MORE TRAINS....Even during the day trying to have a conversation can be challenging when a train goes by with it's horns a blarring. The only great thing I will say about the park is that it had a dog beach where my small kids could enjoy the water with the dog. Not a large grassy area if the dogs were not water dogs though. No playground for the kids either...We ended up leaving early from our vacation due to sleep devrivation...

Visited July 2013
4 Thank tatialeaderlodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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