Northern campgrounds expect busy summer

Campgrounds in the northeast and around the province are looking forward to a summer camping season largely free of COVID restrictions.

Camping in Ontario’s executive director, Alexandra Anderson, said campground owners aren't expecting quite the same camping boom experienced last year, as campers aimed to break free of their COVID fatigue.

But the provincial association said having fewer public health measures to account for makes preparing for this season less stressful.

"The owners are ecstatic. The last two years, they haven't been able to, for example, run any of the events," said Anderson.

"All the events are back, so they're able to welcome their guests into their campground, as they did pre-pandemic."

Timmins-based Big Water Campground is putting some final touches on its site, in preparation for what owner Forrest Tremblay hopes will be a busy season.

He said the site will have new lots this year, which he hopes will help accommodate the extra demand he saw in 2021.

"We're just hoping that interest continues, but seemingly it is," said Tremblay.

"Fewer restrictions make things a little bit easier, a little more seamless at the gate. A little bit easier for people to have guests, a little bit easier for our regular campers. That's something I think everyone's happy about."

Anderson said seasonal campgrounds like Big Water could see a larger turnout than others, due to a possible desire to vacation in one spot, in response to rising gas prices.

She said other campgrounds will likely experience a more relaxed season, as COVID fatigue winds down.

"This year, they're actually going to be pleasantly surprised that they're able to go, maybe, to their favourite campground that they haven't been able to go to for the last two years," Anderson said.