Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Killbear Provincial Park - Parry Sound

The view from the boat launch at Blind Bay Campground
Killbear Provincial Park is actually in Carling, Ontario but Parry Sound (Home of Bobby Orr!  I think that is the official name of the place, Parry Sound - Home of Bobby Orr)  is just up the road and I thought that would give readers a better sense of where it is.
My daughter listening to a recording explaining how Killbear Provincial Park.  Spoiler alert!  Someone killed a bear.
Killbear is big, it has 881 campsites spread out over seven campgrounds.  The upside of being big is that the individual campsites are also bigger and a bit farther apart than average Provincial Park campsites and the park also has a Visitor's Centre that has exhibits and a gift shop.  The downside is that everything is quite spread out, so for instance if you need to take a shower it could be a 10 or 15 minute walk just to get there. If you want to do laundry (or I should say need to do laundry since who does laundry on vacation for fun), you may have to drive to another campground to do it since not all of them have laundry facilities.  

We were only at Killbear for two nights and it rained for a good part of the time we were there but my kids still loved Killbear.  My oldest daughter said it is her favourite Provincial Park we have been to.

Some of the highlights include:
Scampering over the rocks during a brief sunny period.
The rocks. The park is full of huge rocks that my kids loved to climb on and explore.  We also found a snake in one of them which was exciting for my kids.
Just about to go for a swim.
The water.  The park is on Georgian Bay which has clear and clean water.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that the water is warm but as far as large Ontario bodies of water go, it was balmy.  
A pretty fearless dear at our campsite.
The deer.  We had three deer who visited our campsite twice and they let my daughter get pretty close so that was a huge hit.
Hunting for tadpoles.
My kids also had fun hunting for minnows, tadpoles and frogs and hiking the Lookout Point Trail.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • The park map is pretty useless.  We stayed at Blind Bay Camprgound and I am assuming it got its name because you stumble around blindly until you come across what you are looking for.  I thought it was just me who couldn't make heads or tails of the map but I was speaking to a couple of people at the beach and they said the same thing.  For instance, there are two comfort stations on the map for Blind Bay but if you go to one it is just bathrooms but the other one has showers too.  You can't tell that from the map and they are about a twenty minute walk apart so unless you ask someone you may end up walking 10 minutes to the one only to find that you have to turn around and walk 20 minutes to the other one.  
  • There is no store in the park where you can buy food or supplies which strikes me as strange.  I have been to much smaller parks, such as Craigleith and they have a store.  There is a gift shop in the Visitor's Centre where you can buy postcards and tshirts and that kind of thing.
  • They do have bears in the area so secure all of your food at night in your vehicle.  We saw a dead bear on the highway just south of the park so they are around.

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