Are you searching for new Ontario campsites outside of the usual Provincial Parks or National Parks? If so, Hipcamp might be the perfect solution!
In this video, I (Britt) will take you along on a solo trip with my senior dog, 15-year-old Daviana. This is an annual tradition, allowing us to enjoy some quality 1-on-1 time. This year, we decided to skip the Provincial Parks (our usual go-to for car camping) and instead book a campsite through the Hipcamp platform.
Shout-out to the boys (John, Indiana, and Lucifer) who joined us for the final night to celebrate Lucifer’s 2nd Gotcha Day anniversary!
If you’ve never used Hipcamp before, we do walk you through how to use the booking platform step by step. This includes how to find a campsite in your desired location, what information you can find to help you make the right decision, and the filters available for easier searching.
Note: we used Loom to record the tutorial portion of the video, and the audio quality is questionable. However, if you’re struggling to hear what I am saying, the video is still easy to follow, and you can read the full transcription. Apologies! We’ll try a different solution next time… Open to suggestions.
The Hipcamp property that we booked is called “Edges Sideroad Springs,” located near Durham, Ontario, Canada. They have 5 tent camping sites and 1 small a-frame cabin. We’ll show you our campsite, “Bubbling Spring,” and a couple of other places available on the property, as well as some of the amenities available at the main camp. At the end, I’ll share my opinion of the campsite with our usual 5-paw review system.
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Hipcamp Campsite, Edges Sideroad Springs – July 2023
Britt: And here we are, our site for the weekend, for Dav and I to have our girl’s weekend. Just a quick overview of the site, and then while we set up, I’m going to explain a little bit about Hipcamp and how we found this site to all of you.
So, let’s go check that out…
Hipcamp Website (1:09)
Britt: If this is the first time that you’ve heard about Hipcamp, let’s take a moment just to quickly look at the website. This is basically like Airbnb but for finding campsites for those of us who like spending time outdoors.
So, to get here, you just have to go to Hipcamp.com.
If this is your first time visiting, in the top right corner, over where you see my picture, there will be a button that says, “Sign Up.” You can just create your account.
It’s free to create. You don’t pay anything to be a member of this. But it does give you access to all of the sites that are listed.
Scrolling down here just a little bit, you’ll see “Search destinations,” “Add dates,” and “Add guests.” This is where you’re going to be able to enter information in order to search for that ideal space that you want to be.
So, your search destination could be, for example, in the Muskoka area. There you’ll see you’ve got a few options – Muskoka Lakes, Muskoka Beach, Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Gravenhurst. We’re just going to do Muskoka Lakes for this example.
Add your dates. Maybe you’re looking at going late this month. We’ll do, I don’t know, September 15th to the 18th, just by clicking on the calendar there.
Then, under “Add guests,” this is where you’re going to say maybe it’s you and your partner. But always pay attention to this bottom line here. Any pets? As soon as you add one pet here, it’s going to narrow that search result to give you only places that are pet-friendly.
And then hit “Search.”
The results will come up here, giving you a bunch of options. Now, Hipcamp does include tent campsites, RV or trailer campsites. But it also includes what they call “Lodging,” which is smaller cabins or other places that are still getting you outdoors but offer some sort of shelter.
And you’ll see, there’s a selection of the Beaver Ranch, Muskoka’s Lakefront Paradise, Sparrow Lake Camp, Everhill Farm…
These are all private campgrounds that are choosing to use Hipcamp to share their campsites.
You can go by the photos and the information that they provided here. There’s by the price. There’s the map over here, and when you hover over it tells you which one each of the little spots are on the map.
Or, up at the top, you can click on “More filters,” and it gives you some options if there is something that is important to you.
Pricing, you can choose “Under $25,” “Under $50,” “Under $75” – Whatever price per night you’re comfortable with.
Under “Amenities,” you have maybe you require they have toilets, maybe you don’t. Like if you’re going with a trailer and you’re fully self-sufficient, you may not need to worry about toilets. Whether campfires are allowed. If there is water facilities on site.
Do they have a picnic table? Do they provide Wifi?
Do they provide cooking equipment? If you’re newer to camping, that’s a great way to get out without having to purchase all the equipment that you’re going to require.
Is there showers? Is there trash facilities? Is there a hot tub?
Yup, some of these are more like a glamping setup, which is great! It’s options for everybody, and you know here, at The Kas Pack, we are huge believers in the fact that there should be something available for everybody regardless of your interest level, your experience level, or if you do have some accommodations that are required.
Under “Activities” – Hiking, swimming, fishing, paddling, wildlife watching. “Show all” gives you even more. There is a ton of different options.
“Terrain” – You can choose lake, beach, etc.
But over here, another really important one, “Accessibility.” Can you park there? Do you have to walk to it? Is it wheelchair accessible?
Whatever you choose, hit “Apply filters,” and it’s going to open up your options.
Now we’re just going to open up here “Muskoka’s Lakefront Paradise,” because who doesn’t love the idea of a lakefront paradise?
When you go into a listing, as it loads here. I apologize for the loading time, our internet isn’t the best at the cabin. You’re going to see what the review currently is. It currently has 100% positive reviews from 8 different people reviewing.
Down here is some generic photos from this listing in general. These are not specific to a site, these are just the overall photos of that area.
It lists the natural features, the activities that are available. There’s a “Show more” button to show more. The name of the area, a brief description, then you can go down into “Select a site.”
This is where, if they had multiple sites, now this one obviously only has one RV/tent site. But if they had multiple sites, it would list them all here, and you can go through and look at each site specifically.
Location is a very brief, general location. And then the ability to contact the host and read through the reviews.
Finally, we’ll just go in quickly to look at a site so you can see a site-specific page. Once again, you have photos, it has the brief information, details of what is allowed on the site, and here’s your booking information. All you have to do is hit “Reserve” and go through the booking process.
Edges Sideroad A-Frame (6:06)
Britt: There’s this cute little cabin, a-frame cabin. The firepit and the setup here. For those that are interested in a place to stay even in the winter, it’s insulated.
Serenity by the Pond Campsite (6:23)
Britt: Another really pretty site here that is kinda up by the woodshed, and the main area is this one, right on the pond.
And I do know there were frogs in the pond because there were some children staying here, and the one kid was catching frogs. So, if you have kids, that’s kind of a fun activity for them.
And the site is still relatively close, if I turn around here, to the main area up here where the cabin is and the woodshed.
Britt: Speaking of the woodshed, they do offer wood for anybody who’s staying here.
You’ll see there’s split wood. There’s a wheelbarrow to help you bring it to your site. There’s newspaper there and kindling.
But the most shocking part about all of this is the price – $10/day unlimited! And they just ask you to put your money right in there.
Our Campsite, Bubbling Spring (7:31)
Britt: My favourite part about this site is the fact that she can just go in the water whenever she wants. And she does! In the water, out of the water, in the water, out of the water. But it makes her happy.
You having fun, baby girl?
Boys Arrival & Lucifer’s Gotcha Day (8:22)
Britt: So, it’s somebody’s second Gotcha Day. Two years he’s been part of our pack and to celebrate, the boys, including Indy and John…
Britt: Came to join us here at the campsite for one night. Dav girl’s happy to share the end of our weekend to celebrate Little Man’s Gotcha Day. She can still come over and go in the water.
So, let’s all wish this little guy, this little guy, a Happy Gotcha Day! Eh, Goose Goose? Ya!
Final Rating (9:04)
Britt: Okay, so, as far as rating goes, I walked you guys through the different types of sites and what this site has to offer, which is absolute privacy, the best possible deal on wood, the ability for them to be off-leash, as you see Dav in the background here, and a free area for them to swim with the pond and the stream.
So, what’s my rating?
I have to knock it down just a little bit because it is a smaller area, and there isn’t quite all the amenities that you would have at a larger park.
But the dog friendliness and the incredible friendliness of the owners bring this way up.
So, I’m going to have to give it 4 paws out of 5. Check it out for yourself!