Have you ever considered a trip to visit Mississagi Provincial Park?
A smaller, often overlooked park, Mississagi PP may not offer all the fancy amenities and attractions of the larger Ontario Parks locations (you have to go into town to use the public showers, for example), but don’t let that stop you from making the trip – Especially if you love a more rustic and nature-focused camping experience.
The park offers canoeing on Flack and Semiwite Lakes, 3 beaches, and over 40 km of hiking trails to explore.
In terms of camping, the park is relatively small, with only 60 standard car camping sites, 4 walk-in sites by the day use area, and 1 group campsite. For those who prefer backcountry camping, there are both hike-in and paddle-in routes.
We visited Mississagi Provincial Park this summer to round out our Northern Ontario road trip with our three dogs: Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer. We spent 3 nights at the park on a waterfront access walk-in site, which provided both beautiful views and the opportunity for daily swimming breaks for the pups.
In this video, we share our experience at the park, including a peek at our beautiful campsite, the beautiful views Lucifer and I (Britt) discovered along the Semiwite Creek Trail, and a shout-out to Lucifer’s favourite dog treat brand. We missed recording our review while visiting the park, so at the end of the video, we sit down on the property at home to discuss our thoughts about the park and share our final rating.
This video is part of The Kas Pack’s Ontario Parks Reviews series. CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to get notifications when new parks are added.
Mississagi Provincial Park – July 2023
Britt: Okay, we’re here at Mississagi Provincial Park. We have site 1. It is a walk-in. You can see back there the rocks are stopping the vehicle from backing the rest of the way in.
It’s a big site… but look at this waterfront view for the next few days.
What do you think, Loose? What do you think, dude? Ya, you want in…
Cooking on the Fire (2:22)
John: So, halfway through our trip, the fire ban has been lifted.
The best part is, we get to cook on the fire, which is the best thing ever. And it’s actually two-fold, so you can actually cook your food… actually three-fold, cook your food, keep warm, and it drives these crazy, batty mosquitoes away.
Semiwite Creek Trail (2:43)
Britt: Hey! Are you going to go hiking, Goose? We’re going to do the Semiwite Creek Trail. Come on, little man, let’s get going.
Keep going! That a boy! Keep going… Keep going…
If you’re interested in learning about the different types of trees, they’ve actually labelled a bunch of them, which is kind of neat, throughout the trail.
There’s even signs like this. What kind of tree is this? For answer, push. Oh, here we go, white cedar. Fun way to keep the kids entertained while you are out.
Go, Goose! Go on…
And, of course, the trail offers some pretty viewpoints to just see the natural beauty of the area.
Another really pretty lookout.
Of course, no hike with the little man is complete without plenty of Charlee Bears along the way. Because he’s such a good boy. And they’re his favourite treats, so why not spoil him a little? Right, Lucifer?
One thing to note, we did have a storm last night, and the trail is a little muddy. So, if you are planning on doing this one and there is rain in the forecast, just be prepared for, you know, not necessarily the cleanest adventure – but it’s still a fun one.
Swimming at the Campsite (5:09)
John: There you go, baby girl. You loves the water, eh? Oh, you’re not supposed to drink the water. But come on, let’s go. Let’s go. In you go. Good girl.
Yeah, betcha that feels pretty good, eh?
Evening Waterfront View (5:50)
John: So, this is the last night at Mississagi Provincial Park.
Campfire Time (6:04)
John: So, for tonight, we are doing kabobs on the propane fire pit. The only reason why I’m doing that is because there’s not much propane left.
Looks like the shish kabobs are coming along nicely.
Our Review (6:39)
Britt: Okay, confession… Once again, we didn’t actually record our review while we were at the campground. Obviously, we are not at Mississagi any longer.
We are actually at home, at the cabin.
I know we’ve mentioned to a lot of you that we do live in a cabin in the woods, and this is our yard.
But we got a new tent, we wanted to try it out. So, we figured camping on the property was the best way to do that and introduce it to the pups.
Oh, good, Lucifer’s letting me see the camera now.
John: Ya, and it’s a good time to break it out and make sure that we get all the kinks out before our next trip.
Britt: Exactly, but while we’re here, and we’re spending this time thinking about camping and everything to do with camping, it’s time to get this review done so that we can get our video up, published, and to all of you.
John: Yep! And by the way, nice hoodie!
The Drive to the Park (7:32)
John: Alright, so, getting to Mississagi Provincial Park, we were obviously heading back from Lake Superior.
So, the GPS took us on a very long, windy road. It took us probably about an hour off the main highway to get there, and a good portion of that, we lost cellphone service, which dropped our GPS.
Britt: It’s a little unsettling when you’re driving and driving and driving and driving, you can’t check anything because you can’t check your GPS to see where you are at or Google to see where you are at, and you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Unsure if you’re headed in the right direction or just driving forever in the exact opposite direction.
John: Ya, it’s a good thing that we didn’t break down. Especially with our, at the time, we had very, very shoddy brakes.
So ya, we did eventually find Mississagi. Basically, just had to follow the signs and whatnot, and I think it probably would be a good idea to have an Ontario map in the vehicle.
Britt: Yes, if you’re heading to any of those locations, learn from our mistake. A paper map is always a great backup to have on hand.
John: Ya, and low and behold, it’s actually about like 15 minutes or so out of Lake Elliot.
Britt: Elliot Lake
John: Elliot Lake, sorry.
So, I mean it’s 15 minutes from town, but coming from the highway, from the way that we took, it took much longer.
Britt: Ya, so it was just kinda a roundabout way, but when we got there, we were able to see this is a much smaller campground than a lot of the ones that we go to. In the entire park, as a whole, there are only 60 car camping sites.
There’s kind of one big campsite area and then four separate walk-in sites over by the day-use area, kinda away from everything else.
Now, I’ll be honest. We didn’t take any footage driving through the car camping sites, but as we looked at them ourselves, privacy was not the highest quality there. They were nice sites, but they were fairly open between one another, which for us with a reactive dog, Lucifer, that can be a bit of a challenge.
However, the four walk-in sites it was a completely different story. We stayed in site 1, it was the walk-in site furthest from the car camping sites, and it was absolutely beautiful.
It was private. Like, there was one little section where you could see people walking over to the one trail and boat launch area, but outside of that, you didn’t see any other people. You had your waterview.
Stunning, we would book that site again.
But, on top of the car camping sites, there’s also backcountry. They offer both paddling and hiking backcountry sites. Obviously, we can’t say much about that because we didn’t try it yet, although it is on the books for me to do it at some point with little man Lucifer.
I’m pretty excited about that. We’ll talk about that later.
And there’s also one group camping site. So, if you’re looking at going with a larger group of friends and family, it can hold up to 20 tents or a combination of tents and trailers, depending on what you have available.
But that gives you kinda that ability to have everybody in one spot, with one central big fire pit that you can enjoy together versus being separated on separate sites.
John: And I think there was, like, some seasonal sites too.
Britt: Ya, there appeared to be a lot of seasonal like, in with the car camping sites. So, like, you would drive along, and you would see what looked like obvious car camping “come and go” type campers. You know, that had set up for the weekend.
And then you would pass somebody who had a structure that clearly has been there for a long period of time. So, there’s obviously seasonal sites to some extent as well.
John: Yep, and that brings us to the beaches. There are three beaches, two in the day-use area and one for the campground. One is accessible by the hiking trail.
Britt: So, it’s one in the day-use area, one in the campground, and then one accessible by a hiking trail.
John: Yes, the Helenbar Trail. There’s no dog beaches or any dog exercise area, which is a little unfortunate. I mean, we lucked out with site 1 cause, you know, got the waterfront there, and it was a big site, so we can…
Britt: Ya, we had water access. Like, our dogs could go swimming. But if you were coming and staying in the general campground, the fact that there isn’t a dog beach, especially during the summer, is kinda a knock as far as we’re concerned because, as you guys all know, this is a pet-friendly travel-focused account.
So, we obviously want to ensure that we have the best for our pets at all times. And it’s unfortunate to see sites that, campgrounds, sorry, that don’t offer that.
Britt: But, where they lack on the pet-friendly beach aspect of things, they benefit in the hiking.
There were six different hiking trails. They ranged for people of all abilities, like a super easy 45-minute trail right up to a strenuous 3–5 day trail.
We only had the chance to do one while we were there. It was kinda a shorter end of our trip, so we went up to Lake Superior. We stayed for a longer time at Lake Superior, came down, stopped at Mississagi for a few days, three days to be honest, and then continued back home.
So, we had a little less time to explore and check it out, but Lucifer and I did do the Semiwite Trail, you would have already… Or Semiwite Creek Trail, sorry. You would have already seen that in the footage.
It was a beautiful little trail. It was a little buggy, but it had just rained, so you kind of expect that. But there was a lot of beautiful views, and it wasn’t too difficult, it was actually ranked easy.
But we have now set our sights to checking out the trails a little further.
So, along the way with the Semiwite Creek Trail, there’s a chance to kinda go off and check out other trails, and we didn’t end up actually staying just on the Semiwite Creek Trail. So, we had a chance to kinda see what else is out there.
And now we’re in the process of planning out a hiking backcountry trip on the Mackenzie Trail, which is 22 km. They say it takes the average person 3-5 days to do. We’re going to camp along the way and really enjoy checking out that kind of backcountry adventure with our hyper little man.
And, I don’t know, you’ll probably end up camping with the older two at a site while we go back, and then we can meet back up with you for a night or two and then head home.
John: Yep, and we might just get some puppy play time going on here. You might hear it in the background.
John: But, ya, firewood… So, I think the fire ban got lifted July 12 while we were at Lake Superior. At the park itself, they did provide firewood. It was all right there, right up at the front.
Britt: Should probably reword that a little bit. They didn’t provide firewood, they made it available to purchase.
John: It was available to purchase.
Britt: Got everybody’s hopes up that they were going to get free firewood.
John: I’m going to refrain from a comment on that.
Anyways, firewood is up at the front for purchase. And there is firewood in town. We didn’t see any firewood going into the park. We didn’t see any firewood going into town, on the side of the road or anything like that.
But, like, at your stores like Walmart, I think it was Foodland that we stopped off at. There was firewood for sale outside of the stores. So, there were options.
Britt: I mean, that being said, we ended up going with the park wood, and as we’ve said before here on the channel many times, we generally aren’t huge fans of the Parkwood. But it burned really well this time. It was fairly dry.
John: Ya, ya! And you can see in the video, we did use propane. Our tank was almost empty, so might as well just use it, right?
Britt: Ya, and that had nothing to do with the firewood and the quality of the firewood. That was just us wanting to use up the end of the propane tank so that we could easily swap out our propane tanks as we go versus having a little bit left after a trip.
Britt: But, all in all, I mean… most of the sites weren’t of the quality that we would want in terms of privacy. The view was beautiful. There was no dog-focused beaches and exercise areas but there were some beautiful hiking trails.
I’m going to give a review right now… Ope, boys are going a little crazy.
I’m going to give a review right now based on the car camping aspect of this. But know that when Lucifer and I do go out backcountry camping, I’m going to re-do this whole review process because I feel like that’s going to give me a very different view of the park, just based on the activities that are available.
But, if you’re just going car camping, you’re staying in the general campground, I’m going to have to give it, I don’t know, a 3 ½? A 3?
John: I guess we’ll round up to 3 ½.
Britt: Okay, so 3 ½, I mean, it had some great things to offer. It was missing on some things.
But, stay tuned next.. next season, I’m hoping that, like, next year’s when we get out and try this as a backcountry instead because I do feel like my opinion is going to be very different going backcountry.
And that is just, some parks here in Ontario are more focused on backcountry than they are on their car camping facilities. So, there’s a good chance that, you know, you take that spin, and we’re going to find, you know, that it’s a 4 or 4 ½ on the backcountry aspect. Whereas it’s lower on car camping.
But, for the car camping, we’ll go with a 3 ½.
John: Yep! And so, our next trip is…
Britt: Well, we’re going to share the Hipcamp. We have already taken the trip. But baby girl and I went on a solo girl’s trip, and we used Hipcamp to find a site.
So, the next video you’ll see come up will explain what Hipcamp is, how to use Hipcamp, and show you this amazing Hipcamp campsite that we did discover.
But then, after that, we’re off to Haliburton.
John: Halibutton, Burton… blah, blah, blah… Haliburton Forest.
Britt: Ya, so Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. It is a place that we go camping every year, but we’ve never reviewed it for you guys. So, this year we’re going to change that!
John: Ya, and we’ll be there for a whole week and some.
Britt: More than… It’s one of our favourite trips that we look forward to every year. It’s a tradition for us. We do go over our anniversary, so that’s how we celebrate our anniversary, and the pups love it.
It’s another waterfront site that we stay on. So, I am looking forward to sharing with all of you guys what that location has to offer.
John: Ya, absolutely! So, in saying that, Stay toasty!