Forest camping near Hamilton with fishing

Canada’s ultimate blue-collar city, “The Hammer” has hundreds of waterfalls and more green space than you can imagine.

96% (304 reviews)
96% (304 reviews)

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Forest camping near Hamilton with fishing guide


Coming across the Burlington Skyway, crossing the western end of Lake Ontario, most people get one image of this mid-sized city—the roaring industrial production of their steel mills, which produce 60 percent of the nation’s steel. But you’ll find plenty of places to get outdoors here. Divided by the Niagara Escarpment, 120 waterfalls tumble within the city limits, and the 890-kilometre Bruce Trail winds through town, right along the ridge. And they have plenty of waterfront, too. Rent a bike and cruise along the lake at West Harbour, stroll the trails at Confederation Beach Park, or enjoy a concert at the grassy natural amphitheatre at Bayfront Park. Then, take your pick of excellent campgrounds, all within easy driving distance.

Where to go

Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Just a few minutes north of town, this park is bisected by the 50-metre-deep Bronte Creek Ravine. Hike along several trails, including the 1.8-kilometre Lookout Ravine Trail, which meanders along the top of the valley. Families love the animals at the Children’s Farm, as well as the Playbarn, a 150-year-old structure that’s been converted into a massive play loft for climbing and jumping.

Rock Point Provincial Park

Stretching out along the shore of Lake Erie, this park has a kilometre-long beach, lined with the remains of a 350-million-year-old coral reef. Climb up to a viewing platform to look out over the sand dunes, or fish for bass and walleye from atop a limestone outcrop. Then hike along the Woodlot Trail, two kilometres through oak savanna.

Selkirk Provincial Park

Where the wetlands of Spring Creek meet the shores of Lake Erie, you can swim at two separate beaches here (beware, the one on the lake side tends to be pebbly). Canoe down the creek, or take a little hike along the boardwalks of Wheeler’s Walk Trail, an easy 1.5 kilometres through the marsh.

Turkey Point Provincial Park

Set on the shores of Long Point Bay, this is a favourite park for families, who love wading out a long way from the two-kilometre beach on the shallow, sandy bottom. There’s also a nine-hole golf course, plus three hiking trails—Lookout Bluff offers really nice views over the water.

When to go

While somewhat moderated by the influence of Lake Ontario, which acts as a sort of inland sea, Hamilton experiences four very distinct seasons. Summer is hot and humid, with July offering the best weather and evenings cooling quickly toward the end of August. The leaves start changing in September, with the peak of fall colours—so much red and gold—usually around Thanksgiving in early-mid October. Beaches and parks are crowded in late June, July, and August, but if you come after Labour Day, you may just have the whole place to yourself.

Know before you go

  • The Queen Elizabeth Way (the QEW) is the main thoroughfare between Toronto and Niagara, and is best avoided on Fridays and Sundays in summer, when it jams up with traffic.
  • You can fly right into Hamilton—the John C. Munro International Airport connects the city with international destinations and other places across Canada.
  • The distinctive green double-decker GO Trains run from Hamilton to Toronto’s Union Station, an easy ride that sometimes skirts the lake.
  • The city is home to several outdoors stores, or you can also cross the Skyway to next-door Burlington to shop at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Nearby attractions

For an enriching nature retreat, camping near Rockwood Conservation Area is ideal. The Rockwood camping experience combines tranquil forest trails, mesmerizing limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear waters, promising a truly invigorating outdoor adventure.

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