Restoule Provincial Park is an Ontario Provincial Park in the Parry Sound district in Ontario, Canada. The town of Restoule is located along highway 534 and continues towards Restoule Provincial Park. The park is located nicely between the Stormy Lake and Restoule Lake, with the Restoule River passing through both the lakes. It has some nice hiking trails, the main one being the hike to the Fire Tower with some breathtaking views of the Stormy Lake from the top. The park offers Car camping, RV, back country camping and some walk-in sites right beside Restoule Lake.

Duration: 3 nights

Our second camping trip for the summer. The route becomes quite scenic after Huntsville on highway 11.

How to get there?

Restoule Provincial Park is about 359 kms north from Toronto and will take you close to 4 hours to reach, without any stoppages.

Being a working day, we started late and reached close to 8pm. On reaching the campsite, we noticed a small snake, probably a Garter snake, right in the middle of the site, possibly passing by or just basking in the sun. We tried to prod it to go away but it would not budge. So we went away from the campsite for a few minutes and when we came back, it was gone.

With still about an hour to go before sunset, we got down to getting our tent setup and having dinner soon after. With dinner done and darkness setting in, we went on a short walk to the Restoule Lake which was close by and returned soon to call it a day. It had been a long day and we were exhausted.

Rain was in the forecast and it rained cats and dogs pretty much the whole night. After a bit of struggle with the noisy pitter patter of the rain, we somehow managed to doze off, thanks to the exhaustion.

We woke up well rested and refreshed. After a nice breakfast, it was time to explore.

We were staying at the Bell Points Campground and were close to the Restoule Lake, where the Pet beach, the dock and the boat launches were.

Staying at Restoule Provincial Park

The park has 3 campgrounds, Kettle Point, Putts Point and Bells Point. Bells Point has a section which is a radio/generator free area. Kettle Point has the electrical campsites. Putts Point and Bells Point are non-electrical. 

There are 3 group campsites which are next to the Restoule River between the Stormy and Restoule Lake.

There are also 10 walk-in campsites close to the Bells Point Campground and near the Pet Beach, that give you a feeling of both car camping and back country camping. A trolley is available to take your stuff from the car to the campsite.

Accessible by canoe, kayak or paddleboard, there is easy access to backcountry campsites and apparently a great option for first timers. We might want to give it a go sometime. Backcountry campsites are accessed from Stormy Lake. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboats are available for rent.

Restoule Provincial Park also offers a seasonal campsite program where you can stay at the same campsite for the entire summer season. 

We had already explored the Pet Beach that was close to our campground.

Pet Beach

Close to the Pet Beach are the walk-in campsites. Parking for cars is available right there, close to the Pet Beach.

Access to Walk-in campsites

Boat Launches can be done from there and a dock is nearby. There is also a Leash Free Pet Area near the Kettle Point Campground.

There are two comfort stations in the park, one is in Kettle Point and one in Putts Point.

All the hiking trails are on the north side of the park near the Park office. The campgrounds are on the south side. So to get to the hiking trails, you will pass by the Park office and take either of the two roads that take you to Stormy Lake. Both of these roads connect near Stormy Lake.

There are quite a few trails in the park that will keep you busy. Most of them provide spectacular views of the Stormy Lake or Restoule Lake. Fire Tower Trail is the main trail of the park and most popular. The views from the top of the Stormy Lake is amazing.

Trails at Restoule Provincial Park

1. Grawbarger Trail - Short and easy
2. River Trail - 1.2 kms, 30 mins walking, is also a bike trail
3. Gibs Trail - 4.8 kms, 1.5 to 2 hours, is also a bike trail
4. Rangers Point Trail - 860 m, 20 mins, is also a bike trail
5. Angel's Point Trail - 2.8 kms, 1 hour, is also a bike trail
6. Fire Tower Trail - This is the main trail of the park. 4.1 kms, 1.5 to 2 hours. Not a bike trail.

So we started with the trails. Starting from the campgrounds and walking towards the Restoule Provincial Park Office, we pass the Grawbarger Trail. It is a short trail which ends on one of the roads that goes towards the Stormy Lake.

On the road, we turned towards the Restoule Provincial Park Office and then turned north at the intersection. The road turns west towards Stormy Lake. This road is also the longer route to the Stormy Lake.

On the way, we were startled by a fawn, that was hiding and resting in the bushes close to the road, that jumped up suddenly. It ran towards the woods, stopped, turned to take another look at us and then ran deep into the woods. It was a cute encounter.

We reached Stormy Lake. There is a boat launch area here. You would start here if you are going for Backcountry camping. If you need a Kayak, Canoe or paddleboat to get to the backcountry campsite, the rental office is nearby.

There is a short Rangers Point Hiking trail here. The trail starts close to the Rental and Discovery office and loops back.

There is a slightly steep slope on the trail shown on the left side of the below picture. So you can decide whether you want to start from the left side and return on the right side or vice versa depending on your comfort levels.

There are two picnic spots along the trail as well.

The Rental and Discovery center is right next to the start of the Rangers Point trail.

It is also close to the Restoule River which also flows beside it.

If you rent a canoe/kayak/paddleboat, you can pick it up from different places in the park close to the area you want to explore. There are pick up points at the rental office, at the Putts Point and Kettle Point campgrounds on Restoule Lake. The rentals are available for either 4 hours or 24 hours.

There is a nice park along the river. The Grawbarger Trail continues on the road, passes through this park and ends near the rental office.

There is parking available near the park. The starting points for River Trail, Gibs Trail and Fire Tower Trail are also in fact close this park.

For the River Trail and Gibs Trail, you will need to walk over this bridge.

On the trail, you come to a section where the trail splits towards the Gibs trail. You can do that and come back the same way to the River Trail to complete the hike.

We completed the River Trail but did not do the Gibs trail in this trip. We returned back to the road and continued towards the camp office.

On the way, you will find the group campsites in Restoule Provincial Park right beside the river. There are 3 group campsites here. Two of them can accommodate up to 60 people.

We returned back to the campsite, packed some dinner and headed to the beach.

There are two beaches in the park. The bigger beach is somewhat between Kettle Point and Putts Point campgrounds. The other, smaller beach is on the other side of the Putts Point campground.

As the sun started to go down, we returned to our campsite to call it a day.

Woke up to another bright morning. The plan was to hike the Fire Tower Trail. Soon after breakfast, we headed to the parking area from where the trail starts.

This trail is an absolute must do. As soon as you start, you encounter one of the most beautiful skyline that nature provides.

After this section, you move on to a more foresty section of the trail. We took the route which took us to the lookout points and the tower first. We basically kept to the left throughout and returned on the other side of the trail, the right side as per the map. The trail is pretty steep at some points. The views of the Stormy Lake are gorgeous though.

When you come to this point, keep left to get to the lookout points sooner.

The views from the first lookout point of the Stormy Lake are truly amazing.

From here, you continue further on the trail to reach the Fire tower.

Continuing on the trail, you pass by the Amber Lake.

This time we kept to the right side of the trail. This is the longer route of the trail with some steep sections. We completed the trail in about 2 hours, including stopping at the various points for 30 mins in total.

Heading back to the campsite and after grabbing a quick lunch, we returned to the rental office to rent a canoe. Initially we wanted to row in the river, but tempted by the convenience of picking it up near the campground, we decided to pick it up near the beach.

We felt that Restoule Lake, in comparison to Stormy Lake, is pretty windy. For inexperienced rowers like us, we had a hard time keeping our canoe going straight. We were pretty much going wherever the wind wanted to take us. The initial plan was to get to the river and come back, but since we were pretty much rowing against the wind, we got pretty exhausted and turned back. But we did get close though.

After returning, we spent sometime at the beach and finally returned to our site. It had been a day well spent. As it got darker, we decided to checkout the night sky at the park. I admit, I was a bit disappointed at not being able to see the milky way inspite of being way up north. Apparently, there is a lot of light pollution around the North Bay area. Disappointed, we decided to hit the sack.

Next day was checkout day. After breakfast, once we packed up and having decided to complete one more trail before leaving, we headed to the Angels Point Trail.

There is one lookout point on this trail overlooking the Restoule Lake.

It took us about 45 mins to complete this trail. We decided to leave the rest of the trails for next time.

On our return, we stopped at the Kawartha Dairy in Huntsville to dig our teeth into some delicious ice cream on a hot summer day. No better way to end a trip.

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