welcome sign located at the entrance to Six Mile Lake Provincial Park

Six Mile Lake Provincial Park: The Beauty of Muskoka

Located in the heart of Muskoka, better known as ‘Cottage Country’, Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is often overlooked in favour of the larger, better-known parks. With a stunning view, groomed dog beach and rustic charm, this hidden gem is worthy of consideration for your next getaway!

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Conveniently located just off Highway 400 by Port Severn, just 2 hours north of Toronto, Six Mile Lake Provincial Park provides an easy getaway for those interested in experiencing the beauty that is the Muskoka region.

I have been camping at Six Mile Lake since I was a baby, a park that my parents and grandparents visited annually before I was even part of the consideration. We never missed a summer throughout my childhood and now my husband and I pack up the pups to make our way to the park every summer for a much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives.

With just over 200 campsites divided into seven different ‘campgrounds’ within the park, there is truly something for everyone including easy to drive into sites for RV camping, waterfront views, electrical access, walk-in sites for additional privacy and more.  While the sites don’t offer the level of privacy associated with backwoods camping, the combination of semi-private sites and a wide variety of amenities makes for an ideal getaway for many outdoors enthusiasts.

The Campgrounds Include:

Pine and Birch Campgrounds:  Located near the front of the park, the sites in the Pine and Birch campgrounds are equipped with hydro and large enough to accommodate larger RVs and trailers with ease. Sites in this area of the park are conveniently located a short walk from the park office, park store, beach areas with a playground for the kids, the dog beach and the main shower building.

collage of photos of camping at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park

Cedar Campground: By far the smallest of the campgrounds, there are only a select few sites in this area to choose from, but they offer full waterfront access and a fair amount of privacy (however, being on the water does open you up to boating traffic). These sites are all walk-in sites meaning that they are only available to those who are tent camping and they do not provide electrical access. They are found directly next to the pet beach and across the road from the main shower building.

Lakeview Heights Campground: The central stretch of the park, Lakeview Heights includes a variety of different sites including premium waterfront access sites as well as those that, while not directly on the lake, are still in close proximity to the water. Some sites in this area are large enough to accommodate RVs and trailers while others provide walk-in access only, so it is important to take time to look at the information for individual sites prior to booking. Some of the sites in this area do offer electrical access. For those who are avid boaters, there are several sites located near the boat docks with a select few directly neighbouring the docks.

Oak and Poplar Campgrounds: The next two campgrounds as you move past Lakeview Heights, Oak and Poplar are set back off the main road which cuts back significantly on the amount of traffic you will experience. Surrounded by trees, many of these sites offer a little more privacy than those closer to the front of the park allowing for the illusion that you are camping back in the woods away from the world. They are a short walk from the beach. These sites do not provide electrical access.

Maple Campground: Found at the very back of the park, the Maple Campground is a large loop of semi-private, non-electrical campsites on a low-traffic road. A number of the sites in the back of the loop run alongside the park’s marsh area which can increase the number of bugs that you are experiencing, which should be taken into consideration, however, they offer beautiful views of the area and the wildlife that occupies it. A new comfort station with showers has been built in the Maple Campground for additional convenience. Depending on where in the loop your site is located, you may also be a short walk to the beach.

tent and hammock set up on a campsite surrounded by trees
the view of a kayaker of another kayaker ahead of them in the lake
comfort station at a provincial park including bathrooms and showers

In addition to the wide variety of campsites, the park offers a boat launch as well as a small number of dock slip rentals for registered campers. The calm and sheltered waterways close to the park provide an ideal location for swimming as well as for those who are interested in canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. For experienced canoers and kayakers and those looking for more open waterways, the lake opens up a short distance from the designated swimming areas.

For those who may be interested in participating in water activities but don’t currently own the necessary equipment, the park offers canoe, kayak, stand up paddleboard and pedal boat rentals. All rentals include life jackets and the necessary safety equipment.

There are three sandy beaches available to park visitors including a fully groomed pet-friendly beach (the only beach where pets are permitted) – Pet Beach, Birch Beach and Maple Beach.

Visitors have the opportunity to attend a variety of educational programs put on by the park staff, sharing information about the plants and animals in the area, environmental responsibility, camp safety information (such as bear safety), and more. Their free Learn to Fish program is a 2-hour hands-on educational workshop that will teach participants about their fishing equipment and the basic techniques.

The park also includes three beautiful hiking trails for those that enjoy taking their adventures off the beaten path. While these trails are rugged terrain, they are certainly not limited to expert hikers – classified as ‘moderate challenge’ trails. Weaving their way through the beautiful landscapes of the Canadian Shield and alongside the wetland areas at the back of the park, hikers are encouraged to keep their eyes open for a wide variety of wildlife ranging from chipmunks and dragonflies to beavers and moose.

Trails include The Living Edge Trail (1km), The David Milne Trail (0.5km) and The Marsh Trail (1km). Each trail is marked with a series of small signs and ribbons along the hiking trail, however the three trails due intersect at a couple of points. At these junctions, it is not always clear which path specifically travels in each available direction. For this reason, it is recommended that hikers take the time to look at a map of the hiking trails to plan out their path before heading out to avoid any confusion or wrong turns.

As these trails do run alongside the marsh area of the park, I highly recommend that all hikers prepare for a large number of bugs! Dress accordingly and make sure to load up on bug spray before heading out or risk being carried away by mosquitos and blackflies.

woman standing on a rock with her dog overlooking an outroor view of trees and wildlife
view of a marshland area
sign marking The David Milne Trail in Muskoka
rocky trail leading up through the trees

If you haven’t already picked up on it, I genuinely love our annual visits to this area. Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful area for campers new and experienced to simply kick back and enjoy the beauty of Muskoka. If you are newer to camping in the area, it should be noted that this is bear country. Steps should be taken to bear-proof your campsite, especially at night prior to going to sleep.

I highly recommend Six Mile Lake Provincial Park!

woman sitting on the shores of a lake during sunset

Are you a camper? If so, what is your favourite campground or park to visit? I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below!

47 thoughts on “Six Mile Lake Provincial Park: The Beauty of Muskoka”

    1. The sites aren’t all as large as that one by any means, but most of them are a really good size which is great because I not only set up our tent, cooking area, etc but we have a ‘lounge’ area with my hammock and my husband’s favourite camp chair where we can just relax lol

    1. We have quite the little drive to get to it (approximately 7-8 hours pending traffic) but it’s SO worth it to make the trip each summer.

  1. Delta Deathstorm

    Wow the views are amazing. I haven’t been camping since I was a child. I do miss it, mostly because I love a gooey marshmallow that is slightly burnt on the outside. I’d probably end up with a bear in my tent too. I am UK based so bears aren’t really a problem.

    1. They aren’t too bad here as long as you’re careful – putting food away, not leaving garbage out to attract them, etc.

  2. I think it’s great that you go back here every year, my family do the same with Dorset county in the UK. Usually staying at campsites in Westbay or Weymouth. This campsite looks stunning and I could definitely see myself staying here and doing some kayaking or SUP boarding on the lake.

    1. My husband is starting to really embrace the kayaking, I love it and kept encouraging him to get out and give it a try with me!

    1. Thank you very much! That’s what I’m going for – I want to be true to myself rather than fitting some cookie cutter image of what a blog ‘should be’.

  3. My boyfriend and I love to go camping and find new camping areas, so this was a great read! The Muskoka area as well is just beautiful! We haven’t checked out this site, but perhaps we should!

  4. I like how you give a description of each of the sites, what you will find and things you can do there. The pictures are beautiful too and give a nice idea of what we would see when going there. I also like that you provided maps so that one could get a feel for just how much there is going on in this park.

    1. Thank you – I wanted to make sure that those who may be seeking a specific type of site knew that there really is a wide variety of options there for everyone! My mother, for example, camps with a larger trailer and we tent camp, but we both find our ‘perfect sites’ there 🙂

  5. I’m so jealous ! I asked my friends if they would go camping they said no ? the closet I got them to agree to is glamping it’s one of the things I feel like I need to experience in life however I know that I need at least one other person cause I’d be scared out my damn mind

    1. It’s a super common thing here, almost all my friends have gone at least a few times and I go every year. Too bad you don’t live closer, I’m always looking for more camping friends!

  6. The view of that lake is amazing! I’m good with camping as long as there are simple things like a bathroom. I’m not 100% down for roughing it if I don’t have to. So many beautiful hiking trails as well. Worth checking out if I ever visit my neighbors to the north.

  7. I never heard of Muskoka before. Thanks for sharing this wonderful destination. A perfect place for adventure and camping. Will love to visit this place soon.

    1. The Muskoka region of Ontario is more affectionally called ‘Cottage Country’. It’s an area filled with lakes and forest, allowing people to escape to waterfront campsites, cottages, resorts, etc. for a getaway surrounded by the beauty that the area has to offer. I was super lucky and grew up in that region and can’t help but return to it every year when summer vacation time comes around.

    1. When I’m there I spend a lot of time just sitting and taking in the view – it’s a feeling of calm that I have found nowhere else.

    1. It’s incredible – I have been going every summer my whole life, and hopefully this summer is no exception! We have a site booked for July

  8. When I look at your pictures and read your posts it really takes me back to a time when I used to hike almost every day with my dogs. When I lived in California the trails stemmed right from my backyard and would eventually wind down to the beach. When I lived in Washing DC I used to hike parts of the Appalachian Trail. I also hiked the same trail (just different parts) in Pennsylvania and in Maine. I used to love being outdoors with my dogs and letting them run free, which, they were allowed to do back then. I think I started getting out of it when they started banning dogs from the park. Pretty soon my friends were going camping and I chose not to go. Back then my dogs were my family and I just couldn’t envision being somewhere outdoors where dogs were not allowed. These pictures are gorgeous and I’m glad that they have at least one beach that is a dog beach!

    1. One thing I LOVE about the Ontario Parks is that they are all dog-friendly. Some are more dog-friendly than others with dog beaches (on and/or off-leash) and exercise areas, but our dogs are welcome on all hiking trails and campsites that we go to. They do have to be on leash, but with the availability of hands-free leashes, that’s pretty easy to accommodate. I can’t imagine hiking or camping without our pups – we travel as a pack.

  9. Six mile lake provincial park looks so beautiful and the views are spectacular. I’d love to camp there sometime.

    1. It’s a great park! A lot of people write it off because it’s so close to the highway and you can hear the highway noise in some areas of the park. However, there are many areas where you can’t, you just have to book a site further back into the park 🙂

  10. Have seen many a lakes but this seems really so different. The pictures gives me an idea of how beautiful this lake and park is. It’s awesomely beautiful a place.

    1. It really is a stunning place. We make a point of going every year, and this year (hopefully) will be no exception – we’ve made a reservation for July

  11. Thanks for the description and photos of the park!

    I’ve been coming to Six Mile Provincial Park since the early 1990s and I really like this park! Before COVID-19, I’d come mostly in May and then in September and October, when there were very few campers, as the park was quite busy in the summer. Now most of the parks are always busy, and on weekends the vacancy rate is zero, even in October.

    The park’s proximity to Toronto (about 130 K) is a big advantage. Some people complain about the noise coming from the 400, but honestly, it’s so incessant that I simply don’t hear it: believe me, trains passing by some provincial parks (Oastler Lake and Darlington, just to name a few) are much worse, the train whistles woke me up numerous times at night.

    I spent the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend in this park and did all the short hiking trails, they were very picturesque! And I’ve already made two reservations for 2021!

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