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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cedar Park Resort

I can't speak highly enough about this campground! We loved our time at Cedar Park Resort in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Now this is more of a fun family resort! Maybe not a luxury resort with paved roads and cement pads type resort but a resort with lots of kids activities to keep them happy and having fun!

We loved our time here!

Our site was nice and large and it backed onto a huge field so it felt like we had our own personal oasis. We loved having our campfire behind us where the ring of trees is. It felt more private then the other sites that were just fire rings in the back and no trees as a division to the field.

Not only that but we camped here with friends. Our friend who bought our old trailer and some friends we met this winter when we stayed at Peace River in Florida! So glad they could join us.
The only picture I got of everyone is poor quality one night around the campfire but it's one at least.

The highlight of camping here was of course the water park. The majority of it was included with our camping fees. The only thing that cost extra here was the big water slides at $7 for a day pass to it (and mini golf was extra but we were too busy in the water for that).







Along with this giant water play area there was a huge pool with a roped off shallow area.

It also had a deep end where kids had to pass a swim test to get a wrist band to enter it.

As well there was a large wading pool and water area for younger kids.



Everyone's favourite by far was the large water play area with the bucket drop.

When we weren't swimming we were playing with friends...

 Enjoying some Bocce Ball...

 Playing at the gigantic playground...


Having fires, sparklers, and playing glow in the dark tag.
 

We had a magician join us...it was sooo cute.
video

And last but not least you can't forget about catching frogs at the pond because where there is a pond...you'll find Sierra.



So as you can see we had a lot of fun here and it was worth every penny! We hope to come back again later in the summer.

Friday, July 15, 2016

REVIEW Algonquin Trails Camping Resort, Dwight, Ontario

Algonquin Trails Camping Resort is located at 2883 Hwy 60, in Dwight Ontario.


It was far from a "resort" but it was a wonderful, natural, wilderness camping experience. When you read "resort" in a name you automatically think (at least I do) it will be an upscale campground and if that is what you are looking for you will be disappointed with this place.

VALUE 3/5
At $46 a night it's more expensive then visiting Algonquin Provincial Park and at least at the provincial Park there is some prestige that goes along with the price tag. Algonquin Trails price is the same if you are in a big rig or a pop up trailer. You do have a pool for use here which is a nice bonus to cool off in on a hot summer day. If the pool was in better condition with lounge chairs and a "resort" feel I wouldn't have a problem rating this higher.

SITE QUALITY 3.5/5
Although our site was level where we parked it, the site itself was full of tree roots sticking up causing the occasional trip and was sloped. Our site was what I'd call a companion site so a friend camping with you could park the other way and have your awnings opened up together. A great feature but when an older couple parked there for the weekend it was a bit awkward to be staring into their camping area as they sat outside reading. Our site also was full of ants, I mean lots of ants everywhere. Sure Ants are natural but a site with full ants nests should have something done about it. We did have a large pull thru site with electric and water. All the sewer sites are for seasonal campers.

FACILITY FUN 3.5/5
We thought this place was great because we loved all the natural exploring that went on here. The kids had a blast finding, toads, frogs, turtles and even a snake. There was a playground which was very old and the kids hung out there but they didn't really play there. There was also a fenced in toddler area with little tikes houses and small climbing and ride on toys. Kids did have the freedom to run around and just be kids which was great and earns points in my books. The pool was fun despite the cooler temperature. It's advertised as a heated pool but what that really means is the greenhouse like room heats up like a sauna while the water temperature is a constant 68. Not what I call a heated pool. The kids enjoyed it though. There is a run down basketball court and a volleyball area which I can't imagine ever gets used. There is a large field available for bigger games like soccer or baseball. There is also a pretty nice mini golf available for a fee.

NATURAL SURROUNDINGS 5/5
I loved the natural feel of this park. Very wooded, mature trees. It felt like you were camping in the middle of the forest and not in a crowded RV park. The walking trails were overgrown but with 100 acres there is a lot of room to walk around, on and off trails. Lots of wildlife present.

BATHROOMS 4/5
Despite them looking out dated they were in pretty good shape and very clean. The owner is quite militant on their upkeep. The metal shower and toilet stalls held up nicely to the test of time if you could see past the colour.

STAFF 4/5
Despite reading other reviews before we went saying the owner was "grumpy" we did not witness this at all. Basically the campground is run by a one man show. He keeps the park at low capacity to keep his workload down basically and he has some "rules" he expects you to follow. If you follow the rules you will have a pleasant experience so read the rules on the website before you go to make sure you are OK with them because he WILL enforce them.

LOCATION 5/5
This location is about 15 minutes from Algonquin Provincial Park entrance, 15 minutes to Huntsville and 5 minutes to Dwight beach for swimming, boating and fishing abilities. We also loved the town of Huntsville.

OVERALL 4/5
To some that may seem high after visiting. I justify the 4 because natural settings are very high on our list of priorities. It is not a typical resort so don't expect a Disney type atmosphere or you will be disappointed. It is a very quiet, peaceful and pleasant park to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. It's also a place where kids can be kids and they aren't told to stop running and quiet down every few minutes.

*** As a word of caution...they do offer large pull thru sites but when you are driving through the park the branches may overhang and scrape your trailer. At one point when we left I had to hold back some branches going around a corner to prevent scratches.

Our site C7

Another site behind us

Pool area

Playground
                    Washrooms.                          Laundry area with washers, dryers and small library
 

Office and very limited store

mini golf available for a fee

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Our Canada Day Week in Dwight, Ontario

We left Carefree a little before the end of the month so we would be at Algonquin Trails for the long weekend. Not because of any major celebrations, just because we wanted to avoid the long weekend traffic heading up the 400.

We have heard a few stories of leaky axle seals on rigs like ours. Since we are headed out for the winter this fall and have a long driving route planned we wanted to be sure we were good. Lippert was great when Ian talked to them. They sent us the seals so we could check to be on the preventative side. They didn't want us driving and worrying and wondering...they wanted us to have peace of mind. Fountain Tire checked it all out and they were fine. After openeing it all up though, new seals have to go back in.

We toured around Huntsville while they fixed it and had lunch at the Boston Pizza on the waterfront. What a gorgeous area!
We went back to Fountain Tire when it was all done and then headed to Algonquin Trails Camping Resort. I'm not sure I would call it a resort but it was a beautiful wilderness property.
Our Site C7


As usual the kids headed straight to the swimming pool. This pool is advertised as a headed pool but that is a little misleading. Because the pool has plastic like a greenhouse all around it, it heats up like a sauna inside and the hot air heats the pool. The temperature IN the pool was a constant 68 while we were there. The owner was doing some welding work around the base of the walls to fix supports while we were there but he really needs to fix some of the broken plastic walls. It looked very run down. There also was no seating inside the pool area except for a small bench. Everyone always sat and watched from outside the pool.
 
 The playground was quite old too so the girls spent more time exploring here.

Sierra became quick friends with the owners son as they both love catching frogs, and toads and all critters. 
Can you spot the snake? Yes they did catch him for a bit!

This toad was a very fast hopper

But in the end no match for sierra

One morning we were so surprised to see a turtle walking through our campsite. Simon, the owners son put him in the little pond up by their house.

 

 We spent a couple days at Dwight Beach. It was about a 5 minute drive from the campground. A very nice little local beach. We spent our time here swimming and fishing. Simon joined us on one day.

Sierra was the queen of catching fish this day. She reeled them in like crazy, let them go...over and over.

 
Aayla tried and tried and tried to catch a fish...

She was persistent. Day after day, determined. She sat and sat and sat trying. Eventually she did but by the time I got close to her to take a picture, the fish had been released.


The fishing dock at Dwight Beach
 


At the campground we biked around, including the old unused back portion of the park. Half the park isn't even used and is all overgrown. 

There was a huge storm one night and the next day my little puddle jumper was spotted jumping in every puddle she could find.


 I spent some time walking the trails here...or rather trying to find the trails here. There was no map and they were all over grown.

The beginning of the trail...it got worse
I did find this old trail map somewhere along the trail.


 

Dark Fishfly
 I always love finding British Soldiers and Pixie Cups!

 I even spotted a monkey in the trees one day.
 We had many campfires here and with campfires comes s'mores and fire wands!



The girls made many friends here...who said living on the road would mean our kids would be unsocialised??? My girls meet and interact with way more people living on the road then they did when we lived in a regular house. A wonderful benefit of full time travel.


 Despite the campground not being a "Resort" it was a wonderful Rustic campground. It was very peaceful and serene and we enjoyed our time here a lot. If you are looking for a Disney vacation type resort this is definitely not the place for you. We love wilderness camping so we felt right at home!