Darlington Provincial Park
Darlington Provincial Park
3.5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles112 reviews
Excellent
22
Very good
38
Average
28
Poor
13
Terrible
11

Nikki TheChosen1
Colombo, Sri Lanka11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
It was a warm and sunny day in July when I visited Darlington Beach for the first time. Despite the slightly cold water, it was safe for swimming. Overall, it was a beautiful and refreshing experience.

Written July 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

happycamper
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples

I'll just put this out there. This is not the rugged outdoors. Although we love the rugged outdoors, we also appreciate how this park is quiet, radio-free and very laid back. This is the type of park where you lounge around on your campsite, listen to the birds, and soak up the sun! The energy in this park is very laid back. It felt cozy and homely when we visited. Plenty of trailers!

Campgrounds:
Most of the sites offer medium level privacy, while some sites have very low privacy. Some sites are spacious but others are just big enough to comfortably house two tent structures. The lakefront campsites are close together and offer very little privacy however the views are gorgeous.

Lake:
The park sits on the shore of Lake Ontario. Not the most reputable lake but this park makes it look very pretty. The beach is sand and the water is chilly but crystal clear! On a nice day the water reflects the sky and you get to look at this never-ending blue abyss. Really cool if you get a lake front campsite.

Amenities:
The park store was closed both times we attended, that was really unfortunate.
The washroom & showers for the entire section of the Hilltop campground was closed and campers had to enter a different campground to use the washroom. I could imagine that being very inconvenient for those campers. No canoe rentals. It is lake Ontario after all, however there are safe canoe and fishing areas on McLaughlin Bay located within the park. Nice day use areas that include picnic tables, large rentable picnic shelters and access to the beach. I wouldn't think fishing here is great at all however my partner and I spotted a large carp swimming by the shore which was really cool to look at. The other half of the beach operates as a Piping Plover Nesting Area and is inaccessible for the protection of the endangered birds. Guests are welcomed to observe from a distance!

Overall I think this park is great! It's a very inexpensive get-away that you don't have to travel far for. There's very little to worry about in regards to wilderness living. The park is located around lots of major towns and cities, but fear not! once in the park you won't even know. Additionally If you forget any supplies you won't need to pay crazy prices for them in town.

Written June 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bibi H
Toronto, Canada77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
My husband and I went during the week once schools have re-opened. This means that we were able to enjoy the park peacefully. Walked along the shore line and then "braved" it through a few trails.
Mr. Schofield at the main office cabin was very helpful. Gave us a map, chatted, and wished us well. We met a few people in the park - all nice and friendly. Watched two sisters kayaked their way into the lake.
I would liked to see improved signage. I was keen to see "The Pioneer Cemetery" listed on the map. I am always keen to hear of those brave souls who endured the elements of weather and wildlife to carve out a life on the lands.
After much traipsing the trails, we were about to leave when a smiling and charming young woman at the Gift Store directed us. It was a wonderful day outing. I enjoyed the bird trail and was lucky to see a few monarch butterflies.
Written September 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cynthu78
Toronto, Canada170 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
The beach has nice pebbles to see. We sat for a while on the shore. It was good to walk around the trails. The hilltops was packed with tents, RVs. Some parts of the park had some bad smell for some reason.

It looks like online reservation had to be made. However, we paid $20 approx for a day pass at the entrance and parked our car.

There were showers, restrooms.
Written September 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard B
Stoney Creek, Canada25 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Get rid of power hungry ticket mad provincial park warden. You could see him have a big “o” writing the ticket to keep a overheated dog from the water.
Park is a crappy sh thole.Trains all hours blowing their horns. Helicopters and planes as well.
Bathrooms are disgusting. Mud and I assume excrement everywhere. Glad for my trailer.ewww!
Beach water has an excessive amount of seaweed.
Way overpriced wood, wet to boot. About six pieces for eight dollars. You have to have car to get around . Showers are still the old push button type. Not long enough or warm or clean. Don’t forget the ticks and the sand fleas everywhere.
The fishing nodes are a joke. No fish. People beside us( next node) no fish for over three hours that they were there. Oh yea, better bring worms , none in a large radius.
Stay away! Just nasty!
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ka_carvalho
Sao Paulo, SP15 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
I found the people in the campground near by very disrespectful, loud music and conversation until 1 am. The washrooms are dirty and I'll kept on the weekend.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Canadian_Guy1000
Mississauga, Canada3,357 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
It was my second visit to Darlington in as many years. Because of its proximity to Toronto, it is a very busy park and even on weekdays the vacancy rate is low—and on weekends it is probably close to zero. Campsites #158-162, on the shore of Lake Ontario, are quite popular, but certainly do not offer much privacy—well, even the view of the lake is partially covered by vegetation, and the steep cliff makes it impossible to actually get to the lake directly from the campsite. But it was still nice to camp there.

Park wardens were regularly driving around. I did not notice any rowdy behavior in the park. However, on numerous occasions I smelled marihuana, apparently the smoke drifted from various campers taking advantage of this new freedom—and yes, it did bother me! I find it deplorable that our so-called “leader” in Ottawa legalized cannabis without imposing any restrictions on where it could be smoked. In Japan, for example, even cigarette smoking is often banned on public streets and only allowed in designated areas.

By the way, according to the Ontario Parks Reservation website, on my campsite “on-site vehicle parking is for 1 car, off-site vehicle parking is for 2 cars’. This information is INCORRECT—TWO cars can park on-site.

If you need to do any shopping, drive about 8 km to Bowmanville to the highway 2 & Bowmanville Avenue ( a.k.a. road 57) area. There are numerous stores, including Loblaws, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Dollarama, The Home Depot and many more.

The highway noise was so continuous & uninterrupted that I simply did not hear it at all. But I certainly DID hear the frequent trains passing near the park, and especially their ear-piercing whistles, which would wake me up several times at night.

This year the showers are open. The toilets are somewhat scarce and, depending on the location of your campsite, may require a couple of minutes of walking.

One day the nearest comfort station was closed and an “out of service” sign was posted. I drove to another comfort station and it was “out of service”, too—and so were the showers. I headed to the washrooms in the park store and they were also shut. Finally park employees told me that it was due to the power outage and I was advised to use the vault toilet located near the group campground. Later that evening several campers were quite frustrated, as they were unable to use washrooms and had no idea where to find a working toilet—which, by the way, was about 1 km away from our camping area—quite a stroll, especially at night!

First of all, I think that the park should have been prepared for such probable emergencies as power outages and had a backup system (either emergency generators or more vault toilets); secondly, instead of just attaching “out of service” signs, providing more information and directions to alternative facilities would have been a much better idea.
Next morning, when I was leaving and heading to another park, the bathrooms & showers still remained closed and I was unable to take a shower.

Considering everything, it is an OK park, especially for those who do not want to spend hours driving to more remote locations and who do not mind its closeness to the highway & the train tracks.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary P
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
Not very dog friendly could not find access to lake Ontario to take our dog ,Beach no dogs signs and some trails no dogs signs
Written July 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grace B
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
Darlington is not the best not the worst here is why. Late at night there are alot of loud noises of people yelling and playing loud music and no staff comes to stop them when many people are trying to sleep at 12 am, Not alot of kind and friendly people walking by our campsite. I got fliped off at a 10 year old with the finger and his mother who was walking by with them and not many nice staff either, and no privacy in the bathroom, showers, and my campground sorry to say.
Written May 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Happy traveller
Ontario, Canada94 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Solo
Even though the park is not yet open for camping, it’s a great place to hike and walk along the beach. The park is well kept and it is well worth the trip to spend a day walking in nature.

At certain points you can hear the traffic from the highway, which is the only negative thing I can think of.
Written March 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Darlington Provincial Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Darlington Provincial Park




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