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Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

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Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

We've been trying during 3 years to get a pair of campsites with electricity and shadow in Sandbanks for 4 days on July or August. It seems mission impossible, even five months ahead at midnight these campsites are not available. Any suggestions or tips?

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Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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1. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Reservations open 5 months, to the day, before the arrival date. If you really want a site, pick a time that's 5 months out, then make your reservation right at midnight on opening day, for example if you wanted to camp August 21 to 24, get the reservation website up on your computer on the evening of March 20 and make the reservation when the clock strikes midnight.

Also, if by 4 days you mean a weekend plus a couple of days off work, make it a Thursday-Sunday trip rather than a Saturday-Tuesday trip. That way you'll be able to book your trip 5 months before the Thursday, giving you a head start on those who want to camp for the weekend.

ottawa
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2. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

My understanding is that reservations can be made starting at 7am, 5 months ahead of time. Can anyone clarify if it's 7am or midnight?

It seems impossible to make a reservation even using the strategy described by tweedwolfscream above. This morning, all available sites for July 26th were reserved by exactly 7am. It definitely seems strange to me. Can anyone shed some light on how all sites at Sandbanks are reserved the exact second they come available?

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3. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Looks like you're right, FrankieGT -- website says it's 7:00, not midnight. My apologies.

If every site was booked for July 26 when bookings opened at 7:00 this morning, that must mean that everyone camping in the park that weekend is arriving on the Friday (July 25) or earlier. Since the reservation window opens 5 months before your ARRIVAL date, those people would have been able to book their whole weekend yesterday morning. That is the reason for the second paragraph of my advice in reply #1: if you plan to start your stay before the actual weekend, you'll get a head start on booking over those who aren't arriving until the weekend begins.

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4. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

I called Ontario Parks and they told me the sites would be available after midnight, when they do system maintenance. I've tried around 12:00 am, 7:00 am and any other time, and there are no sites available even to arrive at midweek (Wednesdays and Thursdays). As every year, we decided to go to another park. I'd think all the Sandbanks sites were booked around June 01 and for 3 months. Do any of you know if it's possible?

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The June Motel
The June Motel
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Picton, Canada
Toronto
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5. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

I believe the maximum stay at a provincial park campsite is 23 nights, so no it's not possible. By the way, when I look online now, it seems there is some availability at Sandbanks for some currently bookable dates this summer, especially late June. Select Sandbanks on the reservations page and view as availability calendar.

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The June Motel
The June Motel
120 Reviews
Picton, Canada
Sandbanks Beach Resort
Sandbanks Beach Resort
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Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

In the old days when reservations were taken by phone, the trick was to try the French language line which was not as busy. We have also heard of folks driving all the way from Toronto and sitting in the parking lot waiting for the office to open for reservations. Those practices seem to have gone by the wayside now that internet reservations are the norm.

With respect to sites being unavailable for the entire summer, once again, in the "old days", families would band together and book consecutive weeks for the same site, treating it almost like a cottage. I'm not sure if that is still possible.

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Toronto
Toronto
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7. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Is there a waiting list that you can put yourself on??

Toronto
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8. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Nope, but you can check for cancellations as often as you want...

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9. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Oh my gosh, have been trying for 2 weeks now to book our chosen site(s) at Sandbanks, and as of 7:00:02 (a second or so after you've hit 'Reserve') you are told the site is unavailable. Now we understand there are maybe hundreds of web-goers all vying for the same spots and I suppose it's really luck of the draw as to those that click first, if it's even possible to have a 'first'. It's just interesting that at 7:00:01, the site is already taken.

You make such a good point, how the heck did this all work before internet? Their lines must've been off the hook! Oh well, wish us luck for next week, when we try again for the sites we have in mind....!

Cheers!

Edited: 07 March 2014, 23:59
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Sandbanks Beach Resort
Sandbanks Beach Resort
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ottawa
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10. Re: Any tips to get a campsite in Sandbanks Provincial Park?

Oceaniac, that's exactly the same experience I've had.

You need to go on the website a few minutes before 7am, fill out all the required information (dates, location, campsite, guests, etc.) and hit the "reserve" button as soon as the counter in the top right of the screen goes from 6:59:59 to 7:00:00.

At 7:00:01, all sites will be reserved. If you're lucky, your request will go through. If not, return to the previous screen, refresh it, see if any other sites are still available, and quickly try to reserve one.

If no sites are available right away, just keep refreshing the screen to see if any become available. You can keep trying till about 7:30am (i.e. hitting refresh button every few seconds) since some people may not follow through with their reservation and it'll go up for grabs.

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