Sunset over a peaceful lake.

How to plan your visit to Six Mile Lake

Conveniently located off Highway 400 in beautiful Muskoka, Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is an excellent family camping park with tons to do.

That said, the park can get extremely busy for both day use and camping. We want to make sure our visitors have all the information they need to have a fun visit, while also keeping the park safe and protected.

Planning a trip to Six Mile Lake? Here’s what you need to know to have a fun and frustration-free visit:

  1. Do I need to make a reservation for the day?
  2. How can I avoid wait times at the gatehouse?
  3. How much parking does the park have?
  4. Are there beaches?
  5. Does Six Mile Lake have rentals?
  6. Are there facilities for trailer camping?
  7. Is there a “quiet hour?”
  8. What are some must-do activities?
  9. What should I know if I’m bringing my boat?
  10. When’s the best time to visit the park?
  11. What’s nearby?
  12. Can I visit or stay at those cottages nearby, or picnic on local docks?
  13. What else do I need to know before my visit?

1. Do I need a reservation to visit for the day?

Yes, please book your permit in advance to guarantee entry.

Our park is getting more and more popular, but we only have room for a limited number of visitors each day.

Daily vehicle permits become available at 7:00 a.m., five days in advance of your arrival date.

Reservations can be made online (here’s a walkthrough of how to book, including how to use your seasonal permit).

Do you have a seasonal permit? You still need a reservation to guarantee your spot. When reserving, you can provide your permit’s serial number, and your cart will update at the confirmation page to show a $0.00 charge.

2. How can I avoid wait times at the gatehouse?

Our gatehouse can get busy on weekends, especially after lunch on Friday until between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

A long line of cars can quickly develop during busy times, especially when people don’t follow the signs and parking etiquette.

Help us avoid crowds by:

  • reserving your daily vehicle permit in advance
  • arriving outside peak time (remember: that’s Fridays between noon and 9:00 p.m.!)
  • having only one person per campsite enter the gatehouse
  • having your information ready (including proof of discounts, if applicable)

When you pull up your car to the gatehouse, pull all the way to the right. Make sure you don’t leave more than half a car’s length between you and the car in front of you.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for capacity updates.

3. How much parking does the park have?

In total, Six Mile Lake has 100 spots available for day users, but they fill up fast.

We need all of our visitors to practice respectful parking during their visit, which means taking up just one spot at a time and obeying parking and other traffic signs.

Remember that the fishing spots, including the boat launch, are hot spots, which means that there will be lots of trailers, which can take up a lot of space.

Avoid parking problems by:

  • arriving early
  • parking considerately (don’t take up more than one spot)
  • parking in designated areas only (pay attention to signs!)

There is a parking lot just for trailers located by the volleyball courts.

If you’re a first-time trailer owner, practice backing up and parking trailer before arriving at park.

4. Are there beaches?

Yes! The park has three beautiful beaches, including one pet friendly beach.

Child playing in the water with lifejacket.

Birch Beach: great for beginner swimmers, no motorized boats allowed.

Maple Beach: better for experienced swimmers, boats allowed, bigger waves.

Pet Beach: Great for pet owners, as pets can go leash-free. Remember that you are responsible for your pet and its interactions with other pets and visitors.

Pet beach sign with beach in background.

Six Mile Lake’s beaches can get busy by lunch, so plan to arrive early.

We test our beaches frequently to ensure the water is safe for swimming. Make sure to check out our Alerts page or Twitter account for updates on beach postings.

5. Does Six Mile Lake have rentals?

Yes! You can rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and paddleboats.

red kayak paddled by woman in lifeacket

We’re also part of the PFD Lending Program, which lets visitors borrow a personal flotation device free of charge.

Rentals and PFDs can be in high demand, so make sure to come by early on hot and sunny days!

Please note: rentals are weather-dependent. For visitor safety, rentals may be cancelled at short notice in the event of bad weather.

6. Does Six Mile have facilities for trailer camping?

Yes! We offer electrical sites for trailers in the Birch, Pine, and Lakeview campgrounds.

Our other campgrounds (Oak, Poplar, and Maple) are not as suitable for trailers.

tents and campgrounds

Remember that we are located on the Canadian Shield, and some sites may not be level. Come prepared with jacks and pieces of wood to level your trailer.

Some of our sites may require longer electrical cords (up to 30 or 50 feet), so bring long cords. A small number of cords are available to borrow at the Park Store for a deposit.

Remember that very few sites are pull-through, so make sure you know how to back up and park a trailer.

Our trailer sanitation station can get busy on Sundays between noon and 3:00 p.m. Try to come outside these hours, but if you can’t please be patient.

Make sure to pull up as close as you can to the car in front of you. This will help reduce congestion.

7. Is there a “quiet hour?”

There’s no official “hour,” but did you know that excessive noise isn’t allowed at any time? It’s right there in our rules and is a fineable offence.

Our campsites are close together, so please be respectful of your neighbours at all times, but especially after night falls.

Glowing tent

Six Mile Lake isn’t the spot for a party. We welcome a lot of families with young children to our park, and many people (of any age) go camping to enjoy peace, quiet, and the sounds of nature.

Keeping your voice down is the respectful thing to do. When night falls, sit around the campfire, talk quietly, watch the flames, and enjoy the stars.

8. What are some must-do activities?

Ramble through marsh systems and over Canadian Shield on our hiking trails! We have three short, but rugged, hiking trails with great views.

Two hiker climb rocky steps on trail in forest.

Our trails are not suitable for bikes. Wear appropriate footwear, and stay on the trail to reduce exposure to Poison Ivy and ticks.

We also have great fishing on Six Mile Lake. Don’t forget your fishing licence!

Father and son on dock fishing.

For families, the beach and children’s playground is very popular.

9. What should I know if I’m bringing my boat?

A boat launch is centrally located within the park. The park also offers limited dock spaces to registered campers on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are not camping in the park, you must purchase a daily vehicle permit to access the boat launch.

Keep a safe distance from swimmers, canoers, and kayakers, and respect other boaters.

Operate at safe speeds (NO wake!), and be aware that OPP Marine unit patrol Six Mile Lake frequently.

Check that all the safety equipment required by law is on board and in good working condition. Always wear a properly fitted lifejacket/PFD, and be sure everyone else on board is wearing one, too.

And leave the alcohol on shore. Drinking while boating incurs the same legal penalty as drinking while driving a car.

Find more tips for safe boating here.

10. When’s the best time to visit the park?

Why not visit during the week, when the park is quieter?

Working from home? Get an electrical site and call Six Mile home for the week, while working!

11. What’s nearby to the park?

Port Severn is located about 15 minutes south of the park, and makes a great day trip for lunch.

There’s lots to do within 30 to 45 minutes drive in places like Bala, Midland, and Penetanguishene.

12. Can I visit or stay at those cottages nearby, or picnic on local docks?

There are over 800 cottages on Six Mile Lake and every one of them is private property — no trespassing, please!

Please be respectful of our local residents: stay within park bounds and off private land.

This includes when you’re out in a canoe. Please do not use the docks or stop along the shoreline — these are spaces that belong to locals.

13. What else should I know before my visit?

Before visiting Six Mile Lake, please take some time to educate yourself about one of biggest issues: garbage.

Our staff put in amazing efforts to keep our parks clean.

Boardwalk over water in a marsh with rockl and trees.

They work hard to make sure that garbage is frequently emptied, but at times, the garbage is more than they can keep up with.

We appreciate it when our visitors take the time to dispose of their trash correctly during their visit. Please respect our natural world and leave the park cleaner than you found it.

Some other park etiquette our staff would love to share:

  • respect our landscape (no axes, knives, or nails in living trees)
  • respect park property (don’t carve initials in picnic tables, keep all fires in the fire pits provided)
  • respect speed limits and parking areas (no off-road parking, please — yes, even a few feet into the bush can do a lot of damage)
  • respect trails and roads (going off-trail can really damage our park ecosystems)
  • respect wildlife (give them their space, pick up litter that might injure them, make them sick, or encourage habituation / unsafe behaviours)
  • dispose of all waste responsibly (don’t wash dishes at taps or sinks, dump all grey water down vault privies, deposit all garbage in the bins at central waste depot, and bring home everything else you brought with you)

In fact, it’s a great idea to review our Park Rules before you visit, whether you’re a seasoned camper or a total beginner.

Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is part of the UNESCO Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, as well as being a treasured destination that many campers return to year after year.

We can’t wait to welcome you, and we know you’ll join us in shared love and stewardship of this special place.