Ahh beautiful, scenic, tranquil Oastler Lake. A provincial park known for its premium waterfront camp sites, where you can unzip your tent in the morning, stretch, and walk directly into the water. A campsite with kayak and canoe rentals, fishing, walking trails, and plenty of fun in the sun.
Until …… THE TRAIN COMES.
Which then turns your summer camping dream into a nightmare.
Oastler Provincial Park is indeed a lovely park as described above, but it is completely ruined by the fact that a CNR freight train a thousand miles long passes two inches away from the park and blows its…. what, horn? Whistle? Its warning whistle. All Day. And. All Night.
NO JOKE — ALL NIGHT.
If you are at all noise sensitive, DO NOT STAY IN OASTLER LAKE.
If you need a solid sleep to be a functioning human being, DO NOT STAY IN OASTLER LAKE.
Sound travels especially well over water, so no matter where you stay in this beautiful park, you will hear the train. On night 1, we jumped out of our skins over and over again, at all hours of the night, every time the train passed and blew its warning whistle. On night 2, we shoved ear plugs in our ears and took a sleeping pill. On night 3 we decided to pack up and leave a day early.
Which is a shame… because look at these pictures! It is absolutely beautiful!
For Christmas I got the Coleman 10-person Weathermaster tent from my dear husband. We used to camp in his 4-person Coleman tent, which really means it’s only comfortable for two adults. And once we set up the camping cots, the tent is completely full. It is too small even for a family of 3. After talking for years about possibly getting a pop up trailer, we decided instead to get the biggest, sickest tent we could find. It even has a divider if you wanted to make it into two rooms. Now THIS is comfort camping. It’s big enough for all of us to stand up comfortably inside. It has lots of ventilation, space to keep your bags, and lots of room for our cots. Awesome.
Anyway, we enjoyed the beach at Oastler Lake every day, and had a fantastic time renting kayaks and going out for a paddle around the entire lake. One tip about the rentals – the canoes are all gone by 9 am. People apparently line up at 8am, when the rental office opens, and book them all. There are, however, tons of kayaks. We took out a tandem kayak and a kids kayak and had a ball.
Other tips about Oastler Lake – the sites are really close together. So there isn’t a lot of privacy. Which, of course, also adds to the noise level.
Overall Oastler Lake gets 9/10 for scenery, but 1/10 for noise and privacy.