We have enjoyed camping at the Saugeen Buffs for 20 years now. It is also unique in that it offers equestrian sites where you can bring your horse and camp with them. The Bluffs is also located on the might Saugeen River which is a great spot for canoeing. There are 20km or more of hiking trails and a beautiful look-off point of the Saugeen River.
The campground is clean and usually pretty quiet and laidback. There is a camp store, shower house, activity centre and canoe/kayak rentals. Being located on the Saugeen river makes this a great spot to finish your canoe trip and camp. There is a playground at the trailer camping area. A splash pool is located in the group camping area at the top of the hill. Two swimming/wading areas are possible at the Saugeen River, but swimming isn’t great. A mixture of both seasonal and temporary campsites. Quite a few people with trailers use the campground as a seasonal summer getaway.
The campsites are generally shaded and large enough for three tents. The online reservation site shows accurate pictures of each campsite. We always book ahead on the website for the park- it really sucks when you get to a campground and realize it is fully booked!
We have always found the staff very pleasant and is nice that check out isn’t until 2 pm. The entire site is kept very clean. There isn’t any garbage lying about- so make sure you respect that and make ‘if you can carry it there, you can carry it back’ your personal policy.
Cell reception is poor at the campsites, but you can go to the camp store and use the WIFI there, or go to the lookoff where you will get service.
A really cool feature of the Bluffs is that you can go camping with your horse. We don’t ride, but it certainly looked like it would be fun. The trails had lots of hoof prints on them, so people definitely go riding.
There are quite a few lookoff points on the trails with excellent views of the Saugeen River. You will also get cellular service in this area.
Fantastic canoeing and kayaking though. We have gone down the river numerous times and always have a lot of fun. We had a family camp trip earlier this year and canoed from Paisley to the Bluffs and then just hauled out the canoes and camped. That’s a pretty safe way to go if you decide to have some beverages while canoeing.
There is also an extensive set of trails that will take you through both high and low lands. Some areas a filled with cedars while others covered in ferns. There are also quite a few massive trees that must be hundreds of years old. Make sure to print out a trail map so you can keep track of where you are going. The entrance to the trailer is at the north end of the campground. Most trails are open to both hikers and equestrian traffic.
We took lots of scenic pictures along the trails. We did the entire outer loop in about 3.5 hours, which was about 10km. Hiking is pretty easy, but there are some steep areas that might give you some leg burn. Sneakers or hiking shoes are a good idea. A hat is also suggested to keep away pesky deer flies. We used bug spray with DEET that seemed to keep the mosquitos at bay. Spraying your clothes and hat is just as effective rather than putting that stuff on your skin.
Canoeing and Kayaking
The Saugeen River offers excellent canoeing and kayaking and access point #11 is right there at the Bluffs. This is a great spot to end your adventure and enjoy camping without having to drive anywhere after you come off the river. This SVCA Kayak Brochure has great maps for canoeing in this area.
Animals at the bluffs are mostly birds, chipmunks, deer and raccoons. There were lots of insects and fungi to photograph. Like most campgrounds, raccoons will get into your stuff at night, so be sure to put food bins and coolers in your vehicle to avoid having them raided after you go to bed.