In 1970, Shady Pines Campground opened near Ailsa Craig as Canada’s first KOA (Kampgrounds of America). Owners Wilfred and Emma Schlegel anticipated a place where families could come to relax and reconnect with each other and unwind in a picturesque natural setting.
The Schlegels found that although KOA was an excellent guide for travelers, the majority of their campers were local and wanted to stay for longer periods. After 10 years, they made the decision to leave KOA and joined Ontario Private Campgrounds Association (OPCA).
The campground has grown over the years from 30 sites when it initially opened, to well over 200 sites today. With many amenities, including two swimming pools, playground, groomed hiking trails, natural wooded areas, meadows, ponds, a creek, 6-hole golf course, dog park and much more, Shady Pines has been a family destination for nearly 50 years.
The campground has remained in the Schlegel family over the years, and the family tradition continues with Wilfred and Emma’s grandsons – Rob, Brad and James Schlegel – who purchased the campground in the Spring of 2016. Bernie Bernett has been hired as General Manager, along with Ernie Schlegel (former owner), to oversee the operations of the family-oriented campground and to incorporate infrastructure with accessible amenities for seniors to encourage healthy active aging in the great outdoors.