Favourite Nude Places: Freedom Fields, Eastern Ontario

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Ontario’s newest major naturist venue, and the one that’s closest to us here in Kingston, is Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch.

Freedom Fields viewed from Carroll Road

Turns out we’ve never actually brought our cameras to FFNR, so this Google Street View shot will have to suffice for today!

Freedom Fields is a relatively new venue; 2015 will be only their fourth season. They’ve made a lot of progress in those few years – while the ranch remains relatively rustic, the current set of amenities includes a pool with swim-up bar, a bed & breakfast, a seriously rockin’ party barn, several kilometres of great hiking, and the most awesome hot tub in the tri-county area.

Media coverage of the park has been universally positive. The most recent story, penned by the widely respected Hollie Pratt-Campbell at the Heritage, was pegged on that publisher’s top-stories list for over a month.

FFNR is an adults-only venue. This policy is sometimes misinterpreted as meaning “sex ranch”, which is most certainly not the case; we’ve never seen any hint of inappropriate behaviour and the atmosphere is very much in the “relaxed, social and respectful” category. The 18+ policy stems largely from safety and liability considerations. Of FFNR’s 100 acres, all but 4 are either natural and unimproved, or fenced off for the horses. It is a working ranch, after all, with a complete herd of Equus caballus, energetic free-range farm dogs, tractors and so on. Marketing the venue as family-friendly would, we imagine, significantly change the insurance and liability picture, as well as the culture, in a way that FFNR appears uninterested in pursuing.

FFNR’s culture is a bit more free-wheeling than at some other parks. The jokes are a little raunchier, the laughter’s a little louder, and the park’s two bars are a bit more central to the social scene. On special weekends, live classic-rock bands play late into the night atop a stage of hay bales in the barn, stirring up seriously awesome party vibes and making the admission fees a genuine bargain. Even so, those who prefer peace and quiet are equally welcome; the lush lawn is a perfect place to while away an afternoon with a good book, and the campsites – of which there are a few more every year – are quiet, private and immersed in nature.

The venue’s pricing, currently at $30/person/day or $40/couple/day, is comparable to other naturist parks, although perhaps a bit on the steep side considering the amenities FFNR has to offer. This, we think, is unavoidable; the park is investing heavily in upgrades and new features, but lacks the steady revenue of older private parks that can survive on trailer lot rental fees and need only worry about operating, not capital, expenses.

There are only a few complaints that can be justifiably levied against FFNR. The washroom facilities, as of 2014, were somewhat rustic, and some of the main walking routes have not yet been made barefoot-friendly. Perhaps most noticeably, FFNR has so far been unusually tolerant of smoking. While cig-toting guests have generally been respectful about staying downwind, provincial anti-smoking laws and cultural anti-smoking attitudes are (rightly) much stronger in 2015 than they were a few years ago.

FFNR holds a special place in our hearts here at the Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society. As the closest naturist park to us, and with a wonderful owner who has been very supportive of our group’s purpose (and is a KFFBS member), they’re naturally a favourite destination when time and travel considerations allow us to visit.

This part of Ontario is rather poorly documented in most mapping programs. FFNR is easiest to find by entering its co-ordinates directly into a GPS: 44.501N by 76.917W. Access is at #592 Carroll Road, reached by heading east along Mountain Road from Tamworth and then south on Carroll.

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Boats good, swimsuits bad

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Okay, so even if the weather permits it, we can’t be nude all the time.

Out at the boat ramp, for example, it is customary to wear swimsuits and/or T-shirts. There’s no practical reason to do so, it’s just what everyone expects, so we play along.

Once clear of the launch ramp, though, it’s perfectly OK to do the logical thing and just get rid of the swimwear. The Kingston area has many, many spots where you can drop anchor, strip off, and alternate between baking in the sun and cooling off in the lake for the better part of an afternoon.
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The debate over whether or not PFDs count as clothing is ongoing. They are, of course, required on this particular powerboat while we’re underway. Safety first!

Very few of the anchorages around here are busy enough for anyone to see whether you’re dressed or nude. In any case, our experience suggests that it’s highly unlikely that anyone will care. This is Canada, after all. We’re pretty easy-going.

Boating is perhaps one of the best ways to experience naturism. There’s virtually complete privacy out on the water, despite being completely out in the open. You have the sun, the breeze, the wonderful sounds of the water and the gentle rolling motion of the boat at anchor. Sail or power, it’s your choice – we’re into both, depending on wind, weather and which boats are available.

An awful lot of people have told me, over the years, that they like the idea of learning how to run a boat, of getting out there on the water, but they feel it’s just too expensive – fuel, repairs, insurance, marina fees, plus the boat itself. This need not be the case!

$1000 will get you a decent, used two- or three-person 14-foot sailboat. $2500 to $4000 scores you a perfectly serviceable 14-foot aluminum powerboat with a trailer and 10 to 20 hp engine, just the ticket for a small family or two couples to get to the best skinny-dipping spots. You won’t be taking it across Lake Ontario, but hundreds of inland lakes are now within your reach. The cost of ownership of such a boat? Less than $500 a year, if you learn how to do basic maintenance yourself. Share the boat among a few friends and it could very well amount to little more than pocket change.

If that’s still too steep, just pop over to Kingston’s Ahoy Rentals (or your local equivalent) and take your choice of canoes, kayaks or small sailboats out for a while, complete with a friendly instructor if you want one for your first trip. The Power & Sail Squadron will be happy to teach you the necessary safety and navigation knowledge over the winter.

Canadians are winterizing our small-craft fleets now, so there are some serious bargains to be had at the moment if you want to get out on the water next summer and can spare a bit of garage space in the meantime.

We’ll see you on the lakes just as soon as everything thaws out. And don’t forget to skip those swimsuits!

Posted by Matt of KFFBS