Clearly, we can’t get enough of Ontario’s natural wonders! We’ve found two more sandy shorelines worth exploring and even a floating bridge located at this Ontario Park. Charleston Lake Provincial Park is a nature lovers’ paradise for those looking to enjoy a crisp fall morning or to go on a hiking adventure and enjoy stunning scenic vistas. Here’s what to know about this park destination.

If you’re willing to make the trip from Toronto, head eastbound, about three and a half hours from the city is Charleston Lake Provincial Park. For those in Ottawa, it’s a little less than a two-hour drive.

This little piece of nature is a family favorite destination, according to Ontario Parks. It offers opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and spotting wildlife. During the fall season, it’s a tranquil spot perfect for viewing the changing fall colours.

Here you can explore Charleston Lake’s over 20 km of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult.

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There are seven trails with each one offering its own rewarding experience. Take a 2.6 km walk down Sandstone Island trail and spot a rock shelter that was used thousands of years ago by Indigenous people of the area.

Or if you’re up for the challenge, take a hike along Blue Mountain Trail – a 5.7km trek that leads you to scenic vistas from the highest point in Leeds County.

“On a clear day you can see the Adirondack Mountains in New York State,” shares Ontario Parks. Now that’s a sight worth seeing.

An easier option is Quiddity Trail, 2.4 km non-looping trail that takes you along a boardwalk crossing a wetland and ending off with a scenic lookout at the end.

But the one trail you need to explore is the Tallow Rock Bay Trail, a 10 km loop which is a little difficult. You’ll hike through meadows, and rock ridges before reaching the floating Slim Bay bridge. It’s literally picture perfect.

There’s ample opportunity for canoeing and boating as well if that’s more of your thing.

“Paddlers can explore the lake’s 75 km of shoreline and numerous bays and coves,” states Ontario Parks. “Portions of Running’s Bay and Slim Bay are designated motorboat-free which enhances the paddling opportunities for our visitors. Sea kayaking has become increasingly popular on the lake as it lends well to this type of vessel.”


According to Ontario Parks, the cost of a Day Use permit depends on the time of the year whether it be on or off-season, and by park.

Entry fees for vehicles start at $12.25 depending on the park. For park-specific fees, contact the park directly.

You’ll definitely want to add this to your bucket list. And before you embark on your journey, check out out guide on Ontario Parks safety to ensure your next road trip is a pleasant one.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Where: 148 Woodvale Rd – Lansdowne, ON

Information on Charleston Lake Provincial Park is from Ontario Parks, and is accurate as of publication date.