Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Charleston Lake is located in Eastern Ontario. The rocky lake and surrounding forest area are an extension of the Canadian Shield, one of the largest and oldest geologic continental shields in the world. The shores as well as the islands of this lake are a mix between private property and the provincial park. It offers a variety of activities in and around the water, including boating, paddling, fishing, fishing, swimming, hiking and camping.

We’ve been to Charleston Lake twice:

Hiking Trails

Charleston Lake offers a variety of hiking trails that range in length from 1.7km to 10km. We’ve hiked along the following trails:

(1) Beech Woods Trail (1.8km, loop, rated easy) passes through a mature beech forest, open oak-sedge meadows, tall hardwood forests and a small pocket of white pine. There are also a few interpretive panels that explain more about life in the forest, on the forest floor, below and in the canopy of leaves and in open clearings in the forest.

(2) Hemlock Ridge Trail (1.7km loop, rated moderate) winds along a ridge of hemlocks, passes by a beaver pond and leads through fractured sandstone crevices and rock faces. The trail is marked with numbered posts along the trail and signed with blue markers.

(3) Quiddity Trail (2.4km, rated easy) winds through the forest, passes over a boardwalk and leads to a scenic lookout of Charleston Lake and the beach area.

(4) Sandstone Island Trail (2.6km loop, rated moderate) weaves through the forest, passes along the shore of Charleston Lake and features some neat rock and geological features. The trail also features a rock shelter that was used some 1,200 years ago by the Aboriginal people of the area.

(5) Shoreline Trail (2km loops, rated moderate) leads along the shoreline of Charleston Lake and provides fantastic views of the rocky shoreline, windswept pines and islands.

Other Activities and Attractions

Besides hiking, Charleston Lake offers a variety of other activities, including canoeing, swimming, fishing and boating.

It is also located close to a few other places that are worth exploring:


Charleston Lake offers a variety of accommodations, including just over 200 campsites spread across three campgrounds, 10 interior campsites that require you to hike or paddle to reach your site, 4 yurts, and one rustic cabin for those that want a bit more comfort. We’ve tried backcountry camping here along with car camping.