Charleston Lake Provincial Park, Lansdowne

4.5
#176 of 1,251 in Parks in Ontario
Park · Nature / Park
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Charleston Lake Provincial Park is located on Charleston Lake near Athens, Ontario, Canada in the township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands.

The park occupies 23.53 square kilometres (9.08 sq mi) in the Frontenac Axis region, a southern extension of the Canadian Shield. The park's forests and animal life, therefore, include species normally found further north, yet the southern climate allows species more typical for the southern latitude to co-exist with the northern species. The park includes hiking trails, swimming areas and campgrounds.

There are four yurts located in the Shady Ridge Campground; these yurts are not heated and do not have electricity. There is also a rustic cabin which is accessible by water and has lights and a small fridge which are solar-powered.
The lake includes a number of islands and has an irregular shoreline which makes it an interesting location for canoeing and kayaking. Blue Mountain, elevation 194 m (636 ft), is also within the park. The summit was the highest point of the former Leeds County, Ontario. The trail to Blue Mountain has two access points, by water from Huckleberry Hollow, and by land from the intersection of Warburton and Blue Mountain Roads.

Blue Mountain can be reached via Blue Mountain Road from Highway #2. Hikers have permission to cross private land and a well-marked trail leads to the summit with a panoramic 360° view. The trek requires approx. 2 to 2.5 hours on foot or 1.5 hrs. on bike, although cyclists must carry their bikes in many places where hard granite jets out of the earth below which forms the mountain. A compass may be useful for inexperienced hikers.

This area was the site of a re-introduction program for the peregrine falcon. The park also provides habitat for the rare and harmless black rat snake, which is the largest snake found in Canada.
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Charleston Lake Provincial Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
115 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The Ontario parks system has gone downhill massively over the past 20 years, as senior management has moved it away from a model that offers people the peaceful enjoyment of nature at an affordable... 
    The Ontario parks system has gone downhill massively over the past 20 years, as senior management has moved it away from a model that offers people the peaceful enjoyment of nature at an affordable...  more »
  • Stayed in Meadowlands section.Quiet most of the time other than dogs barking at times. It was our first tent camping in a long time and really enjoyed the park.Went to canoe for 3 days and were... 
    Stayed in Meadowlands section.Quiet most of the time other than dogs barking at times. It was our first tent camping in a long time and really enjoyed the park.Went to canoe for 3 days and were...  more »
Google
  • We went for a quick trip. We stayed at site 256 and it was right on the water. The bugs were not bad at all as long as you had some bug repellent. The beaches are beautiful, all sand and the lake has a sandy bottom for easy wading. They have a decent area for the dogs to go swimming. My dog absolutely loved the water and we mostly stayed at the dog swimming area as it was easier with our dog. The park is kept very clean and maintained. I was able to catch a beautiful sunset. Will definitely be returning for future camps!!
  • This park is quite a surprise as it’s much larger than most provincial parks in Ontario that we’ve been to. We’ve camped here for three nights with our trailer. It was easy to setup tarps as the campsites have a lot of trees around. The size of the campsites are decent as well. A lot of trails (30 mins-2 hours) to go and some of them like sandstone are with very unique views. The lakes are beautiful. We have seen a lot of wild animals like a mink, deer, raccoon and even two SNAKES!! Staff told us there are many snakes in the park. Good for someone who loves snakes. It’s also easier to pay a visit to 1000 island national park when camping here as they are very close.

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