The Balsam Lake Provincial Park is a summer paradise for fishing, day-trip hiking trails, and canoeing. It is most famous for being a Provincial Park that is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway – a waterway that joins rivers and lakes throughout Ontario connected through canals.
Beautiful wildlife including beavers, fox, deer, chipmunks, and North American black bears roam the park and indulge in the wonderful scenery of blooming flowers during spring, the summer sunsets, and changing colors in the fall. Although the park is closed in the winter, it is used as a spot for snowshoeing and skiing.
Things to Do at Balsam Lake Provincial Park
Enjoy comfort camping at the 4 bedroom cottage
Dog-free camping, group camping, and radio free camping are available at Balsam Lake, as well as car camping for a more secluded and natural experience. If outdoor camping isn’t for you, a fully-furnished 4-bedroom cottage by the water is equipped with a BBQ, and all indoor utilities you will need for a cozy stay.
Go swimming at the beach
Swimming is a summer favorite at the park. The sandy beach is perfect for swimming, and is marked with buoys for safety. Being in the Kawartha Lake area, the waters are ideal and calm, and allow you to spend a day on the beach.
Hike the Lookout Trail
Although the park only offers two main hiking trails, they are both especially unique in their own way. The 2.6-kilometer Lookout trail boasts 10,000-year-old formations from the Wisconsin Glacier, while the 4.2-kilometer Plantation Trail offers a forest trek with pioneer attributes.
Go fishing/or join for Learn to Fish program
The Learn to Fish program is a big part of Balsam Lake – this is a free program that allows new anglers to get hands-on. Or anglee to catch small and large mouth bass, muskellunge, and walleye, found at Balsam Lake.
Explore Trent-Severn Waterway
Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats are all available for rent. The shores of Balsam Lake make for the perfect setting for a relaxing paddle on a freshwater lake. Part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, a boating experience here is a killer combination of history and the beautiful outdoors.
According to Kawartha Field Naturalists, the Balsam Lake Provincial Park is ideal for birding in spring and early summer, where forest birds like warblers and vireos can be spotted. Other birds like hummingbirds, cardinals, and woodpeckers can also be found.
Take a Natural Heritage Education Program
For wildlife, nature, and park history enthusiasts, the variety of Natural Heritage Education Programs last all summer long for you to enjoy. Presentations, guided hikes, campfires, and themed-events are just some of the few opportunities available.
Pick something up at the Balsam Lake Farmers Market
Head over to the Balsam Lake Farmers Market on the beach on Sundays of July and August, pick up locally made handmade items like soaps, ornaments, and furniture, and locally grown veggies and baked goods.
Plan your trip to Balsam Lake Provincial Park
Though you can drop-in for winter activities like snowshoeing, the park is best visited during summer months. In 2019 January a pop-up 1.4 km trail was constructed for City of Kawartha Lakes Frostival.
Camping is available from Mid May to Mid October
Address: 2238 County Road 48, Kirkfield
From Toronto: ~140 km
From Ottawa: ~330 km
From London: ~325 km.
From Sudbury: ~330 km
2019 Day use fees
Daily Vehicle Permit: $11.25 to $20.00
Ontario Senior: $9.00 to $16.00
Ont. Persons with Disabilities: $5.50 to $10.00
Regular (Age 6 – 17):$1.00
Regular (Age 18 +): $2.00
Ontario Senior: $1.75
Ont. Persons with Disabilities (Age 6 – 17): $0.50
Ont. Persons with Disabilities (Age 18 +):$1.0
Enjoy the park free of charge : Spend a day in nature at the park, free for everybody on Healthy Parks, Healthy People Day (July 19th, 2019).