Esker Lakes Provincial Park surrounds a chain of sparkling lakes set in an ancient glacial landscape, carpeted with boreal forest.
Esker Lakes, a quiet, family-oriented park, is located just east of the historic mining town of Kirkland Lake in northeastern Ontario.
Here are five reasons why Esker Lakes will delight family campers and nature lovers alike:
1. A landscape made by ancient waters
Have you ever wondered where the name “Esker Lakes” comes from?
About 12,000 years ago, much of Canada was covered by a large sheet of glacial ice. As it melted in this area, it left behind a wide ridge of sand, dotted with beautiful lakes.
The Eskers are ancient river beds. The esker that gives the park its name, the Munro Esker, is the longest known esker in Ontario at over 250 km long. It is also several kilometers wide and takes up the entire park.
The river that formed the esker flowed over, in and under the glacier.
The river bed was made up of silt, sand and gravel that filled the bottom of the channel in the ice through which the river ran.
As the ice melted, it left behind the sloping and mountainous landscape that we found in the park.
This created the perfect landscape for tall pine trees that like sandy soil, as well as ferns and a variety of other plants.
2. Walk the Lonely Swamp Trail
This is a mandatory tour!
The trail is a 1.5 km loop around Sausage Lake and runs through tall pine forests and a stunning spruce swamp.
Keep your eyes peeled for carnivorous wetland plants such as round-leaved sundew and pitcher plants.
Boreal birds such as the white-throated sparrow and black warbler can also be seen in the towering trees.
Many songbirds raise their young in the Esker Lakes during the summer months, giving visitors the opportunity to see some of these impressive birds up close.
3. Paddle 29 spring-fed lakes
Experience the park in a completely different way: from the water!
Our 29 deep, clear lakes offer a wealth of recreational activities. Explore these beautiful lakes by canoe or kayak. Keep an eye out for loons and beavers.
Our lakes are small and good for beginners or experts. A series of transports can be followed from lake to lake.
The park offers canoe and kayak rentals, and provides everything you need for a safe trip, including personal life jackets, safety kits, and paddles.
Forgot your fishing rod at home? Borrow one from the park with our TackleShare program!
4. Find solitude in the countryside
Are you looking for peace and quiet? Try one of our backcountry sites!
Paddle out to your own lake and wake up to the sound of birds and rustling trees. Your campsite comes equipped with a fire pit, picnic table, and toilet.
Motorboats are not allowed on the park lakes, so it is very quiet!
The park’s lakes are stocked with trout and some also have pike. Deep, clear glacial lakes create a perfect environment for fish. You will have fish dinner at your place again!
If a backcountry adventure isn’t your cup of tea, Esker Lakes also features a full-service campground with electric and non-electric sites, and comfort stations with restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.
5. Something new every season
Whether you visit in summer or fall, there is always something fun to do at Esker Lakes!
In July and August, the park offers a variety of programs for the whole family.
Experience everything the park has to offer with the help of our Discovery activity book! Explore the park’s secret worlds, from tadpoles to trees, while having fun along the way.
In autumn, the park calms down and shows off its autumn colors. The birch, aspen and sorrel trees offer a spectacle of “boreal gold”.
Fall is a wonderful time to visit the park to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and breathe in the autumn air.
Whether you’re relaxing on the beach with your family, hiking one of our many hiking trails, paddling, or simply relaxing by a campfire under a starry night sky, Esker Lakes has something for everyone!
In 2023, Esker Lakes Provincial Park will be open until September 17.