Adventura - Fall 2012

Page 19



ONTARIO’S CHARLESTON LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK is cradled between granite and sandstone bedrock. Its shape has been moulded by the slopes and valleys of old mountains eroded down over hundreds of million of years.

© Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Along the shores of this coldwater lake are caverns, cliffs and rock overhangs that once gave shelter to First Nations tribes who came to hunt in the summer. During the 1800s it was a popular resort area for wealthy vacationers who built Victorian cottages along its shores. Today, it’s the largest lake in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere equipped with hiking and paddling trails, swimming areas and campgrounds. There is a complexity of flora and fauna here not seen in other locations in the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. Charleston Lake is the most southern extension of the Canadian Shield, combining a southern climate with a northern terrain. This unusual grouping allows northern species to happily co-exist alongside their more southern neighbours. In fact, so many species are intermixed here that Charleston Lake has a high proportion of species designated as rare, threatened or endangered. Keep an eye out for the endangered peregrine falcon, which has been successfully reintroduced in the park. The rugged look of the north blends with southern rolling valleys, creating a scenic 160 km of irregular shoreline with over 100 islands to explore (the park rents out both canoes and kayaks, if you don’t have your own boat to bring along). There are 239 campsites located in three campgrounds (86 with electricity) as well as 10 interior campsites accessible only by water and trails. There are several well-groomed sandy beaches for swimming and

plenty of hiking/biking trails. The 14-km Tallow Rock Bay loop on the west side is the longest trail, travelling into more remote areas. The pastoral 3.3-km Sandstone Island trail passes by ancient aboriginal cave dwellings and remains of pioneer homesteads. Quiddity (2.4 km) has a boardwalk traversing the wetlands leading to a scenic lookout – perfect for smaller hikers. The newest trail, Blue Mountain, takes between two to four hours to complete and leads to the

highest summit in the area for a 360-degree view of the surrounding county. The park is perfect for day trips, but you’ll need reservations for extended camping trips. For directions and more information, visit For camping reservations, contact english/char.html.

Keep an Eye on the Weather!

Play safe and enjoy outdoor activities Protect yourself from severe weather by keeping abreast of the latest weather reports and warnings issued by Environment Canada, any time, anywhere.

Mobile Weather Website: Weather Website – weather forecasts and warnings, 24/7, and RSS service available: Weather One-on-One – weather consultation service with an expert, seven days a week, charges apply: 1-900-565-5555 Weatheradio Canada: continuous weather reports on seven VHF frequencies at 162 MHz. Signal can be picked up by Weatheradio receivers, available at several retailers in Canada.

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