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Balsam Lake 2017 Information Guide Winners of the Photo Contest

1st Place Julia Schotsman

2nd Place Rebecca McKenzie

3rd Place Louise Robert

Park Information @BalsamLake_PP @BalsamLake_PP Park Office Address: Balsam Lake Provincial Park 2238 County Road 48, Kirkfield, ON K0M 2B0 Park Office...................................................... 705-454-3324 Reservations: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) 7 AM – 9 PM

Emergency Numbers Ambulance, Police, Fire (emergencies only) .......


OPP ............................................................. 1-888-310-1122 Poison Control ............................................. 1-800-268-9017 Ross Memorial Hospital (Lindsay) ................... 705-324-6111 Park Warden (after hours) ............................... 705-928-5353 Park offices and vehicles are all equipped with first aid kits and fire extinguishers.

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It’s your chance to be featured on the cover of our 2018 Information Guide S e e p a g e 9 f o r mo re in f o rmatio n .

Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Camper Information Campfires Please do not cut trees, use dead limbs, or fallen branches as they are all part of the wonderful ecosystem of the park! Firewood can be purchased at the Ontario Parks Store and at the Permit Office. Firewood bags are not reused or recyclable so please place in the garbage.

can also refill your trailer with fresh water at this location. We have installed an additional water fill station with two taps in the beach trailer parking lot (Lot #10). Have consideration for the park environment and your fellow campers by ensuring that grey water is disposed of at the trailer dumping station.

Lost and Found If any items are lost or found throughout your stay, please come to the Permit Office to report or turn in items. We will keep record of all lost items and contact you if they are found.

Garbage and Recycling As of January 2017, all garbage must be placed in clear bags as required by the City of Kawartha Lakes. One small privacy bag (shopping/grocery bag) is permitted in each clear bag for personal items. Please do not burn garbage. Campsites must be kept clean, with garbage and recycling secured away from animals at all times. There is no garbage or recycling pickup at campsites. Garbage and recycling must be taken to the central depot near the traffic circle. (See map for location). Garbage and recycling should be disposed of as it accumulates to prevent animal attraction. New this year, we’ve installed solar powered lights at the garbage depot for your safety and convenience.

Pets Pets are welcome to visit our park with their families! For their safety and the safety of others, pets must be kept on a leash that is no more than two meters in length at ALL times. Dogs may only swim at the designated dog beach and canoe launch area and are prohibited from the main day use beach, comfort stations, and showers. Please keep pets quiet and under control so they do not disturb other campers and never leave pets unattended. Please clean up after your pet; doggy bags are available free at the Permit Office. Laundry Laundromat facilities and soap vending machines are conveniently located at all four Comfort Stations. (See map for locations). Change is available at all retail locations. Drinking water Taps for drinking water are located throughout the campgrounds and day use areas. You will find one a short distance from your campsite. Balsam’s water is potable and routinely tested for water quality assurance. (Check the map for exact locations nearest to you). PLEASE DO NOT WASH YOUR DISHES OR YOUR PET AT DRINKING WATER TAPS! Grey Water Grey water is the wastewater from your sink or wash tub. Grey water contains food particles, grease, soap and dirt. This water is unhealthy and may attract wildlife therefore it must not be disposed of on or around your campsite. Dishes are NOT to be cleaned at any of the comfort stations. Please utilize a washbasin and dispose of grey water at any of the vault toilets or the trailer dumping station. Trailer Waste Trailer sewage may be dumped at the sanitation station located on the entrance road just before the permit office. You

Fishing Fishing is NOT permitted at the beach or canoe launch/pet exercise area located by the 500 series campsites. You may fish from shore at the boat launch docks or rent a canoe or kayak for more opportunities at catching the big one! Fishing rods and tackle are available at Boat Rental if you would like to try your hand at fishing. Fishing licenses are required to all persons ages 18-64. Picnic Shelter Reservations Our park has three picnic shelters located near the beach area that are available for daily rentals. These picnic shelters are great for family reunions and special events. Due to the inability to guarantee parking, picnic shelter reservations cannot be made on long weekends. All vehicles must purchase a daily vehicle permit upon entry of the park. Please call or visit the park office for more information, or to make a reservation. Radio Free Areas Eco-Sites, Hawthorn Valley, Mapleview and Cedar Grove are all designated radio free campgrounds. In these areas the playing of music on a phone, tablet, stereo, CD player, iPod, or the use of TV and other electronic devices is prohibited. Attention Campers: Please be advised that we will be renumbering our campground in order to make navigation easier and more efficient for our visitors. This change will take effect in the 2018 season. Please be sure to check the new map in Jan 2018 to verify the new number of your favourite site before confirming your reservation. Along with this change we would like your help to name a few sections of the Lakeshore campground. Please visit the Ontario Parks Store if you would like to participate in this initiative.

Welcome to Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Nicole Hamley


Whether you are a first timer or returning visitor, Balsam Lake Provincial Park has the making of a memorable vacation. The park offers hardwood forests, wildflower meadows, White Spruce and Red Pine plantations and everything in between. Challenge yourself to hike our trails where you will experience the unique topography glaciation left us millions of years ago. Did I mention we have a lake? Balsam Lake offers many exciting opportunities to fulfill your recreational needs including endless boating opportunities as a part of the Trent Severn Waterway. Our beach offers endless opportunities to enjoy the sun, build a work of art in the sand, listen to the waves, or simply sit back and enjoy a well-earned day off. If fishing is your passion, Balsam Lake supports a healthy sport fishing population and is renowned for its Muskellunge. If you didn’t come prepared, our Boat Rental can lend you fishing gear through the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ Tackle Share program or rent canoes, paddle boards, kayaks, water hammocks, and pedal boats. For 2017 Balsam Lake staff put an emphasis on protecting and restoring our natural environment. We removed unutilized asphalt surfaces and replaced with native trees and ground cover. In 2016 we established our tree nursery to aid in our restoration efforts, and will continue to expand this for 2017. Over the coming months, you will continue to see our efforts in reducing our carbon footprint, and restoring select manicured areas throughout the park. If you are interested in participating in these efforts, talk to our Biologist or Natural Heritage Education Leader about potential opportunities. Our priority is to help you have a safe, pleasant, and enjoyable experience for the duration of your visit. If there are ideas to improve our services we welcome your feedback as we strive for customer service excellence. Thank you for visiting and I hope you have an enjoyable and memorable stay. Jason Dwyer

Wondering what to do with your empty propane cylinder? Keep our parks beautiful, safe and litter-free! Single use (non-refillable) propane cylinders should be deposited in Orange Drop collection cages found in many provincial parks. Single use cylinders may also be brought to an Orange Drop collection site. Visit and search by postal code to find out where to drop-off your cylinders and other household hazardous waste. Refillable tanks should be refilled and reused as many times as it is safe to do so. Safely disposing of your propane cylinders ensures that any remaining gases will be captured and the metal, valves and other elements will be recovered and reused. Orange Drop is operated by Stewardship Ontario, the industry-funding organization responsible for managing household hazardous waste such as propane cylinders, single-use batteries, empty oil containers and other products that require special care for recycling or safe disposal.

Because of risks to people and the environment: • Don’t discharge leftover propane into the atmosphere, even if the cylinder comes with a device to do this. • Don’t deposit any propane cylinders into your blue box. • Don’t put cylinders in the garbage. When it comes to the environment, we all have a responsibility!

Park Superintendent Balsam Lake, Indian Point and Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Parks

Wh a t C an I R ecycle ? • Glass Bottles and Jars • Polycoat - milk and juice cartons, Tetra-Paks (drinking boxes), fibre coffee cups and fibre ice cream containers • Metal Cans (Steel and Aluminum) •A  luminum Foil Containers • Plastic Bags and Film • Clamshell type clear containers • Plastic bottles, jugs, tubs and lids with a recycle symbol of 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7. • Styrofoam Containers – Foam cups, plates, white fast food containers, meat trays and egg cartons. • Paper, Boxboard, Cardboard

MNRF #4417 (25K P.R. 17 05 09) ISSN 1486-1305 ISBN 978-1-4868-0173-2 (2017 ed.) © 2017 Government of Ontario Printed in Canada


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Planning Your Stay Campsite Registration Call 1-888-ONT-PARK or visit to reserve your campsite. Reservations can be made up to 5 months in advance of your arrival. Balsam Lake is 85% reservable and 15% non-reservable. All sites become 100% reservable Sunday at midnight for the following week. Victoria Day and Labour Day long weekends are 100% reservable. Occupying Your Campsite • Maximum of 6 people per campsite. This total includes children of ANY AGE. •A  ll guests in the park after 10pm must be registered. • Up to 3 pieces of shelter equipment and one dining shelter are allowed per site. Only one camping trailer is permitted per campsite. • Please display the white copy of your permit on your campsite post and the pink copy on the dash of your vehicle at all times. •W  e appreciate your feedback! Please deposit your comment card and expired permits in the Expired Permit

Box on your left hand side when exiting the park. •A  ll vehicles require a valid permit. The purchase of your campsite includes the cost for one vehicle only; any other vehicles require an Additional Vehicle Permit. •Y  ou are permitted a maximum of two vehicles parked on your campsite at any given time. Any additional vehicles must park in a designated parking lot ($30 fine for violations). Renewing and Vacating Your Site • CHECK OUT TIME IS 2pm. Your permit will allow you to remain in the park until 10pm. • If you want to renew your site, you must renew the day prior to departure. At midnight, all sites scheduled to vacate will be made available to new campers. • If you have to leave early and shorten your stay, you must check out at the park office prior to noon to be eligible for a refund. BOTH copies of your permits (pink and white copy) must be given to the gate attendant at the time of departure in order to receive your refund.

Balsam Lake Cottage Rental This recently upgraded 8-person cottage provides a unique park experience with all the convenience of home. Located just a short walk to the beach, all you need to bring is food, bedding, towels, toiletries, and your bathing suit. Features: • Four fully furnished bedrooms - 3 NEW double beds and a NEW bunk bed with 1 double & 1 twin • 2 bathrooms •T  V, satellite, DVD player •A  ir conditioning and NEW Electric fireplace • NEW Kitchen - open concept with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and dishwasher • Games room •W  alkout to a large deck, private backyard, BBQ, fire pit, and picnic table Rates: June 17 – September 2 (Saturday to Saturday only): $1695.00 per week May 12 – June 16 and September 3 – October 8 (Nightly): $242.95 per night For reservations call Ontario Parks @ 1-888-668-7275

Balsam Lake’s Top 10 See if you can check off all these fun activities during your stay!

o Cool off and go for a swim! o Hike a trail o Fish from the shore at the boat launch o Canoe or kayak along the shoreline o Check out a Natural Heritage Education


Looking for a little taste of the backcountry, without really having to rough it? Try our Eco-Sites! We have 5 sites to choose from, with walk-in access ranging from 100m - 500m. They offer a more private, semi-wilderness camping experience, surrounded by shady trees on large sites!

Park Fees: C a mp s ite Rates : Regular Senior


Premium Electrical





$46.90 $37.50


Non-Electrical $41.25 $33.00


Additional Vehicle

$13.00 $10.40


Res ervation Fees : Call Centre


Non-Refundable Reservation Fee Cancellation Fee (min) Change Reservation Fee (min)







Additional Vehicle



Day Us e Rates : Daily Vehicle Permits (DVPs)


Senior Citizen DVPs


Disabled Person DVPs


Summer Seasonal Pass (Apr 2017 – Nov 2017)


Annual Pass (Apr 2017 – Mar 2018)


Picn ic Shelter Res ervation Rate:

$100 per day Excluding long weekends. All vehicles require a vehicle permit.

Join us in August for the


o Go for a bike ride (rentals available at the Ontario Parks Store)

o Challenge your balance with paddle boarding o Birdwatching – See if you can spot 5 different birds

o Roast marshmallows over the campfire o Stargazing – try a nighttime beach walk for a great view of the night sky!


All photos by Balsam Lake Staff unless otherwise indicated


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Rentals and Retail R ates :

Boat Rentals Come visit our boat rental found directly on the beach to rent a canoe, kayak, pedal boat, paddle board or water hammock. We also have ice cream, cold refreshments, beach supplies, live bait, and more! Life jackets and fishing rods are also available to borrow. A credit card for a $100 security deposit and a valid photo ID are required for all rentals. Park Smart! PFD Loaner Program Life Jackets can be borrowed from the Boat Rental shop by leaving a deposit on a credit card. Infant to adult XL sizes are available. There are no lifeguards on the beach. Parents are responsible for their children and should not let children in or near the water without proper adult supervision.

2 person canoe

$20 for 2 hours

$45 for day

$75 for 24 hours

1 person kayak

$15 for 2 hours

$45 for day

2 person kayak

$20 for 2 hours

$45 for day

2 person pedal boat

$20 for 2 hours

$45 for day

4 person pedal boat

$25 for 2 hours

$50 for day

Paddle Board

$15 for 2 hours

$45 for day

Water Hammock

$15 for 2 hours

$45 for day

Ontario Parks Store FORGOT SOMETHING? Come visit the park Ontario Parks Store for firewood, ice, camping supplies, coffee, ice cream, Ontario Parks merchandise, gifts and much more! The Ontario Parks Store is centrally located between the day use area and Lakeshore campground.

Bike Rentals!

Cost: $15 for 2 hours or $45 for the day Available at the park Ontario Parks Store A credit card for a $100 security deposit and a valid photo ID are required for all rentals.

Hours of O pera t ion

Boat Rental OPEN June 23 - Sept 3 Daily 9am-7pm Spring & Fall: Canoe rentals available at Permit Office

Ontario Parks Store OPEN June 23 - Sept 3 Mon/Tues: 12pm-7pm; Wed/Thurs: 8am-7pm Fri/Sat/Sun: 8am-10pm Spring & Fall: Retail items available at Permit Office

Borrow Fishing Equipment for FREE

Permit Office: May 12 - June 22 & Sept 4 - Oct 9 Sun - Thurs: 8am-4pm; Fri/Sat: 8am-10pm Long Weekends: Fri/Sat: 8am-midnight; Sun: 8am-10pm June 23 - Sept 3 Sun - Thurs: 8am-10pm; Fri/Sat: 8am-midnight Long Weekends: Sun: 8am-midnight


For a complete list of 140 loaner sites, dates and locations for Travelling Tackleshare events please visit:

Brought to you by:








1) There are no lifeguards on our beaches. Parents, children are your responsibility. 2) Always supervise children and non-swimmers. This means watching them every second they are in the water. And when water is rough – STAY OUT! 3) Have children and non-swimmers wear a PFD when near the water. 4) Never swim alone. Everyone should always swim with a buddy. 5) Learn how to swim and learn prevention, water survival and rescue skills. 6) Offshore winds blow inflatables out into dangerous waters. Use inflatable rafts or toys in shallow water areas only. When wading into deeper water, why not swim in towards the shore? 7) Be responsible. Avoid alcohol when involved in waterrelated recreational activities. 8) Protect your neck. Never dive into shallow water from docks or shallow water. 9) If you suspect a drowning or any other type of water emergency, call 911 and/or contact the Park Office immediately.



Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Natural Heritage Education O

ur Natural Heritage Education staff offer a variety of fun and entertaining events all summer long for park visitors of all ages! If you’re interested in learning about the wildlife, plants, and ecology of Balsam Lake or the history of the surrounding area, be sure to check out our popular interpretive programs. Weekly schedules available at the Permit Office, Boat Rental, Ontario Parks Store, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Hey There Nature Lovers!

• Amphitheatre Presentations featuring theatrical shows, musical concerts, slideshows and film nights • Guided Hikes along the Lookout Trail - discover nature up close! • Children’s Programs with fun games, activities, and challenges • Campfire Programs on the beach in the evening • Interpretive Displays at The Nature Kiosk on weekend afternoons - Ask A Naturalist about the park!

Hey Kids! Do you want to be a Junior Naturalist? Junior Naturalists care about the park and the environment. They are eager to learn more about nature and help protect our park for the future! • Start by picking up a passport and activity sheet. • Earn stamps on your passport by attending NHE programs or by completing activity sheets. • Earn 3 stamps to become a Junior Naturalist Level 1. There are now 8 levels of Junior Naturalist at Balsam Lake, try to earn them all! • For each level completed you will receive an official certificate, a small prize and a chance to enter our annual draw for a fun-filled prize pack.

Chrissy Slykhuis

Junior Naturalist supplies available FREE at park Ontario Parks Store June 23-Sept 3 and at Permit Office from May 12-June 22 and Sept 4-Oct 9. July 1 & 2 - Beach Yoga July 7 - Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales Concert July 13 - Canines in Conservation with Conservation Officer Colin Cotnam July 19 - The Amazing Race July 21 - #HPHP Free Day Use - Planting Blitz Volunteer to help create wildlife habitat! July 26 - Learn to Fish* July 29 - Mysterious Moths with Maurice Bottos Aug 5 - Ken Ramsden Concert Aug 11 - The Amazing Race Aug 16 - Learn to Fish* Aug 19 - Wild Ontario Live Birds of Prey show! Oct 7 & 8 - Halloween & Thanksgiving Events Pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating & more!

Special Events

*Contact to sign up for Learn to Fish or for more information on park events.

Balsam Lake Farmers Markets – Shop Local!


n the spirit of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement, we are excited to announce our 2nd year hosting Farmers Markets at the beach! Featuring local vendors selling baked goods, snacks, handmade artistic items, decor, souvenirs, and much more! Valid day use permit or camping permit required for entry to the park and market. Contact to apply as a vendor. July 9, July 23, Aug 20, Sept 3 10am-3pm at The Beach Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Teachers & Youth Group Leaders: We offer outdoor education programs that coincide with the Ontario curriculum for school groups and youth groups. Why not bring your group of students for a fun-filled day in nature’s outdoor classroom? Or invite a Park Naturalist to your school - we’ll bring a nature-based program to you!

Stay up to date with all our Park Events! • Event schedules posted weekly throughout summer • Share your camping memories and photos @BalsamLake_PP @BalsamLake_PP


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Our Environment Old Parking Lots into New Forests

Rebuilding Your Park


ver the next few years our Park will change. If you are a park visitor, native plant, or native animal it will be a change for the better. To meet Ontario Parks’ primary objective (protection and restoration of our natural environment), and to reduce our impact on climate change, Balsam Lake Provincial Park’s staff, visitors, and local schools are undertaking multiple projects to improve the ecological health of our park. The Park has a new native tree nursery. The new ‘dark-sky friendly’ LED lighting used in the garbage drop-off yard is solar powered. Similar ‘dark-

sky friendly’ lighting can be found around the permit office and will gradually replace all lights across the Park. Old unused roads and parking lots are being removed and new forests are being planted. Sections of the conifer plantations (planted in the 1960s) are being thinned to both improve the health of the trees and stimulate natural regeneration of Oak and Maple forests. Destructive invasive plants are being removed from sensitive habitats like the Alvar (rare grassland) near Cedar Grove Campground. You too, can help: a) remember not to burn dead wood found around your campsite – all that material is habitat for wildlife and the future soil for our trees, b) observe and photograph but never feed wildlife, c) report interesting wildlife sightings to Park staff, d) attend an interpretive program to learn more about your Park, and e) volunteer to help restore the health of your Park. In addition to improving services for visitors, we are rebuilding the health of the Park you have come to visit. – Phil Careless, Park Biologist. Join us for a Planting Blitz on July 21 FREE Day Use #HPHP! Volunteers wanted to help us create wildlife habitat by planting trees and shrubs, and removing invasive species.

Mysterious Moths


oths seem to be mysterious to many, only emerging under the cover of darkness and usually only seen by house porch lights. Yet these sometimes plain looking insects play an integral role in our ecosystem, as both pollinators or part of the food chain. It’s Balsam Lake’s ideal location which results in a rich diversity of both northern and southern plant species. Consequently, Balsam Lake Provincial Park is home to well over 250 species of moths. The spectacular light green Luna moth (Actias luna) is one of the largest moths in Ontario and can be seen flying around park lights during the month of June. In mid-summer, the 7 stunning species of tiger moths take flight, including the Great tiger moth (Artia caja) which is common in open fields. Then in August, the Underwing moths, named because of their bright red, orange and yellow hindwings, became abundant feeding on tree sap. The park has 22 of the 40 underwing species found in Ontario which includes the uncommon Semirelict Underwing (Catocala semirelicta) which feeds on Balsam poplar and the rare Old maid underwing (C. badia coelebs ) which feeds on sweet gale. Although butterflies get most of the headlines, at dusk take time and look around the park lights and flowering plants. You may be surprised at the wonders one can find. - Maurice Bottos, Entomologist. Learn more at his fascinating talk about Mysterious Moths on July 29, 2017 at the amphitheatre!

Yellow-banded Underwing

Sleepy Underwing

Luna moth

Yellow-banded Underwing (C. cerogama) Sleepy Underwing (C. concubens) Luna moth (A. luna) Photos by Maurice Bottos

Camping in Black Bear Country


or most park visitors, seeing a Black Bear in its natural environment is an exciting experience. However, the excitement diminishes when that black bear is rummaging through your cooler or tent, in search of food. A bear’s life revolves around food. Since bears hibernate and don’t eat for up to five months during the winter, they need to find enough food during the rest of the year to restore their fat reserves. Black Bears prefer to eat aspen leaves, nuts, berries, fruit, fish, grubs, and insects. Human and bear conflicts occur when bears are attracted to food smells and rewarded with an easy meal. Some bears lose their fear and start visiting

campsites regularly looking for something to eat. These bears can become persistent and destructive nuisances. Capturing and relocating bears has only limited success, often, the only option is to destroy nuisance bears. Keeping your campsite clean is the best way to avoid this scenario. Keep all food, coolers, and strong smelling items (shampoo, scented candles, etc.) stored in your vehicle or trailer. Clean up immediately after meals, and remember to drop off waste at the central garbage & recycling depot regularly. By keeping your campsite clean and properly disposing of garbage you can minimize or avoid bear problems, ensuring your camping vacation is a safe and memorable experience!

Poison Ivy – Avoid the Itch! Leaves of Three, Let it be


oison Ivy is a native plant that contributes to the biodiversity of the ecosystem and grows abundantly in Balsam Lake Provincial Park. There are over 90 species of Ontario wildlife that feed on, or nest in Poison Ivy. White-tailed Deer will eat the leaves, while mice and squirrels eat the berries and

Elin Marley

seeds. Eastern Cottontails feed on the twigs and bark and at least 60 species of birds have been reported to eat the whitish-green berries.

Poison Ivy can be identified by a cluster of three leaves with the middle leaflet having a longer stem than the two side leaflets. Leaves can either be smooth or jagged, shiny or dull. If in doubt, remember: Leaves of three, let it be! You can avoid contact by not wandering the bush around your campsite and by staying on maintained trails. If you think you have come into contact with poison ivy, make sure to remove contaminated clothing carefully to avoid spreading the plant oils. Wash all exposed skin with dish soap to help remove the oil. Reactions to poison ivy can include a rash, swelling, blisters, and itching. These reactions can happen within ten minutes, or could take as long as a few days to develop. Most reactions will only last about five to twelve days, but an extreme reaction may last up to one month!

Bears are not picky eaters Be BEAR WISE. Just like us, bears love hotdogs roasted over a campfire. But they will also chow down on candy wrappers, fish bait and toothpaste. Remember to clean your cooking equipment and secure food, garbage, and toiletries away from your tent. For more information on camping and bears, visit

Always call 911 in an emergency Call 1-866-514-2327 to report a sighting • 1-866-514-2327 • TTY 705-945-7641


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

July 21, 2017


Go For A Hike!

Hiking Trails


et out and experience the beauty of our park first hand! We now have 4 trails to choose from. Do you want to learn more about the ecology and history of the park? Join a Park Naturalist for a guided hike scheduled weekly throughout the summer.

Lookout Trail | 2.5 km Loop

Last season we installed 12 interpretive signs along the Lookout Trail highlighting unique ecological features to watch for things like woodpeckers, ferns, wildflowers, trees, birds, glacial deposits and much more! The Lookout Trail is a showcase for post-glacial features, passing over an esker and kame hills. You will travel through a variety of different forest types including young mixed forests, a mature hardwood stand, and cedar swamps. Halfway through the hike, there is an open grassland perfect for viewing wildflowers in mid-summer.

Legend Lookout Trail Lorie’s Link Plantation Trail Park roads

Lorie’s Link | 2.7 km Linear Trail

Distances on map are shown in metres

The first kilometre of the trail follows the Lookout Trail up to the Lookout Point where the trail splits. The Lookout Point is at the top of the tallest kame hill providing a great view of the Balsam Lake landscape. Lorie’s Link continues over a series of small hills, passing by beautiful meadows of wildflowers, a pine plantation, and finishing off near the park entrance where you’ll have the option to continue hiking along the Plantation Trail, or head back along the main park road (1.2 km).

Plantation Trail 2.4 km Lower Loop or 3.6 km Upper Loop

The Plantation Trail passes through a variety of wooded habitats from mixed deciduous forests to stands of White Spruce and Red Pine plantations. During the late 1800s this area was logged by early settlers and in the early 1960s, efforts were made to reforest the area. Pick up a trail guide from the trailhead to learn more. On the upper loop you will pass by a pond which is home to many creatures - turtles can often be seen basking in the sun and several species of frogs, snakes, and salamanders make their home in or nearby this aquatic paradise.

Lakeshore Trail | 1 km Walking/Bike Path (see campground map - Page 12)

New this year! We’ve transformed an old roadway into a new trail. We’ve removed old asphalt and planted trees along the way. This is a wonderful scenic path that can accommodate bikes, strollers, and family fun. With beautiful views through the trees of the Balsam Lake waterfront, this path is a nice easy walk to the beach from the Lakeshore campground.

Balsam Lake Provincial Park Chrissy Slykhuis

For those looking for a longer adventure, try hiking the Plantation Trail until it meets the park road, then cross over and hike Lorie’s Link to finish off at the Lookout Trail parking lot. This entire loop is 5.2 km and takes 2 - 3 hours, giving you the full experience of the variety of habitats within our park.

Fall Colours One of the best times of year for camping and hiking is the fall. The leaves are changing colours, the mosquitos are gone, the days are still warm, and the nights are cool. Less people around means more opportunities to see wildlife too! With an abundance of maples and other leafy trees, Balsam Lake has a dazzling array of colours in late September and early October. Try a new camping experience this year - join us up until Thanksgiving weekend and experience the beautiful fall colours!

Join the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement!


o you ever wonder why you feel so great after a walk in the woods or a bike ride along your favourite path? Or how much better you feel just looking at the trees outside your window? Is it your imagination? Or is it something deeper, more visceral, an actual physical response? Spending time with nature actually helps us live happier, healthier, longer lives. In fact, scientists have now demonstrated in more than 200 studies worldwide that nature is the “cure” for what ails us, be it stress,

anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorders, high blood pressure, recovering from surgery, and even difficult birthing! If you want to feel better and help conserve the beauty of nature around you, why not write yourself a prescription to join the Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement? #HPHP is about reclaiming our connection with nature and reversing the devastating effects of nature deficit disorder, a globallyrecognized term describing the adverse personal, social, and societal impacts of

disconnecting with nature (also known as texting, gaming, posting, and binge watching too much). Ontario Parks invites you to celebrate the many health benefits of spending time in nature on July 21, 2017. All operating provincial parks in Ontario will waive day-use fees and host special events and activities that encourage people to visit parks and be active. For more information on the celebration visit:


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park Q

One of the Last Wild Rivers in Central Ontario…

You Can Help Protect it!

ueen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park is an 82,793 acre (33,505 hectare) natural environment class park spanning from Haliburton County on the east side of the park through the northern townships of the City of Kawartha Lakes; to the District Municipality of Muskoka on the west.

Opportunities for nature appreciation and canoeing exist throughout the park, as well as over 65 kilometres of day hiking or backpacking on the provincial Ganaraska Hiking Trail’s “Wilderness Section” ( QEII Wildlands is a non-operating park with no maintained public facilities or services. Visitors should be prepared to use appropriate route finding and safety practices as interior travel beyond access points requires navigating in remote semi-wilderness environments. Cellular service cannot be relied upon as a means of communication or navigation in many areas of the park.

Access points are located at: 1115 Devils Lake Road - Township of Minden Hills 1526 Black River Road - City of Kawartha Lakes Additional information is available by calling Balsam Lake Provincial Park at 705-454-3324


he Couchiching Conservancy has a rare opportunity to protect over 4 kilometres of Black River shoreline. Working with Ontario Parks, the Conservancy is racing to raise $580,000 to purchase this parcel to fill a significant gap in Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. The river runs through the core of the 729 acre property and features deep sands that are uncommon in the rest of the park. Hardwood forest and wetland habitats make it a Mecca for wildlife and birds. Hiking, canoeing and kayaking will be available, with linkages to the Ganaraska Trail and Trans Canada Trail.

You can help bring this beautiful river run under permanent protection by acting today. Make a charitable donation by visiting or by calling Tanya Clark at the office (705-326-1620) Share with your friends and family that this property needs protecting The Couchiching Conservancy is a non-profit, non-government land trust dedicated to protecting nature for future generations. – Tanya Clark, Couchiching Conservancy

Name That Critter!

Can you name all of these cool critters that can be found in Balsam Lake Provincial Park?

Mikayla Rogers Mikayla Rogers

Answers: 1. White-tailed deer, 2. Luna moth caterpillar, 3. Northern Saw-whet owl, 4. Gray treefrog, 5. Red Squirrel, 6. Blue-spotted salamander, 7. Blue Jay, 8. Milksnake, 9. Leopard frog.


Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Balsam Lake Provincial Park Photo Contest Do you want a chance to

WIN 2 FREE NIGHTS of CAMPING? Submit your best photos before October 10th, 2017 for your chance to win! 1st Place Prize: 2 nights free camping in 2018 Top 3 photos will be featured in the 2018 Park Tabloid and on Facebook and Twitter. Photos must be taken within the park and from the 2017 season. Photos submitted to the contest may be used in future park publications and social media. High-resolution photos (minimum of 300 dpi) will be accepted for printing.

Please include your name and permission to use your photo for print and social media:

2016 Contest Honourable Mention Gary Myers

July 21, 2017



2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation in Canada. As one of the founding members of Confederation, Ontario is celebrating with events and investments across the province showcasing Ontario’s innovative spirit, culture and diversity, and leaving a lasting legacy for the next 150 years. Visit to learn more.

A single piece of firewood can destroy millions of trees. Did you know that transporting firewood allows invasive species such as the emerald ash borer to spread, as they hide under the bark where you can’t see them? Something as simple as bringing your own firewood when you travel to or from your favourite campsite could threaten and destroy thousands, even millions, of trees. Please leave firewood at home to prevent the spread of these pests. A better alternative is to purchase firewood locally around the park; however please check for pest infestation and avoid purchasing ash firewood. To help slow the spread of emerald ash borer Ontario Parks will continue to seize firewood transported from all areas regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). You could face penalties of up to $50,000 and/or prosecution if you move firewood out of an area regulated for a quarantined pest without prior approval from the CFIA. For more information and the latest updates about emerald ash borer and regulated areas, please visit or contact the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

1. Built on bare soil or exposed rock. 2. from the wind. 3. Located at least from the forest, overhanging branches or other flammable material. 4. Small. A small fire is best for cooking and is easier to control and put out. The forest is no place for a bonfire. : soak 5. with water then stir the ashes with a stick or shovel to uncover hot coals, and soak again.

6. A pail of and a shovel at hand to control the fire. 7. them at all times. For more information contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Fire Office. © Registered Trademark of Partners in Protection Association.

Paid for by the Government of Ontario

Template 2A. FireSmart Campfire Ad colour (English) /ontarioparks /ontarioparks Revised January 2015

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Curve Lake First NatioN welcomes you to the


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M’s Bake Shop Mirella DeLuca


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Summary Summary ofof

Provincial Provincial Park Park Offences Offences T

registered permit holder is responsible for the conduct of all campsite occupants and could be charged with an offence based on the actions of the occupants of the registered campsite. The PPCRA and other legislation governing behaviour in provincial parks can be reviewed at a provincial park office and on the e-laws website

HERE IS ONE BASIC rule in Ontario Parks: Have respect and consideration for your fellow visitors and the park environment. The following table lists some of the more common laws enforced in provincial parks. Under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (PPCRA), the



Alcoholic Beverages • Have or consume liquor in open container other than residence (campsite) • Have open container of liquor in vehicle • Person under 19 years having liquor Rowdyism / Noise • Use discriminatory, harassing, abusive or insulting language or gestures • Make excessive noise • Disturb other persons in park Storing Wildlife Attractants • Unlawfully store wildlife attractants

Refuse • Litter or cause litter • Fail to keep campsite / facility clean • Fail to restore campsite / facility to original condition Vehicles • Unlawfully take motor vehicle into park or possess or operate it • Speeding –more than 20 km/hr • Operate vehicle off roadway • Disobey stop sign Parking • Park vehicle in area not designated • Fail to display permit on parked vehicle Pets • Permit domestic animal to be without leash • Permit domestic animal to make excessive noise • Permit domestic animal to be in designated swimming area or on a beach • Permit domestic animal to disturb people • Permit domestic animal to be in a posted prohibited area

$125.00 $215.00 $125.00 $180.00



at . These laws are enforced by Provincial Park Wardens who have all the power and the authority of a member of the Ontario Provincial Police within a provincial park. Many of the listed offences could result in eviction from a provincial park. Evicted visitors are prohibited from re-entering

any provincial park for a period of 72 hours. Also, be aware that parking tickets are being issued within the park to help manage our parking problems. Park your vehicles in non-prohibited areas and be sure to display a valid park permit on the dash of your vehicle to avoid getting a parking ticket.

Explanation If you are 19 years of age or older, you are permitted to possess or consume alcoholic beverages ONLY on a registered campsite. Nowhere else in the park are open alcoholic beverages permitted. Provincial parks are established to provide a setting for peaceful and natural experiences. Rowdy behaviour which includes excessive noise, obscene language, or gestures, is not permitted. You cannot disturb any other person or interfere with their enjoyment of the park any time of the day or night. Do not maintain or store potential wildlife attractants, including food or beverages, food preparation or storage equipment, cooking devices or utensils, garbage or recycling products, scented products or any other item that is likely to attract wildlife like raccoons. Deposit all garbage and litter in the containers provided to discourage wildlife from becoming pests. Campsites and/or facilities must be clean at all times to eliminate potential hazards to park visitors and wildlife.

$155.00 $125.00 $155.00 $110.00

Off-Road vehicles (ATV’s) are not permitted in provincial parks because of the environmental damage they cause. Licensed motor vehicles may be operated on roads only. All provisions of the Highway Traffic Act apply on all park roads. Each vehicle in the park must have a valid permit. Bicycles are only allowed on park roads and are not permitted on park hiking trails.


All vehicles must be parked in a designated area and display a valid park permit. You must prominently display your valid park permit on your dashboard.


For health and safety reasons, your pet must be under control and on a leash not exceeding 2 metres at all times. You must ensure your pet does not damage or interfere with campsite vegetation or wildlife. You must ensure your pet does not interfere with others’ enjoyment of the park. Pets are not permitted in the swimming area, on the beach, or in a posted prohibited area at any time. In addition you must clean up after your pet.

Environmental Protection • Damage / deface / remove crown property • Disturb / harm / remove natural object • Cut / remove / harm plant or tree • Kill plant or tree • Disturb / kill / remove / harm / harass animal

$155.00 $155.00 $155.00 $180.00 $180.00

To maintain the park as a natural setting, the removal of natural objects is prohibited. All vegetation, wildlife, and natural features are protected in provincial parks. This includes the cutting or picking of any live growth and the damage of any natural or other object. You may not take any fallen or dead wood from a provincial park for the purpose of a campfire or other such intent.

Camping Permit • Fail to vacate & remove property from campsite on permit expiry • Unlawfully occupy campsite • Camp over time limit

$95.00 $155.00 $95.00

You are required to vacate and remove all property from your campsite by 2:00 PM on the date your permit expires. The maximum length of stay is 23 consecutive nights and 16 consecutive nights on an interior campsite, to ensure park visitors have an equal opportunity to enjoy our campsites.

Camping Equipment / Persons • Place more than 3 pieces of shelter equipment on campsite • Place more than one tent-trailer, house trailer, or self-propelled camping unit on campsite • Excessive number of persons occupying a campsite. Campfires • Start fire other than in fireplace or designated place • Start fire where notice of fire hazard is posted Fireworks • Possess fireworks • Ignite fireworks Hours of Closing • Enter park after closing hours • Remain in park after closing Firearms and Hunting • Use firearm in a provincial park • Possess firearm in a provincial park



Without a limit on the amount of camping gear allowed, campsites would quickly deteriorate, becoming larger, eventually destroying the surrounding vegetation. The maximum number of campers allowed per campsite and interior campsite is six persons at Charleston Lake. Fireplaces are designated by park staff for safety reasons. Restricting fires to these locations greatly reduces the risk of forest fires. At any time during a fire ban, no person is permitted to have a fire unless otherwise stated by the Park Superintendent.

$125.00 $180.00

Possession or use of fireworks is prohibited in provincial parks at all times. They constitute a fire hazard and disturb visitors who wish to enjoy the park in a peaceful manner.


Only registered campers are allowed in a provincial park during the posted hours of closing (10 p.m. to 8 a.m.).

$180 $125

Possession and use of a firearm in the park is not permitted. Hunting is not permitted except in a specific area (i.e. Blue Mountain Area) of Charleston Lake Provincial Park and only in accordance with provincial and federal laws.

Fines are subject to change. This is not a complete listing of offences; please refer to the specific legislation.

11 13 Emergency Need A Warden?


Usually the best way to obtain the assistance of a staff member, especially a Park Warden, is to go to the Gatehouse where the message can be relayed via our park radios. However, it can be difficult to contact a Warden after the Gatehouse is closed. This year we are trying something new to allow campers to contact a Warden in the case of emergencies or other problems when the Gatehouse is closed. We have installed a “Need a Warden” drop box by the information board at the Gatehouse. If you need to contact a Warden after hours please go to this box and follow the directions. Our Wardens will be checking this regularly will respond to If Youand Need your request as soon as they Assistance become aware of it. This box Wardens are here help will be locked so dotonot worry should you have about security. Thenoise more complaints,you missing persons, information can provide, safety any other the betterconcerns preparedorour issue wewill maybeassist with. Wardens to provide Call 705-928-5353. In an assistance. emergency situation or if you Our number one goal warden, is to cannot reach a park ensure pleaseour callcampers 911. have a safe and enjoyable stay, so please notify staff of any issues you Lost children may be having immediately. Every year we have children We cannot deal with the issue that wander away from their if we are not notified until the campsites. It is important to end of your stay, or after those be prepared for this because causing the problem have left. children naturally love to explore. Ensure they learn their campsite number. If your child is lost, report it to park staff immediately. You may also contact a park warden directly at 705-928-5353. We will need as much inforProvincial Parks of the mation from youareaspart possible, fabric of Ontario; they’re part including the following: of our history, our culture, our • Campsite number They play natural environment. and name child an• Age essential role inofpreserving special landscapes forwearing future • Clothing last seen generations. Every year • Last known location thousands of people make new memories, connect with It is important that onefamily and learnremains about theonnatural person your environment theychild visit a campsite inwhen case the park. The there. life of every returns Ontarian would be poorer without provincial parks. Severe weather Photo by Rick Brear

Balsam Lake Provincial Park Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Make a Lasting Gift to Ontario Parks

If you are in aistent or tent Ontario Parks funded trailer when strong differently than manywinds, tornado, lightning, or hailOnly begovernment departments. to aofhard-topped a gins smallmove portion the Ontario vehicle or take shelter at the Parks’ budget comes from nearest park facility. If provincial taxes. Most ofno our shelter comes is available the funding from find users, lowest-lying area, through day-use andcrouch camping down and protect head. fees, rentals, leases,your etc. This Always avoid taking shelter allows us to manage the dayunderoperations trees. If Environto-day of the parks ment Canada issues severe to system but limits our ability weather they will fund manywarnings deserving projects be posted at retail locations such as species at risk research, and comfort stations. improving trails, and providing educational programs for young people. Please consider supporting Ontario Parks through the /ontarioparks Lasting Gift program at /ontarioparks, whether it is a one-time donation, a gift to celebrate a loved one, or part of your estate planning. You can also directly support Charleston Lake Provincial Park by donating to the Friends of Charleston Lake Park.





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MAPLE VIEW 191 (RADIO FREE AREA) 189 190184 182 185 183 187 188 171 169 180 181 197196 170 186 179 167 168 195 194 193 178 165 177176 192 113 175 A I 166 163 111 114 174173 LAKESHORE 164 112 172 (SOUTH, CENTRAL,NORTH) 107 105 104 110 123 121 490 108 109106 119 103 93 95 96 97 124122 117 115 102 125 127 94 120 118 98 99 129131 116 156 126 40 39 100 101 2 A I 128130133 135137 139 38 37 141 t 60 58 157 155 ® 132134 36 35 153151 136 138 56 p 54 52 34 33 32 ! 149147 59 57 140 154 31 30 50 145 142 152 A 80 I 29 48 55 53 150 148 500 79 76 51 49 46 44 42 158 146 144143 75 72 501 47 45 159 160 A I I 43 41 82 71 68 161 162 A 25 24 81 78 28 27 26 67 77 74 1 64 63 61 73 23 92 70 69 ® t 5 4 9 10 15 16 91 90 66 p 21 22 ! 89 88 65 62 87 86 3 2 8 CANOE " 85 84 83 ) 7 6 13 14 19 20 504 1 507 509 LAUNCH 7B 11 12 17 18 502 503 A I 511 505 506 508 510 512 513


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This map should not be relied on as a precise indicator of routes or locations, nor as a guide to navigation. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) shall not be liable in any way for the use of, or reliance upon, this map or any information on this map.

Published 2017 Produced by: Balsam Lake Provincial Park


# Pets Not Allowed Í !

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Í Beach Area ! Pets Allowed


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Please Park in Designated Areas Only


Balsam Lake Provincial Park 2017 Information Guide  

Balsam Lake Provincial Park 2017 Information Guide