Charleston Lake Provincial Park

148 Woodvale Road, Lansdowne, ON K0E 1L0

Campground Overview

Charleston Lake Provincial Park has the well-earned reputation for being one of Ontario’s nicest parks for camping, fishing, swimming and paddling. The park hugs the west, east and south shores of Charleston Lake which stands at 9 miles long and 4 miles wide. The lake itself is full of islands, coves, reefs and the some of the clearest water you will see in Ontario. The scenery is rocky, rugged and full of forest as the landscape is an extension of the Canadian Shield. Great hiking trails, big family friendly campsites, excellent fishing and picturesque memories are just a few reasons to make this your next vacation destination.


Front Country/ Car Camping

Charleston offers a total of 236 campsites spread out over three campgrounds. The Bayside and Shady Ridge Campgrounds are nestled in a mature forest making most sites partially shaded. These two campgrounds are located next to the lake and Shady Ridge Campground is home to the gently sloping beach. It pays to check out the online maps for these two campgrounds as some of the sites closet to the beach offer little privacy. The Meadowlands Campground is just a short walk away from the water and is located in a younger forest therefore offering a few more sunny campsites. Each campground has a mixture of electrical and non-electrical sites and can accommodate camping equipment ranging from a tent to a large RV. All campgrounds offer treated drinking water and comfort stations with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities. Hiking trails, Nature Centre, Day Use area and Amphitheatre are only a short walk away.


The park also has 4 yurts available to rent as well as one rustic cabin, for those not keen on spending the night in a tent.


Charleston’s backcountry is a great choice for beginners. Backcountry camping is offered through 10 sites grouped into five clusters. All of the sites are located on the interior of the lake’s shore and must be reached by hike or water. There is a site for everyone, whether you want to take 10 minutes to hike in, or 2 hours. All of the sites come with elevated tent platforms, a fire pit and a picnic table. These sites are amazing for exploring another side of the park and getting a little extra privacy. If you are looking for remoteness make sure to get the Hidden Cove backcountry site where there is no one else around you.

How to book a campsite?

Both front country and backcountry campsites can be booked using Ontario Parks online reservation system. For backcountry, navigate to the tab ‘Backcountry’ in the reservation page, and for Yurts, navigate to ‘Roofed Accommodation’ section.

Things to Know

  1. Ice and firewood are available to buy at the gatehouse
  2. There is no park store within the park, so make sure you have all the items you needed bought prior to the trip
  3. For those with trailers/RV, the sanitation dump station has been redone and is easy to access from the Shady Ridge and Bayside campgrounds. To access from the Meadowlands campground use the trailer turn around near the road that goes to the Day use area
  4. The park has two designated swimming area, one is the beach in the day use area and the other one in Shady Ridge campground

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