Sharbot Lake

Sharbot Lake in Ontario is a hidden gem with a charming lakeside village

Sharbot Lake in Ontario is an under-the-radar enchanting destination full of natural beauty that's often overlooked for more popular cottage country towns like Muskoka or Bancroft.

But if you're looking for a serene getaway with crystal-clear lakes, hiking trails, and sandy beaches, this little village has everything you need.

Located roughly 3 hours from Toronto, Sharbot Lake is tucked away in Frontenac County north of Kingston. Sitting right across from Sharbot Lake Provincial Park, it's perfect for outdoor lovers, or anyone simply looking to escape the city's hustle and bustle.

The village is a quaint hamlet that's home to roughly 1400 year-round residents, but its population more than doubles during the summer months.

With a few small businesses, restaurants, pubs, and shops, visiting the picturesque hamlet is a must before heading to explore the provincial park.

Spanning 80 hectares, the provincial park is composed of two primary basins, Sharbot Lake and Black Lake, both of which are surrounded by dense forests and the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield.

Of the two, Sharbot Lake is much larger, deeper, and more windy than Black Lake. Black Lake's sheltered waters make it more ideal for canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking, which you can rent equipment for right in the park.

There are also two sandy beaches on Black Lake, perfect for sunbathing or lounging on a summer day.

The park is a popular fishing destination, drawing anglers from surrounding areas who come to fish Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, and Northern Pike. 

Hikers can embark on two trails ranging in lengths, both with rewarding views.

The 1.2-km-long Discovery Trail brings you to the top of a cliff from which you can see both lakes, while the Ridgeview Trail is an easy 0.5 km-long, climbing the dividing ridge between the two lakes and arriving at an amazing panoramic view.

Thanks to its remote location and low light pollution, stargazing is also incredible at Sharbot Lake, offering stunning —and unobstructed!— views of the night sky.

If you'd like to dive deeper into the park, camping is one of the best ways to do it. There are over 150 campsites to choose from among the trees, with a centrally-located comfort station with showers and drinking water.

Camping reservations can be made directly on the Ontario Parks website.

If you're visiting for the day, you will also need a day-use permit, which can be purchased at the gate upon entry to the park.

Lead photo by

Sherry Desjardins


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