Nestled in a quiet corner of Frontenac County, just off Highway 7 when travelling east towards Peterborough, Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is a great scenic camping area for anyone travelling off-the-beaten path in Central/Eastern Ontario for the first time. I have had the pleasure of camping at this Park several times over the years in both a pop-trailer and tent. Located a short 1.5 hours’ drive from Ottawa, or approximately 2 hours from Kingston, Sharbot Lake offered pristine isolation a short drive from the Nation’s Capital.
Although the Park is named after the larger Sharbot Lake, the campsites are actually spread-out on both smaller Black Lake and Sharbot Lake. I found most campsites to be spacious and usually offer a view of the lake, and adorned with more than enough white pine and hemlock canopy coverage for anyone’s taste.
Of the 194 camping spaces at Sharbot Lake, for the most part all are in close proximity to water, expect for those sites closer to Highway 7. I have not stayed on those particular sites but I have heard they can be quite noisy with the highway traffic. I wouldn’t advise showing up at this park on a busy weekend without a reservation, as you will likely be given those less desirable camping spots away from the water and closer to highway noise. Campsite fees are on par with other Provincial Parks and range from approximately $25 for basic site to $50 for Premium hook-up sites.
Remember that in Ontario, people with disabilities and seniors both receive a discount on their provincial park campsite fees. What I did like about this campground is the privacy and camping spot size. With campsites spread-out over a large area and two separate lakes, you can usually find something that appeals to you.
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park offers such amenities as fishing, swimming, and canoeing on both Black Lake and larger Sharbot Lake, all within easy walking distance. I have fished Black Lake on several occasions and have done quite well. The Park also offers picturesque nature trails for those campers who are into strolling and enjoying the scenery. The facilities I also found to be clean and well maintained and Park staff was helpful and accommodating. There are two terrific sandy beaches located on Black lake that freshwater swimming enthusiasts will appreciate.
A few ago there existed a fairly high black bear density in this part of the Province, and Sharbot Lake Provincial park did experience a few isolated bear encounters. As with any campground in rural Ontario, black bear visits are always a possibility but thanks to Park wardens are usually nipped in the bud. I have not heard reports of any bears sightings at Sharbot in several years, which I take as a good sign.
Another advantage to camping at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is the ability to visit Silver Lake Provincial Park just a short drive down Highway 7. Silver Lake is another fabulous and slightly smaller campground nearby. Not often are campers provided easy access to two quality Provincial campgrounds so close to one another.
This Park played host to over 29,000 visitors in year 2010, of which more than twenty six thousand of those stayed overnight to camp; making this a moderately busy campground from a numbers standpoint. For tenters or trailer campers who enjoy privacy and tranquility a short drive from the Nation’s Capital in a beautiful part of eastern Ontario, Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is the place for you. Friendly staff and quality facilities you can expect as with most Provincial Parks in Ontario. For more information call (613) 335-2814.
By Jeff Morrison