Sunday, May 31, 2015

First Trip of the Season: Charleston Lake

My wife hates dealing with the bugs when we go camping. As a result I don't push for any kind of camping trip before July. Imagine my surprise when on the Wednesday before the Victoria Day weekend I got an email from her saying "What do you think about camping at Charleston Lake this weekend? We can test out the new screen house". She was referring to the screen house that I had purchased over the winter since the bugs were so bad last year when we camped in July. It seemed like a great idea to me except for the fact that we didn't get around to booking a site until Thursday night. How many sites would actually still be available ? The fact that we would only be able to camp for the Sunday night probably worked in our favour. We saw on the reservation website that there was a spot available about as close to the beach as you could get. No wonder I leave these sorts of things to the last minute. We booked it and a couple of days later we packed up all of our belongings and we were off.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park is a fantastic park for families. It has just about everything you could want while camping. They have great beaches, canoeing, hiking trails and if you bring the bikes everything is within reasonable biking distance. They offer great educational programs and have a neat Discovery Centre. The Discovery Centre is what used to be called the Visitor Centre. It has undergone some changes and promises to be more hands-on. We didn't get a chance to check it out this time but we will be back.

Upon arriving at the park we setup our site then paddled out to Whitefish Island for lunch. It was a beautiful day for a paddle and a picnic.

After lunch we paddled back to the beach so that our youngest daughter could have a nap. I took the two older kids out to do some fishing around Whitefish Island during nap time. We caught a lot of sunfish which they were happy with. Fishing at Charleston Lake has never been disappointing for the kids.

When we were done fishing we joined the others at the beach. The water was quite cold but that didn't stop the kids from wading, splashing and even swimming.

The kids played on the beach for hours. I snapped some photos while they were playing.

We had some family members join us for some great kabobs done over the fire. Once we were full and things were cleaned up we put the kids to bed. I headed out to take some more pictures from the beach then headed out for a night paddle. There's nothing quite like being on a lake in the dark all by yourself.

Monday morning was a beautiful calm day and our son wanted to do some fishing. So off we went. He was keen to try the same spot as yesterday. He got a few then wanted to head back to the beach. We joined the rest of the crew on the beach where the kids played while I packed up. We had lunch on the site then headed to the boardwalk for a quick hike.

What a great way to start the camping season. It was good to get out again, even if it was just for a short trip. The best part about it is that there were hardly any bugs at all. We could have gotten away without the screen room! We can't wait to go back.


  1. Enjoyed your post. CharlestonLakePP is one of our favourites and we have been going there for many years. Booking 5 months in advance now seems the 'norm' for us in order to get a site close to the beach/canoe launch area. Going there at the end of the month - can't wait! If you happen to see our purple canoe... say hi.

  2. Thanks for the comment. We will certainly say hi if we see you. Enjoy your trip.