Best parks to launch your boat in southeastern Ontario

Ready to set out on the water, but not sure of the best boating locales?

Check out these five water access points in southeastern Ontario that could be your gateway to exploring new waterways.

1. Balsam Lake Provincial Park

The boat launch at Balsam Lake launches you directly into — you guessed it — Balsam Lake. If a fishing trip is what you’re after, Balsam Lake has good fishing for Walleye, Muskellunge, Large- and Small-mouth Bass.

Spring boat dock, clear skies. Balsam Lake

Or if you’re up for a longer journey, Balsam Lake could be your starting point to explore the Trent-Severn Waterway. Balsam Lake also has boat trailer parking available.

2. Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Whether you’re cruising for a day trip or boating out to an interior campsite, Charleston Lake makes it easy to get your boat in the water.

The lake offers excellent opportunities for fishing, sight-seeing, water skiing and other boating activities.

3. Emily Provincial Park

The launch points at Emily drop you into Pigeon River, on the south end of the Trent Severn Waterway.

North beach

And, with there being two launches at Emily, the time it takes for you to get into the water is likely to be minimal.

South beach

4. Murphys Point Provincial Park

Murphys Point is located on Big Rideau Lake, part of the historic Rideau Waterway. The boat launch at the park provides access to Big Rideau Lake beside the entrance into Hogg Bay.

Ready to explore? Go through Narrows Locks into Upper Rideau Lake for a trip to Westport, or through Beveridges Locks for a long trip into Perth.

5. Sibbald Point Provincial Park

The boat launch at Sibbald Point drops you right into Lake Simcoe. Because of its size, Lake Simcoe is an ideal place for sailing and motorboats.

Enjoy wakeboarding, water skiing, fishing or just cruising on the lake. Campers and day visitors can use the boat launch and dock temporarily or overnight.

Book your spot ahead of time!

Did you know you can book daily vehicle permit in advance at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, Murphys Point Provincial Park, and Sibbald Point Provincial Park?

Reservations can be made online (here’s a walkthrough of how to book, including how to use your seasonal permit).

**Sibbald Point boaters! Don’t forget to reserve your advance daily permit specifically for their boat launch. They tend to reach capacity, especially on weekends!

Stay safe

Check you’ve got all the safety equipment required by law for your vessel and its size is on board and in good working condition.

Need a safety refresher? We’ve got a great list of safety tips here.

Prevent the spread of invasive species

Always inspect your boat when removing it from the water. Zebra and Quagga Mussels can attach to your boat and be transported into the next water body you visit.

truck putting a fishing boat in the water at the boat launch

Always drain your live well and bilge water before you leave a waterbody.

Some aquatic species can survive up to two weeks out of water!

Have fun on the water!