Esker Lakes


Biking is available on park roads.


Esker Lakes lies within the vast Boreal Forest that covers much of Northern Ontario. This forest is the summer home to hundreds of species of birds. These birds often travel thousands of kilometres from sunny winter homes far to the south, to nest and raise their families here in the park because of the abundance of food. These include many types of colourful warblers, flycatchers, thrushes, hawks and owls. Several species of birds can be seen year round including: Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, various woodpeckers, and the friendly Gray Jay.


The collection of picturesque lakes in Esker Lakes Provincial Park, separated by short, fairly level portages and no motorboats, makes the park ideal for canoeing. There are about 15 kilometres of canoe routes and a canoe launching site on Panagapka Lake. There are many different options when paddling these lakes, with plenty of side trips available. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially near the many wetlands. Canoe rentals are available including paddles and personal floatation devices.


Cold water species such as Lake Trout, Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout dominate most lakes here but Northern Pike and Yellow Perch are also common in some lakes. If you decide to fish here, review the Ontario Fishing Regulations for this area and obtain a valid fishing license before starting your trip.


Esker Lakes has four different hiking trails:

Prospector’s Trail: 1.4 km, 1 hour, easy
This short forested trail skirts the southeast shore of Panagapka Lake. It’s a nice route for a stroll and a convenient way to reach many park facilities.

Lonesome Bog Trail: 1.5 km, 1 hour, easy
This picturesque trail encircles Sausage Lake, including the bog at the east end, via a boardwalk that takes you right across the wetland. Beaver are helping to speed the bog’s transition to a meadow.

Recreation Trail: 1.5 km, 1 hour, easy
This short, meandering trail just east of the campground is convenient and an invigorating route for a brisk walk or run.

Trapper’s Trail: three loops 9 km, 14 km and 20 km, 4 hours to two days, difficult 
The Trapper’s Trail offers three loops to choose from in order to best suit your fitness level and available time. This long hiking and backpacking trail begins at the north end of Panagapka Lake and continues north towards Thrasher Lake. The trapper’s cabin on the trail was built by an Ojibway woman who trapped in the area until 1970.

Natural Heritage Education

Natural Heritage Education programs are held occasionally during the summer and provide campers with the opportunity to discover new things about the park and participate in fun activities.  A Visitor Centre is occasionally open and has displays and animal exhibits related to the park.


Two beach areas are located on Panagapka Lake, one in the campground and the other in the day-use area at the south end of the lake.