COVID-19 : Please check icons on the Introduction tab for information about availability of certain activities and facilities listed below due to public health restrictions.
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.
Join park staff for a Discovery Drop-in during the months of July & August. Bring along your Discovery Activity Book (or pick one up at the Drop-in), and use the equipment and materials provided to explore the park, observe plants and animals, and discover the wonders of nature. Be sure to share your observations with park staff, take the Discovery Ranger Pledge and receive your very own Discover Ranger Button! For more information keep an eye out for weekly calendar of events posted throughout the park.
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: 9 km, 4 hours, moderate
The Trapper’s Trail begins at the north end of Panagapka Lake and continues north towards Gourlay Lake before heading east and traversing Seahorse Lake and Roach Lake. It then links up to the section of the Fire Road that will take you back to the Park campground thus forming a 9 km loop. The Fire Road runs approximately 9 km on a S to N course and is an enjoyable day hike to do end to end and back again.
The trapper’s cabin on the trail was built by an Ojibway woman who trapped in the area until 1970. Unfortunately at this time the trail to the trapper’s cabin is not suitable for hiking and is closed until further notice.
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.