Trip Reports

Black Donald Lake Trip Report August 2021

Black Donald Lake2 EditBlack Donald Lake Trip Report

After a failed attempt on August 6th, we made an exploratory trip to Black Donald Lake, a very large open lake, south of Calabogie, on August 16th.  We met at 9:30 am at the Kanata Park N Ride and drove to Black Donald Tent and Trailer Park.  The drive was about 90 minutes.  We paid $10 to park and launch from the dock about 11 am.  The staff at this park went out of their way to be helpful which was appreciated!

We paddled south, looking for crown land campsites as we went.  We checked out some islands on the east side of the main part of the lake.  We found two campsites on islands about 6 km south from the Black Donald Tent and Trailer Park launch.  We believe these are privately owned.

Next, we paddled north and east towards the Mountain Chute dam.  We found two campsites on mainland points at the opening of “Meadows Bay” and two campsites on the island nearby.  The southwestern “Point” had room for at least 5 tents and a beach where we went swimming.  It was one of the best sites we found, however, there were mosquitoes.  The southeastern “Point” had a family camping on it.  It was not as large as the southwestern point.  For these island campsites, the north one was tiny but had a nice swimming rock.  The south one was a bit larger and we ate our lunches there.

Some of these campsites did not look like they were maintained now.  All campsites had firepits but there were no "thunderboxes" or outhouses.  Low wind would be required to canoe in or out.  High winds create large waves here, so canoe trips could become windbound.  

We paddled to Frank’s Campground and saw some seasonal trailers.  We saw the huge Mountain Chute dam, part of the Madawaska River system.  We saw several great blue herons, a few ducks and geese, but not much other wildlife.  The area was scenic and had lots of unoccupied crown land.  There were some cottages near Black Donald Tent & Trailer Park.  Motorboats did not cause us any issues. Low winds of 8-12 km/hr made for an easy and enjoyable day.  We paddled a total of 23 km and were heading home by 5 pm.

The Ministry of Natural Resources Forestry - Pembroke District oversees crown land camping here.  There is no fee to camp and you cannot reserve a site.  If you find an empty campsite on crown land you may use it while following their regulations:  That link also has the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas which may help you to locate crown land sites.  Questions may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        

Black Donald Tent and Trailer Park offers overnight camping here for a fee.

Black Donald Tent Trailer Park Launch Edit Edit

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Private Campsites East Side

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 SW Point Campsite

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SW Point Campsite

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