Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park is located almost half way between the city of Timmins and the town of Chapleau in Northern Ontario. The Ivanhoe Lake campground is nestled on the north shore of the lake which has a tremendous history.
Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park was one of a number of Northern Ontario provincial parks identified by the Government of Ontario as candidates for closure. In 2014, Ivanhoe partnered with the city of Timmins to run the operations in order to keep it open. The park has since flourished as a number of other parks in the area closed.
Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park – The Campground
Located approximately eight kilometres (five miles) from Foleyet, the Provincial Park boosts over 100 campsites, with over half of them having electrical hookups. The Park is spread out over four different individual campgrounds, Red Pine, Le Rivage, White Birch Hall and La Baie. A majority of the park has views of the water and sites in La Baie are right on the water. The park has shower facilities, flushing toilets, a store, canoe rentals and a boat launch.
What to do at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park
There are two main beaches for swimming at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park, one beach is between Red Pine and Le Rivage and the other beach is at the day use area. The beach at the Day Use Area is a marvel to be held, the distance you can walk with the water only rising slightly is phenomenal. Many park visitors enjoy playing Frisbee, football or even just sitting in the shallow water.
Within the Provincial Park, there are many small inland lakes that were formed by glaciers, thousands of years ago. These lakes, often referred to as kettle lakes, were created when the glaciers left large, deep impressions in the earth that filled with water over time. Scratches on rocks and the deposits of sand and gravel, called eskers, are evidence of the last ice age that swept Northern Ontario. Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park is home to what the park has deemed a “quaking bog”, a solid overgrowth of vegetation that has overtaken one of the kettle lakes. Although the vegetation is quite delicate, the entire bed of plants will move as it covers the surface of the water, similar to a water bed.
Fishing at Ivanhoe Lake
Ivanhoe Lake itself and some surrounding lakes are home to some of the best fishing in Northern Ontario. Abundant in walleye (pickerel), smallmouth bass, northern pike and perch there is opportunity for fishermen of all skill levels to enjoy. The side of the lake opposite the day use area, the mouth of the Ivanhoe River and the dam have always been hot beds for fishing. Although many of the lakes in the surrounding area near Foleyet have exceptional fishing as well, those lakes are just more difficult to get to. Even if you don’t have a boat, there is an opportunity to fish. The boat launch area has a relatively steep drop-off so many park goers will grab their rods and fish off the shore.
Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park has a long history in the area. Once a significant logging area, loggers used to run timber down the Ivanhoe River to the town of Nicholson where they would load on the CP Rail Train. Now a ghost town, Nicholson does provide some great stories and the Natural Heritage Education staff has done amazing lumberjack stories in the past.
One of the unique features of Ivanhoe Lake Park is the growth of wild rice. Ivanhoe used to have an annual wild food fest with wild animal meat and wild rice. Although they no longer have the food fest, the wild rice still grows in the area.
Ivanhoe Lake is a Family Friendly Campground near Timmins
Ivanhoe campground is very family friendly. Between the large day use area with playground, the large sand beaches and the sand dunes that you can jump down like a slide, there are many things to do with your children. The park also has a number of hiking trails that take you through different parts of the park including around Saw Lake and the quaking bog. The Natural Heritage Education staff also provides numerous stories about the area, campfire singalongs and activities for the children.