Gould Lake Conservation Area is 589 hectares of wilderness located in the Canadian Shield. It is also the head waters of the Millhaven Creek System. Gould Lake and the surrounding lands are not only important for water management reasons, they also provide excellent wildlife habitat and offer many opportunities for nature appreciation and recreation in all seasons.
Gould Lake is a day use area. The Limestone District Board operates its outdoor education programs on this property using the barn adjacent to the beach and the trailer as its headquarters. The main Rideau Trail and several side loops are located within the conservation area. The Rideau Trail Association (RTA) does most of the trail maintenance and trail development at Gould Lake.
COVID-19 Update: Trails are open, please practice physical distancing (2 m). Some amenities remain closed: Beaches, washrooms/privies, and some boardwalks.
Hiking and Cross Country Skiing
20 km of trails cross rolling and rugged terrain. The Rideau Trail crosses the property. Orange triangles mark the main trail, blue triangles mark the side loops. Trails are not groomed for cross-country skiing during the winter months, so be prepared to break your own trail.
Picnic tables and privies are available in the day use area adjacent to the beach. Permits are required for group picnics and may be obtained by calling the CRCA office at (613) 546-4228 ext. 222.
Is permitted in the Conservation Area in accordance with current Ministry of Natural Resources regulations.
Canoes and other car-top boats can be launched at the beach area, boat ramp facilities are not available.
The beach provides an excellent unsupervised swimming area.
Wildlife Viewing and Nature Appreciation
The wetlands, woods and shoreline areas provide many opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature appreciation.
There were several mica mines operating near Gould Lake. The McClatchey Mine, located in Concession 10, Lot 7, is situated between Blue Lake and Gould Lake. A number of old pits and a large boiler may still be seen on the Mica Trail on Conservation Authority property. The mine was originally worked for phosphate by Snider and Freeman of Perth in the 1870s, then it was sold to McClatchey and Hayden of Belleville who started working it for mica.
It was acquired by J.W. Trousdale, a prominent citizen of Sydenham, in 1901, and was mined steadily until 1912. At this time it was abandoned because water had seeped in from the lake. The main shaft was over 100 feet deep, and opened out to a chamber 8 feet by 30 feet. On the property were a boarding house, trimming-shed, stable, forge, and other buildings. No power machinery was used, and hoisting from the pits was done by a horse-derrick and whims.
From 1967 to 1973, the CRCA acquired the lands that now make up Gould Lake Conservation Area. Much of the land was purchased from Loughborough Township. Several private landowners sold to the CRCA including the Dickey, Anglin, Seymour, and the Sands families.