Bark Lake, Quebec, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Quebec -

Also known as:  Lac des Ecorces, Lac de Barkme

Bark Lake sits among the tree-covered hills of Canada’s Laurentian Mountain region a short 50-mile drive northwest of Montreal and 100 miles northeast of Ottawa. Located in southwestern Quebec, Bark Lake falls within the province’s Laurentides Tourism Region and the country’s Central Canada Tourism Region. Convenient to city dwellers, Bark Lake offers a restful escape where distinctive lakefront properties blend naturally with the scenic countryside.

Long before Europeans came to North America the Bark Lake area, also known as Lac des Ecorces, was home to the First Nation’s Algonquin and Iroquois people. In 1534 the first European, Jacques Cartier, arrived in the Montreal area. Change came by 1603 when Samuel de Champlain made his first trip to North America. In 1608 Champlain established the first French settlement (now Quebec City) and embarked on the fur trade. For decades the lucrative beaver-pelt business brought additional explorers and fur traders to the waters and wilderness surrounding Bark Lake. By the 1750s fur trading began to decline but Canada continued to grow. In 1867 four British provinces united to form the beginning of the Canada we know today.

Bark Lake’s 1,586 acres wind and curve through the hilly countryside. The 23-mile shoreline is covered by lush evergreen forests stretching up from the waterline to the vast blue sky. Lac des Ecorces’ surrounding terrain is typical of the Canadian Shield. Filled with a multitude of lakes and rivers, what were originally high mountain ranges have eroded to a rough, rocky terrain and hills often scraped clear of soil. The beaver that attracted fur traders to these hills can still be seen on Bark Lake. Other wildlife typical of the area include moose, white-tailed deer, wolf, fox, and rabbit. Over 150 species of birds live within the Canadian Shield including the often hunted spruce grouse and ruffed grouse.

Sixteen tributaries feed into Lac de Barkme from surrounding lakes. The majority of water originates in nearby Lake Manitou and downstream from Lake Mousseux and Lake Quatrieme. A dam exists on Bark Lake’s single outlet. Water-levels are controlled by the nearby community of Barkmere. Water quality of Bark Lake is consistently good. Much of that is due to the regular monitoring and care provided by Barkmere’s residents. Public access to Bark Lake is also located in Barkmere, in fact no boat may be launched at any place other than Barkmere’s municipal access ramp at Miller Bay. All boats entering Bark Lake are required to be decontaminated by the municipality. A fee is charged for this service. Other restrictions may apply so be sure to contact the town of Barkmere for current regulations.

With depths reaching 161 feet and length exceeding six miles, Bark Lake attracts fishermen, boaters, and paddlers alike. Whether the catch is for dinner or a gracious release, anglers will enjoy chasing northern pike, lake trout, and smallmouth bass found in the area. Canoeing and kayaking Lac des Ecorces are treasured pastimes. Whether you choose to paddle the open water or venture into the bays, coves, or island shores, breathtaking scenery and wildlife will unfold around you.

The hills around Bark Lake increase in elevation as you drive north and east. Within 30 miles of Bark Lake, residents have access to five ski areas. Mont Tremblant Village, home to one of eastern Canada’s more popular resorts, is also the gateway to Mont Tremblant Provincial Park. Nature and adventure lovers will enjoy the endless winter and summer wilderness experiences found here. Over 576 square miles of the Laurentian mountains, more than 100 lakes, and six rivers provide all the ingredients for a perfect family vacation. In addition to fishing, canoeing, camping, hiking, and mountain biking opportunities Mont Tremblant ProvincialPark draws large numbers to its popular cross-country ski trails.

Found within the boundaries of adjacent Rouge-Matawin Provincial Reserve, the Rouge River is a trout fisherman’s delight and a popular destination for experienced canoeists and kayakers. To the east, Matawin River is said to be teeming with northern pike. Hunting white-tailed deer and smaller game, including ruffed grouse and snowshoe hare, is also permitted within the reserve.

Several communities ranging in population from 87 to 4,000 lie within Bark Lake’s watershed. Local businesses will provide paddling, fishing, and hunting outfitters; boat and canoe rentals; and supplies and services to support the needs of visitors and residents of Bark Lake. Lakefront vacation rentals and real estate properties are available at Bark Lake. Additional country properties can be found in the neighboring communities of Barkmere, Arundel, Montcalm, and Huberdeau. Easily accessible to Bark Lake, mountain retreats close to winter resorts will be found in the communities of Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carre, Adolphe-d’Howard, and Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. Finding a temporary or permanent residence on or near Lac de Barkme makes a visit to the Laurentians far more than a destination. Historic communities invite an afternoon of exploration as you immerse yourself in the French-Canadian experience. Walk through local parks, gardens, and museums or browse quaint shops and dine on local cuisine where the charm and rich diversity of small-town life offers a welcome change of pace.

Eighty-five percent of Bark Lake’s shore remains in its natural state. Here, land and water merge to create a unique environment where you can experience nature in an intimate way. Find your home around Bark Lake and choose to troll the deep waters, glide along the islands and bays, or watch the setting sun throw its long shadows across the sparkling water. Whether you stay a week or a lifetime, come to Bark Lake and let your days blend naturally into the pace of Quebec’s countryside.

Things to do at Bark Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Bark Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Bark Lake Photo Gallery

Bark Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Municipality of Barkmere

Surface Area: 1,586 acres

Shoreline Length: 23 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 728 feet

Maximum Depth: 161 feet

Lake Area-Population: 87

Drainage Area: 225 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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