Benson Lake, Ontario, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario -

Also known as:  Rideau Lakes

Benson Lake is part of the historic Rideau Waterway in Ontario, Canada. Benson Lake is one of six lakes surrounding Scott’s Island. Benson Lake, Clear Lake, Indian Lake, Mosquito Lake, Newboro Lake, and Loon Lake all share the same water level and can be traveled without passing through one of the locks on the canal. The Rideau Canal has 45 locks at 23 stations and connects more than nine lakes including Lower Rideau Lake, Big Rideau Lake, Upper Rideau Lake, Newboro Lake, Clear Lake, Indian Lake, Opinicon Lake, Sand Lake, and Whitefish Lake. The Canal was opened back in 1832 and many of the locks still operate their large wooden doors with hand cranks. Take your friends and family to Benson Lake to experience engaging activities and fascinating history.

Benson Lake has 517 acres of pristine blue waters for your fishing pleasure. With a maximum depth of 40 feet and a mean depth of 8 feet, Benson Lake is home to lake trout, northern pike, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. Anglers can make their way to each of the connecting lakes for new fishing holes each day. You can see wildlife while boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and pontooning. Many species of duck stop off at the lakes during the spring and fall months. Loons are common among all of the lakes as well as blue heron and osprey. Turtles can be seen basking in the sun, and the croaking of frogs can be heard in the evening. Other wildlife such as beavers, muskrats, otters, hummingbirds, and fireflies make Benson Lake an enchanting place to visit. And for visitors who want to enjoy time in the waters of Benson Lake, swimming, water skiing, wakeboarding, and scuba diving are favorite activities.

Trails surrounding Benson Lake invite exploration. The Rideau Trail offers 240 miles of public and privately owned lands for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The trail is popular with all levels of hikers with terrain ranging from novice farmland to a more advanced Canadian Shield. For a smoother grade, Cataraqui Trail is right next door to Benson Lake. The trail follows the former National Canadian Railway line along the Napanee River. Cataraqui Trail has 48 main and secondary road access points along its length and is open year-round for hikers, bikers, equestrians, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers.

Benson Lake and its surrounding lakes are part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, a program designated to protect landscapes, ecosystems, and the inhabited species. The area has many sublime parks such as Frontenac Provincial Park and Murphys Point Provincial Park. Frontenac Park features granite outcrops, vast wetlands and mixed forests and is home to wildlife such as kingfisher, black bear, fox, coyote, and abundant beaver. The park offers Wilderness Skills Training programs and many canoe routes throughout the park. Take a canoeing class and hone your skills on one of the many lakes within the park’s boundaries. Murphys Point has guided tours of a restored mica mine and groomed trails for hiking, biking, and birding. Fish, canoe, swim, or boat on one of the lakes, and even spend the night at a boat-in campsite on Big Rideau Lake.

The winter weather brings many people to the Rideau area. A section of the Rideau Canal becomes the largest ice skating rink in the world with nearly 5 miles of ice to skate. If you love to speed skate, the international speed skating tournament known as Skate the Lake is held annually on Big Rideau Lake. Don’t hesitate to visit during the summer months as well. The Rideau area hosts gardening shows, cycling tours, youth camps, and music festivals.

Be sure to take a day to see the historical sites in the area. At Chaffey’s Lock is the Lockmaster’s House Museum. The house dates back to 1844 and is rich with historical significance. The Old Stone Mill at Delta is also a fascinating place to visit. It was built in 1810 and is one of the earliest surviving, fully automatic, grist mills of Upper Canada. The mill has been declared a National Historic Site.

Vacation rentals and real estate property abound at Benson Lake. With year-round activities for all ages you can be sure to find something everyone will enjoy.

Things to do at Benson Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Benson Lake

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

Benson Lake Photo Gallery

Benson Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Parks Canada

Surface Area: 517 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 400 feet

Average Depth: 8 feet

Maximum Depth: 40 feet

Water Volume: 4,286 acre-feet

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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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