Little Lake, Ontario, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Ontario -

When Thoreau wrote about Walden Pond, he obviously didn’t know about Little Lake. For this small lake in Ontario’s Rideau Lakes area could certainly inspire prose. The less-than-200-acre lake lies about three miles east of the eastern tip of Clear Lake and two miles west of the village of Elgin, yet is almost totally unpopulated. A small number of cottages grace the two-mile shoreline. Little Lake is located in Ontario’s Rideau Lakes region, which includes hundreds of lakes, some with several thousand acres. In an area focused on watersports, Little Lake is virtually un-discovered. The quiet lake is the perfect spot for solitude lovers; one could write, paint, or photograph nature inspired by the unspoiled surroundings throughout all the seasons.

Little official information for Little Lake is available. We know that the Province of Ontario considers Little Lake prime black crappie waters. Locals say it also contains pike, perch, bullheads, sunfish and shiners. Cottage owners advertising rentals on the lake describe the lake as ideal for swimming, fishing and water skiing. They also talk of the opportunity for solitude on the nearly deserted lake. The Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre lists a Little Lake Wetland Complex around the lake with five distinctive areas of wetland habitat, however the wetland is not developed for visitor interpretation and there is no public access. The Cataraqui Trail follows the old Canadian National rail bed along the north shore of the lake for nearly a half-mile. Trail users comment that it’s a great spot to stop and picnic while enjoying the scenery. The Cataraqui Trail is a four-seasons trail open for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding and, in some areas, snowmobiling.

The majority of the Little Lake shoreline is private woodland or marsh. Only one road leads to the north shore from Clear Lake Road. Another small road leads through a farmyard and fields to cottages on the south shore. The entire area is a part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve, revered for its diverse geology and variety of natural habitat.

But even Thoreau would agree that solitude is only valuable when one can return to civilization on occasion. At Little Lake, civilization is only a couple of short miles away. The town of Elgin on Highway 15 offers grocery stores, restaurants and medical services. Elgin was one of the first settlements in the township and retains many historic buildings. A walking tour is available and would provide inspiration for any aspiring author who retired to Little Lake to write the great Canadian historical novel! Even the most reclusive student of nature needs a place where he can drop into a small cafe for coffee with the locals on occasion.

Visitors looking for larger water bodies to enjoy will find that the Rideau Waterway is only a few miles away. Water access, including boat rentals and cruises, can be scheduled in Newboro. The hiking enthusiast may choose to trek the Cataraqui Trail to Chaffeys Lock only a couple of hours walk away. Smiths Falls is 22 miles up the trail in the opposite direction. Driving and cycling tours can be personalized from any of the more well-known locations near the Rideau Canal, including Elgin. What better way to enjoy nature while exploring the area?

Vacation rentals exist on Little Lake, but with a limited number of lakefront cottages, advance reservations will be necessary. Other rentals can be found around Elgin and the Rideau Waterway, including hotels and motels, bed-and-breakfasts, fishing camps and resorts. Real estate may be possible in the area but perhaps not directly on Little Lake. So, schedule your visit and bring your gear for your favorite hobby, be it fishing, photography or water skiing. Like Thoreau, discover the truth in this quote, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” You’ll be up at dawn with the loons and the herons to enjoy every minute of every single day at Little Lake.

Things to do at Little Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Horseback Riding

Fish species found at Little Lake

  • Black Crappie
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish

Little Lake Photo Gallery

    Little Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Shoreline Length: 2 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 419 feet

    Maximum Depth: 60 feet

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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