Gould Lake Conservation Area

Where natural and built heritage come alive.

Proving just how restorative the power of nature can be, what was once a landscape scoured and spoiled by Victorian-era industrial mining activity, has become a valuable piece of the region’s ecosystem known throughout the region as the Gould Lake Conservation Area. Comprised of 589 hectares of dense, dynamic and varied wilderness located in the Canadian Shield, Gould Lake Conservation Area features the head waters of the Millhaven Creek System, which is important for water management, but also encompasses excellent wildlife habitat with many opportunities for nature appreciation and recreation in all seasons. 

Contact us

About Gould Lake

For more than three decades, the natural resources of the region around Gould Lake were exploited by Victorian-era industrialists and developers. Deep mica mines and associated infrastructure, along with heavy machinery, including rail lines, were the dominating features of the landscape until the mines closed for good by 1912. For many years, the property lay dormant as nature recaptured, revitalized and restored its dominance, leaving behind only unique terrain, twisting natural trails, the occasionally rusting piece of machinery that has become home to local flora and fauna.

The canopy of trees has become home to many native bird species, the brooks and streams that circulate into Gould Lake are teeming with animal life, with the lake itself a haven for numerous fish and amphibian species, water insects and invertebrates, as well as being a draw for the region’s human population, especially during the warm summer months.

From 1967 to 1973, Cataraqui Conservation steadily acquired the land that would demarcate Gould Lake Conservation Area from local landowners, turning the sprawling property into the natural gem and renowned four-seasons recreational retreat that it has become for generations of residents and visitors alike

  • a total of 20 kilometres of trails wind and loop around the rugged terrain, making for a challenging hiking experience, or a place to truly engage with nature one on one or with a group of friends or family.
  • 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.
  • 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 (613) 546-4228 ext. 222.
  • Fishing 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.

Fun at Gould Lake Conservation Area

Share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be featured #GouldLake

Activities & Facilities

Help us protect Gould Lake and make sure all visitors have an enjoyable experience


Please stay on the marked trails, off trail use is not permitted.

Dog Walking

Dogs must be on a leash at all times for the safety of your pet and courtesy to other visitors.


Trails are in their natural state and not winter maintained or groomed.

Nature appreciation

Wetlands, woods, meadows and shoreline areas provide many opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Pack In & Pack Out

Please do not litter. Leave only footprints and take only photos.

Stoop & Scoop

Please pick up after your pet and dispose of waster properly.

Education Programs

Limestone District School Board & Cataraqui Conservation host school field trip programs on site.


The latest from Cataraqui Conservation

View all
purple flowers

Landscaping for Source Water Protection

Landscaping practices, and the choices we make when planning, planting, and tending to our properties, can have notable effects on local drinking w...

60th Anniversary Summer Concert Series

As a way of celebrating '60 years of Conservation’ Cataraqui Conservation is presenting a series of four live music events on the front lawn of the...
60th anniversary banner image with logo

Cataraqui Conservation Celebrates 60 Years of Environmental Protection

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of Cataraqui Conservation and to celebrate this significant milestone we are excited to share achievements of the p...