Card Lake is a pretty body of water that’s located on the “Old Windsor Road” (Highway 14) between Windsor and Chester. There’s a day-use provincial park with a picnic area and small beach there where you can take a dip; or you can launch a canoe, kayak or other non-motorized boat and explore the lake. You can easily explore it in a day but there are lots of good camping spots that make it worth exploring for more than a day. There’s also a hiking trail near the boat launch that runs along the shore and might go to the fire tower, but since we were travelling by canoe, I can’t say for certain.
Card Lake is the beginning of the Avon River watershed and it has a Nova Scotia Power Dam that’s not being used anymore. Over the years, there’s been talk of removing the dam – which could adversely impact 20 km of ecosystem – but so far, the dam remains intact and the water levels are kept constant.
We stayed on the lake for two nights near the narrows at Long Bay, about 45 minutes from the boat launch by canoe. The beach we camped on was lovely – white sand with plenty of spots for tents, plus the lake bottom was sandy and the water was warm which made for excellent swimming. My only complaint would be that there’s no protection from the sun, wind or rain and very few camping spots in the woods -- so be sure to bring a tarp and poles.
We spent our first day swimming and lazing on the beach. That night, the sunset was gorgeous (a sailor’s delight) and the lake was tranquil and calm. The moon was close to full so we went for a late night paddle under a star-filled sky, and shared lots of laughs around the fire. The second day, we planned to paddle over to Dam Bay and explore Ace Hill Island but the winds were too high and we had to stay put.
Card Lake is an easy to moderate paddle (depending on the winds) on a pretty lake surrounded by old growth threes that can be enjoyed for an hour, a day or overnight.
Located 17 km (10 mi) north of Hwy 103, off Exit 8, on Highway 14.
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