The rustic Darke Lake Provincial Park sits in the hills of British Columbia within a forest of old-growth Douglas fir and Cottonwood trees. Established in June of 1943, the park is over 3600 acres (1470 hectares) in size. The park was named after Silas Robert Darke who was an early settler to the area. Within the park is Darke Lake, which is also known as “Fish Lake” to local residents.
There are a number of activities to enjoy while visiting the park. Fishing on Darke Lake is popular with visitors as well as locals during all months of the year, even during the winter. On land, park visitors can go cycling or horseback riding. No permit is required to bring your horse. During the winter months, snowmobiles and cross-country skiing are welcome throughout the park and ice skates may be used on the frozen lake. You're bound to see plenty of wildlife that lives in the forest during your stay. Keep an eye out for deer and owls!
Camping at Darke Lake Provincial Park is a rugged experience, and campers will want to plan to "rough it." There is no potable water throughout the park and the campsites are unserviced. Come prepared with extra supplies. The park road is gravel and bumpy and may be unsuitable to large RVs and trailers. The camping area is in a forest of old growth Douglas fir, pine, and cottonwood trees, which provide shade and shelter. Camping at Darke Lake is first-come, first served and is open year-round.
Darke Lake Provincial Park is located about 30 minutes northwest of Summerland, British Columbia. Summerland is the closest municipality to the park. Another two and a half miles (4 km) northwest, you’ll find Eneas Lakes Provincial Park.
The park is remote, with no services, and very little in the surrounding area. Plan to make the 30-minute drive into Summerland if in need of any camping supplies.
The road leading to and around the park is gravel and rough, making it unsuitable for big rigs. It is not recommended to bring travel trailers and RVs to Darke Lake. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the roadways, particularly deer, while at Darke Lake. Once in the park, visitors can bicycle, walk, or drive to get around.
This rugged campground is in a forest of Douglas Fir and Cottonwoods near Darke Lake. The camping area at the park is not well suited for large RVs or travel trailers. There are no assigned sites and camping is available on a first-come, first served basis. The campground is open year-round. The campsites are user-maintained, so be sure to pack in, pack out.
There are fire pits located in the campground, however, visitors must provide their own firewood. There are no picnic tables, water, or other services at Darke Lake. Be sure to bring along plenty of water for cooking and to consume. A pit toilet is located in the camping area. Feel free to bring along your pet for your stay. Leashed pets are allowed at the park.
Bring along your bicycle for your trip out. Explore the park and surrounding area, but stick to the roads. Bicycles are permitted on the roadways only. You’ll need to bring along your helmet as well. Helmets are mandatory in British Columbia, even within the park. While out riding, keep an eye open for wildlife and stay a safe distance away if any is encountered.
Equestrians will enjoy bringing their horse to this park. Ride under the fir and pine trees, as well as old growth cottonwood trees as you explore the area. While out riding, you’re bound to encounter a variety of different types of birds, white-tailed deer and owls. The park does not require a permit to bring your horse.
Darke Lake, also known as Fish Lake, is a popular spot for fishing to both visitors and locals. Anglers can hope to reel in rainbow trout and brook trout. Be sure to bring along or pick up a fishing license before heading to the park. Ice fishing is also popular on the small Darke Lake after it freezes during the winter months.
There is plenty of wildlife to see during your visit to Darke Lake. The thick forest is home to an abundance of different types of animals. You’re likely to see white-tailed deer grazing for food during the quiet mornings and evenings. At night, listen closely to hear the hoots of barn owls and flammulated owls. Keep a safe distance from any wildlife you may see. Be sure to put away and store any food or garbage to ensure you don’t attract any wildlife, including bears.
Hunting is permitted at Darke Lake Provincial Park. Be sure to plan in advance and check the hunting regulations, season dates, and ensure that you have the required permits before heading out to the park. Deer, turkey, and other waterfowl are commonly hunted in the area.
There are many winter activities to enjoy in the park. Though there isn’t a designated area for either, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are permitted in the park. Snow levels can vary, so you'll want to check the weather reports in advance. Darke Lake is small enough that the surface freezes making it so visitors can enjoy ice fishing and ice skating. Be sure to check the ice before venturing out on it.