Balsam Lake is the highest point of the Trent-Severn Waterway with water flowing both east and west. The Trent-Severn Waterway descends west ward to Lake Simcoe and, and easterly to Cameron Lake. It is 16 km long and averages 3 km wide, though its actual width varies due to the many large bays the carve its shoreline. The Gull River and the many lakes land locked northern lakes of the Haliburton area reach the Trent System at Balsam Lake supplying the Central Kawartha Lakes of the Trent Severn with consistent in season water levels.
Balsam Lake is home to two provincial parks: Balsam Lake Provincial Park is an all-season recreational park along the Trent-Severn Waterway. In summer, swim at a clean, safe beach, hike to a lookout tower, go fishing, sail and windsurf. Come in spring for wildflowers and in October for autumn glory. The second, Indian Point Provincial Park, located on the north end of Balsam Lake, this park features one of the longest undeveloped shorelines in the Kawartha Lakes. Indian Point Provincial Park does not offer facilities or services of any kind and no camping is allowed, a great place to spend a day and explore. The lake offers excellent fishing for bass, walleye, and muskie.