Would you believe that 62 percent of all of the lakes in the world are located in Canada? There are many options when choosing a lakeside vacation spot, but none of them are as peaceful and picturesque as the 14 lakes that make up Kawartha Lakes.
Keep reading to find out why there is no better place to relax than Kawartha Lakes.
If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, look no further than Kawartha Lakes!
When you decide to take a trip to Kawartha, you will be greeted by the most serene natural sites that Ontario has to offer. The communities that surround these lakes are home to cozy cottages, perfect for a family getaway.
If you're looking to experience wildlife, Kawartha Lakes is the place to go! Glaciers formed the Kawartha Lakes between 75,000 and 11,000 years ago. Today, the area around the lakes is made up of forests, streams, and wetlands and is home to many different kinds of animals.
If you fish in the clear waters of Kawartha Lakes, you will most commonly find large and smallmouth bass, pike, perch, and muskie at the end of your line. Other animals such as white-tailed deer, red fox, coyotes, chipmunks, and Canadian geese are also frequently found in the area.
How Many Lakes Are There in Kawartha?
There are fourteen lakes in the Kawartha Lakes system. Each of these lakes stretch between five and forty-seven square km long. The lakes included in this region are: Katchewanooka, Clear, Stony, Lovesick, Lower Buckhorn, Buckhorn, Chemong (including Upper Chemong), Pigeon, Little Bald, Big Bald, Sturgeon, Cameron, Scugog and Balsam.
Getting to Kawartha Lakes
Travelling to Kawartha Lakes is quite easy. If you choose to drive, you can quickly access the area through four, well-maintained, provincial highways; Highway 35, Highway 115, Highway 7A, and Highway 7.
If you are planning a trip from farther away, the Toronto Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto Airport can get you to Toronto. From there, you can catch a daily Can-Ar Coach Service bus that travels between Toronto and Kawartha Lakes.
Kawartha Lakes is closer to Toronto than you think! These lakes are located 132 km northeast of Toronto. If you choose to drive, it will take about an hour and a half. Be sure to have your road trip checklist at the ready so you're well prepared for the drive.
Getting Around Kawartha Lakes
Travelling by car isn't the only way to get around when you visit Kawartha Lakes. If you are feeling adventurous, stop by one of the two bike rental locations in Bobcaygeon and view the lakes on two wheels.
If you are looking for a unique way to get travel the area, consider renting a boat. You can easily travel around while seeing the lakes in all of their beauty.
Local transit isn't a common commodity in this area, but you can find bus transportation in the town of Lindsay if you need it.
What to Do in Kawartha Lakes
With so many places to visit and explore, you will never be bored when you visit Kawartha Lakes. Although this picturesque location is most popular in the summer months, you can find a multitude of things to do and places to visit in any season.
This 9.9 km lake is a popular summer tourist destination. Fishermen like this lake because of the abundance of fish that they can catch here. You can find Walleye, Muskellunge, Large and Small Mouth Bass in these waters. If you’re looking for a more social event at this lake, jump on your boat and head to MacKenzie Bay to chat and lounge with other boaters.
This provincial park has some great hiking trails like the Lookout Trail and the Plantation Trail. Swim at the beach, rent a canoe or kayak, or even cycle along the campground roads. Yes, you heard that right, you can even go camping at Balsam Lake. It's no wonder Balsam Lake is such a popular attraction in Kawartha.
Emily Provincial Park
Emily Provincial Park is a scenic place to pitch a tent. It has four campgrounds to choose from, each containing private well-maintained sites.
Take advantage of the two boat launches in the park to canoe the Pigeon River looking for birds and other wildlife. Cool off at the beach located right in the campground, If fishing is more your speed, enjoy casting right at the dock.
If you’ve never fished before, no problem! The Learn To Fish Program that this campground offers is a free, two-hour class where you can learn the ins and outs of fishing in the beautiful Ontario waters.
Summer activities aren’t the only thing that Emily Provincial Park has to offer. Although the campground and facilities are closed during the winter months, you can enjoy hiking in the snow, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing on Emily Park's beautiful trails.
This 27-kilometre long lake is famous for its excellent fishing opportunities. You can catch a variety of fish in this lake, such as smallmouth and largemouth bass, pickerel, and panfish.
Check out the Gamiing Nature Centre which sits on the western shore of Pigeon Lake. With tons of forest trails and wetlands to discover, you'll recieve Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge of the Anishinaabeg Nations combined with scientific methods and technology.
If you stay on Pigeon Lake you can choose to lodge in a cozy cottage by the water. The Pigeon Lake Resort offers different size cottages to fit any family's needs.
Rumour has it that you can find the best ice cream you will ever eat from Kawartha Dairy!
This Canadian-owned company has been operating in Kawartha since 1937. They sell ice cream, milk, butter, cream, ice cream cakes, and even eggnog. Some of their newest ice cream flavours include: iced coffee sorbet, pistachio almond, and a variety of lactose-free options. You can't vacation in Kawartha Lakes without stopping by one of their ten ice-cream locations to get a scoop!
Ken Reid Conservation Area
The Ken Reid Conservation Area is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. This year-round area features 10 kilometres of trails that you can hike, snowshoe, and bike on. Dog lovers will appreciate the dog park, where you can let your furry friend get some energy out.
In addition to the many trails, this conservation area also has a playground, washrooms, and picnic shelters for lunches out of the elements.
Educational and family programs are a focal point of the Ken Reid Conservation Area as well. Nature camps for children run during warmer months, families can participate in activities like a forest therapy walk. In the winter there is a large family-centred Christmas event held at the conservation.
Camping Experiences at Kawartha Lakes
Camping is one of the most popular activities to do in Kawartha Lakes. You'll never want to leave the quiet campgrounds situated near the pristine lake shores.
Log Chateau Park
This family-friendly and family-owned campground is located on Cameron Lake and has been a staple of Kawartha Lakes since 1967. The campground sits on 200 acres and has many different lodging options. Visitors can choose to stay at one of five cabins, a trailer site, and for those looking for something a bit more rustic, there are treed tent sites available as well.
Log Chateau Park has a Banquet Barn which holds dances for both kids and adults, crafts, games, and even has an arcade. If ATVing is more your style, bring yours along and explore the Victoria Rail Trail.
In addition to having access to the lake, Log Chateau Park also has its own inground pool, sauna, and hot tub for those who would rather have a less sandy swimming experience.
You can see all that Log Chateau Park has to offer by visiting during their open season from May 1st to October 11th.
Balsam Lake Provincial Park
Balsam Lake Provincial Park Campground is home to a variety of campsites that can accommodate either tents or RV's. Balsam Lake also has a four-bedroom fully furnished cabin available for rent for any visitors who may not be a fan of roughing it.
Hikers will love exploring the 2.6 kilometre Lookout Trail or the 4.2 kilometre Plantation Trail, each offering beautiful views of the Kawartha area. Take a dip from the sandy beach or rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Balsam Lake shores. This campground is open from May 14th to October 31st.
Bobcaygeon Beach Park
If hanging out on the beach sounds like a perfect way to spend a day, look no further than Bobcaygeon Beach Park. In addition to the clean beach, there is also a grassy area that is perfect for a picnic lunch. This beach area offers a concession stand with food and drink options that your whole family will love.
If Bobcaygeon Beach Park sounds like a place you would like to visit, you'll have to wait just a little bit as the park is closed for renovations until the summer of 2022.
Where to Stay in Kawartha Lakes (If Camping Is Not Your Thing)
Not everyone is a fan of spending the night in the great outdoors. If sleeping in a tent isn't your thing, Kawartha Lakes has some comfortable hotels where you can kick back in style.
One of the best things about this inn is that it is conveniently located right off of Highway 35 in the town of Lindsay. The rooms here are comfortable and family-friendly.
Knights Inn offers free Wi-Fi and parking to all guests. Each room has its own microwave and fridge for easy meals on the go and cable TV is another amenity you’ll find in all the rooms.
This hotel is only 5 km from the center of Lindsay, where you can find golf courses and other activities to keep you busy.
Ramada by Wyndham Lindsay
If you’re looking for a comfortable hotel with lots of amenities look no further than the Ramada by Wyndham. This hotel is located in Lindsay, a town is known for its extra-wide streets and great locally-owned shops. While you are staying here, check out a show at the Academy Theatre or take a stroll along The Great Trail and explore the beauty of the outdoors.
A great perk is that this hotel offers a free continental breakfast. If you’re looking for lunch or dinner, the on-site bar and restaurant will be something you’ll want to check out. Guests who stay here will also have access to free parking and WiFi for an even more pleasant stay.
Blue Oak Cottages
When you think about visiting Kawartha Lakes, you may see yourself snug in a cottage by the water. Blue Oak Cottages can help make that dream a reality. Located on Cameron Lake, you can choose from nine different cottages all various distances from the water.
There is a mix of rustic and modern renovated cottages at Blue Oak. Each of the renovated cottages comes with a kitchen, bathroom, flat-screen TV, and access to a dock. Renting a cottage here will allow you to fully experience all that Kawartha Lakes has to offer!
When Is the Best Time to Visit Kawartha Lakes?
Although most people choose to visit Kawartha Lakes during the summer months, this area is beautiful at any time of the year. Summer at these lakes provides a relaxing escape from the fast pace of the city where you can fish, swim, and eat ice cream to your heart's content.
If you choose to visit Kawartha Lakes in the fall, the colours won't disappoint. Although there are fewer lake activities to participate in, you can still enjoy the many restaurants, nature trails, and autumn events for the whole family to take part in.
Winter at Kawartha Lakes is quieter but no less beautiful. If you visit during the colder months, you can spend some time exploring the downtown areas for great shopping or visit a sugaring farm to learn how to make maple syrup. The many trails winding through Kawartha Lakes are great for activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
You will find beauty and adventures no matter what time of year you choose to visit Kawartha Lakes.
Pack Your Bags and Get Road Tripping Today
There's something for everyone at Kawartha Lakes!
As you gear up to travel to this idyllic location, make sure you're fully insured. Here at Insurdinary, we have several packages available to help you enjoy your adventures to the lake.
Contact us today to get a free quote. We can't wait to help you get ready for your next trip!