The next area on our list to explore is the Peterborough County and Kawartha Lakes area. The Kawarthas, which is an anglicized word meaning “Land of Reflections”, is aptly named; It is filled with lakes, rivers, and waterways that keep it glittering all year round.
Map Courtesy of Google Maps
Map Courtesy of Google Maps
The area has become more and more popular in the last few years because of its close proximity to the city. Names like Shadow, Balsam, Scugog, Pigeon, and Buckhorn are familiar ones to those who own or have friends with cottages in the area. Small towns like Young’s Point, Ennismore, Apsley, Baillieboro, and Warsaw draw the travellers who seek small town charm and an escape from the bustle of the city. It is an area where outdoor recreation meets with a fierce pride for its cultural and artistic achievements, making it the perfect getaway in any season.
Summer means beaches, and the lakes of the Kawarthas will not disappoint. There are a number of great beaches, all close to amenities, that will keep everyone happy. Both Roger’s Cove and Beavermead on Little Lake are within a few minutes walk from Peterborough’s downtown core, both are also supervised, which is nice when you have a group of kids to watch, and Roger’s Cove even boasts a splash pad. Sandy Lake near Buckhorn is also another great beach option. The bay is shallow, the bottom is sandy, and the turquoise sheen of the water will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. Wherever you go in the area, you are sure to find a nice spot by the water to relax.
The attractions in the area are very diverse, providing a lot of options vacationers. The Petroglyphs Provincial Park is a great place to explore and the learn about the history of the land. It has the largest known collection of Aboriginal rock carvings. The Learning Place Visitors Centre explains some of the stories behind the petroglyphs and gives great insight into the Ojibway (Nishnaabe) people and their traditions. It is also just a great area to explore if you’re a nature lover, you might see the only lizard in Ontario, the Five-Lined Skink. Outdoor adventurers will also love the Warsaw Caves. This conservation area and campground on the Otonobee River, has seven caves to explore. Created during the last ice age, these caves offer hours of exploration to enjoy.
Photo Courtesy of Indian River Reptile Zoo
Other great attractions include the Indian River Reptile Zoo, a conservation program where visitors can see over 200 species of reptiles; the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough explores the significance of canoes, kayaks, and other paddled watercraft to the history of Canada; and the Lang Pioneer Village Museum offers insight into the lives of the areas 19th century settlers with costumed interpreters and interactive historic displays. The area offers so much to learn.
The area is of course known for its waterways. The Trent-Severn Waterway is the connective soul of the area, connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Huron, as well as the Trent River, the Kawartha lakes, Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching, the Severn River, and more. The interconnected lakes make it perfect for boating, as you can just continue for kilometers. If you’re in the area you have to check out the Peterborough Lift Lock, lock 21. It is the largest of its kind in the world. The Visitors Centre of the Lock 21 offers some interesting history of the construction of the lock and of the area, as well as interactive simulations. To really appreciate the lift, you have to be on a boat. There are a number of boat cruises in the area that will help you to explore the Kawarthas and Peterborough County’s amazing waterways.