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Kawartha Northumberland great outdoors and quaint villages await


Kawartha Northumberland combines two great areas into one.

The name “Kawartha” comes from the area’s First Nation Peoples, in whose language it means “land of shining waters.” The moment you see the sun dancing off the gentle ripples of the water, you’ll see for yourself.

Located just 90 minutes northeast of Toronto, the City of Kawartha Lakes and its many charming communities are nestled amongst beautiful lakes, winding rivers, scenic farmland and pristine wilderness. With over 250 lakes and rivers throughout vast stretches of panoramic beauty, the Kawartha Lakes offer visitors a wealth of leisure activities year round.

Visit six Trent-Severn lock stations from Bobcaygeon to Bolsover by boat or road and tour local attractions along the way. Take in the fresh air as you hike, cycle or ski an extensive 800 km network of trails including the 85 km Victoria Rail Trail.

Here is a short list of some of the experiences that are of unique global and provincial significance in Kawarthas Northumberland:

  • The shores of Lake Ontario: the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail; the historic lake-side towns of Port Hope and Cobourg with National Historic Sites like the Capitol Theatre and Victoria Hall; Presqu’ile Provincial Park; the apple orchards of Brighton & Colborne.
  • The rolling hills and limestone cliffs of Northumberland County and the St. Lawrence Lowlands, as well as the Northumberland County Forest and Ganaraska Forest.
  • The annual Salmon Run up the Ganaraska River in Port Hope.
  • Over 350 stunning lakes and rivers, many of which are connected by the Trent-Severn Waterway, National Historic Site of Canada.
  • Some of the best multi-species fishing in all of Ontario.
  • Over 80% of Trent-Severn Waterway itself is in Kawarthas Northumberland. This waterway connects Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay, including Rice Lake and the Ranney Gorge, Peterborough and Stony Lake, Balsam Lake (the highest point of freshwater in Canada from which you can circumnavigate the world’s oceans). Less than 60km of the nearly 400km of this beautiful waterway are human-made canals. The rest is lakes, rivers and wetlands.
  • In Peterborough, we have the Canadian Canoe Museum, with the world’s largest collection of paddled watercraft.
  • Our region includes many unique ecological areas, including “The Land Between,” the Canadian Shield, and the Carden Plain Important Bird Area (rated one of the top five birding areas in Ontario).
  • We have dozens of craft breweries, cider mills, distilleries and vineyards. There’s a long-standing heritage of craft brewing that is unique to this region of Ontario and has had an influential impact on the industry world-wide. For example, in the early 19th century James Calcutt (who started brewing when he was 14 years old in Ireland) settled in Cobourg and established a brewery there. James’s son, Henry, moved up to Peterborough and continued to innovate as a brewer, patenting a liquid-cooling device that became essential to the creation of lagers.
  • We have some of the best cycling, hiking, paddling, cross-country skiing, and farm-to-table experiences in all of Ontario
  • We have some of the longest-standing and biggest Studio Tours in Ontario, and our towns and cities are known for fostering some of the best music and arts scenes in Ontario.
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