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Great PWC Getaways in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

All photos Allan Glanfield

Got a day or a weekend to go PWC riding? Here’s a welcoming place that offers some of the best interconnected waterways in Ontario!



The Peterborough & the Kawarthas region of Ontario, part of the famous Trent-Severn Waterway, offers superb Yamaha Waverunner and Sea-Doo riding close to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In this popular slice of cottage country, you can pursue your Ontario powersports passion on the water by trailering your own personal watercraft for a day ride or weekend getaway or renting from Kawartha Adventure Rentals.

Yamaha Waverunner ready and waiting at the Beachwood Resort

You can stay overnight at a PWC-friendly, waterfront location like the family run Beachwood Resort (with its own launch and docks) for the full Kawartha experience. Or you can get more urban by tucking into the Peterborough Marina and staying at the nearby downtown Peterborough Holiday Inn, both located on Little Lake. Either way, you’ll find multiple day riding options, ranging from exploring many kilometres of interconnected Kawartha Lakes to scenic river-cruising to locking through the heart of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Located just northeast of the GTA and easily accessible by the four-lane Highway 115 running north from the 401, the Peterborough & the Kawarthas region includes lakes like Katchewanooka, Clear, Stoney, Lovesick, Buckhorn, Chemong and Pigeon, plus 30 km of the Otonabee River south from Peterborough to Rice Lake and 25 km north from Peterborough to Katchewanooka Lake. That’s a huge whack of Trent-Severn Waterway, ripe for PWC adventure!

Peterborough & the Kawarthas is anchored by the waterfront city of Peterborough (pop. 135,000), where the iconic Centennial Fountain (the highest jet fountain in Canada) greets arriving PWC riders from the centre of Little Lake. Nearby Del Crary Park is the site of the famous Peterborough MusicFest. And while in Peterborough, don’t miss the view from the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world!

For our Peterborough & the Kawarthas ride, we overnighted at Beachwood Resort for two nights, enjoying scrumptious meals at its on-site Frederick’s Restaurant to energize our adventures. One day we rode east through the Lovesick, Burleigh Falls & Young’s Point Locks to Katchewanooka Lake and back (see locking through advice). The next, we made the westbound return ride through the Buckhorn Lock to Pigeon Lake.

With only a day left in our three-day sojourn, we didn’t have enough time to cruise from Beachwood all the way to Peterborough and back, so we trailered to the city in a mere 30 minutes. We launched from the Mark Street boat ramp (located beside Rogers Cove Park) to ride south on the Otonabee River through the Scotts Mills lock to Rice Lake and back (see ride article).

“Kawartha” means “bright waters and happy lands”…exactly what every rider needs for memorable PWC fun. To really do the Peterborough & the Kawarthas region justice by PWC or boat, you’d need four to five days, but that’s okay by me because it just means I’ll have to go back again real soon.

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