Give me a machine with the ability to cover distance, be it a motorcycle, snowmobile, or car, and my first thought will be, “where can this thing take me?” Ontario, yours to discover – absolutely! So PWC touring? Hey, why not? With hundreds of thousands of lakes, Ontario has more kilometres of shore line than it has roads. Accommodations, food and gas are all accessible from the water. So strap on a dry bag and let’s go explore. Where to, you ask? I have a few ideas. Here’s my Ontario PWC touring wish list.
The Trent-Severn Waterway
Connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, the 386-km stretch of lakes, rivers and canals known as the Trent-Severn Waterway will give you the opportunity to retrace history. Samuel de Champlain was the first European to travel this route with the Hurons back in 1615. A few things have changed since then, like the addition of 45 locks, 39 wing bridges, a couple of flight locks and the Big Chute Marine Railway. This is not a day trip, but a definite must-do for any avid PWC tourer.
Lake Temagami Back Country Tour
No matter the means of transportation, I love getting off the beaten path. Imagine tying off your PWC at Ojibway Family Lodge, a place that can't be reached any other way than by water or air. You step off in to the quintessential Northern Ontario experience, where the only sounds you will hear are the crackle of the fire and the cry of the loon. Where the nightly entertainment consists of watching the world reflected in the glass calm stillness of the lake in front of your cabin. Lake Temagami, at 50 km long and 30 wide, and with nearly 1,300 islands doting its surface, has plenty to explore, be it for one day or a few.
The Georgian Bay Adventure
The Diamond Key Lodge at the mouth of the Key River is another hideaway only accessible from the water, making it a perfect PWC touring destination. The eastern shore of Georgian Bay, with its thousands of islands, channels, hidden beaches and big open water, offers unlimited exploration opportunities. With numerous spots where you can launch, your tour can be a quick day trip or a multi-day epic of a few hundred kilometres.
Where but in Muskoka can you get on your PWC and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner – each on a different patio, on a different lake, in a different town, all accessible from the water? With five interconnected lakes, 200+ km days are possible, but with so many places to stop and things to do it’s not easily achievable. No need to rush; with a variety of accommodations at your disposal, why not make it a weekend? Not a PWC owner,?No problem; rentals are widely available.
Lake Nipissing Cottage Getaway
This might be the ultimate PWC cottage weekend getaway for PWC owners who don't own a cottage. There are dozens of cottage rental resorts offering cozy lake site accommodations and a mellow old-school cottage vibe: no monster cottages, no glitz here.
Arrive on your machine or trailer in, set up your home for the weekend, and go explore. With 785 km of shoreline, 1,000-plus islands, the upper French River, and a number of communities along its shore, Lake Nipissing can definitely keep you busy for a few days.
There you have it, my PWC touring wish list for the summer. When it comes to the PWC touring potential in Ontario, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Don't get me wrong, I love getting out for a few hours blasting waves and getting wet, but I view my PWC as more then a play toy; I see it as a tool for exploration. So strap on that dry bag and get out there. A long day trip sounds good, but a few days sounds even better!