Traveling Trent-Severn 2 July 8 2017

We left Peterborough Marina about 8:30 along with several other boats to go through Lock #20 Ashburnham.  When we got to the lock wall it was full so we decided to throw out an anchor and wait until there was room to tie up, knowing we wouldn’t make the first lock.  As boats were starting to go into the lock Johnny (Anchor Down) was going to tie up but the lock tender said there was room for him so he was one lock ahead of us all day.

When we locked through Lock 20 we had a rental boat with us, now we try to stay away from them as they are under power and the operator is inexperienced.  The captain of this rental R&R was very experienced and handled the boat exceptional well, even with it being under powered.  After we locked through we had two swing bridges, the Maria Street swing Bridge and the CPR Bridge that is normally open.

Our second lock for the day was Lock 21 Peterborough Lift Lock built-in 1904, the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock and considered an engineering marvel at its time.  It’s a major waterway attraction and one of the highlights of our trip.  It was more intimidating when we were watching boats yesterday than to actual be in the lift.  I don’t like heights but had no problem with the lift.  It was an amazing sight being 65 feet up in the air surrounded by water in a pan.  The hydraulic lift lock works like a simple balance beam scale.  Our lift is announced over the PA system the trip is over way to fast only taking 2 minutes.

These pictures are of the Otonabee River still on the Trent-Severn with the Warsaw Road Bridge and a group of canoes.  We had the rental boat ahead of us for a while.

This is the Trent University Foot Bridge and then we will traverse a very steep short section of the waterway from locks 22 to 25.  The hand-operated locks which still use the old valves in the gates themselves, keep the lock tenders and their staff ( which are college students) very busy.   There were so many boats ahead of us that we had to wait at every lock so I did a lot of tieing up to the blue line at each lock.

When we got through lock 25 Sawer Creek they asked us to tie up to the blue line above the lock and wait for the next lock.  With the water being so high the current at the next lock was dangerous if we had to wait.  So they wanted the lock doors open when we got there and could proceed right in.  We tied up and wait for 30 minutes until we could leave.  Kent decided to find some shade under a tree on a picnic bench.

After we came out of the lock we went through a very narrow gorge with little room to pass another vessel.  This is what the lock wall looks like at 4:00, they are docked for the night.  Our last lock for the day was at Lakefield Lock 26.

We are docked for the night at Selwyn known as Smith Ennismore Lakefield.  The Lakefield Marina is situated along the historic Trent Severn Waterway system in the town ship of Selwyn in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes region.   Johnny and  Liz (Anchor Down) were already docked and helped us when we arrived.   Lakefield was once the production of wooden canoes and boats that began in 1858 at the Thomas Gordon Canoe Company and ended in 1970 at Rilco Industries.  Prominent names such as Gordon, Strickland, and Brown were among the ten different wooden boat manufactures through those years.  Some of their canoes were presented to royalty and many were shipped all over the world.  Walter Walker one of the last great canoe builders, presented a canoe to Prince Andrew in 1977.


Glenda and Rob ( Monterey) a couple we met while staying  at Fort Myers over the winter they are also doing the loop.  They had some engine problems so will finish the loop next year.  Lakefield is their home port and they came to see us.  The last time we were together was in early February.  It was so nice to see them again and find out what was new in their life.  They gave us a lot of advice on what to see and where to stop from here on through the rest of the Trent Severn.


We left Saturday morning with cloudy skies, but at least it isn’t raining.  We have thirty miles and four lock until we dock at Gordon Marina.   When we left Lakefield we entered Balsam Lake and are referred to as Kawartha Lakes.  Rob told us this is the prettiest area around with many islands and lakeside homes, cottages, boats, and recreational activities.   The terrain has some rocks, and the homes and cottages are beautiful.   The Kawartha Lies once known to the Indian as “Happy Lands and bright water” stretch across Ontario in a series of long loop like passages.  This was beyond words and I know my pictures don’t capture the beauty of all the small island.  Even if it was a cloudy day the view was amazing with winding turns and so many small islands off in the distance.

There are so many cottages on their own island it was beyond amazing when we navigated through this area.  Lock 27 Young’s -Point is operated hydraulically and we were in and out in no time.  Young’s point has Lockside Trading Company with picnic tables and a park as well as a walking bridge to the other side of this cottage community.  We wanted to stop but there was no room to dock our boat as both sides were lined with boats.  Not like when you’re in a car and they have a parking lot.

Then we came to another area named Hells Gates and again it’s  name is more scarier sounding than it was.  We followed the markers, slowed way down with little current and had no problem.  The channel is narrow, winding, and the scenery through Hells Gate is breathtaking.


There is even a church on one of islands.  This was an amazing section of the Trent-Severn.

We then crossed Stoney Lake with three interconnected lakes (Upper Stoney lake to the northeast, Stony lake in the center, and Clear Lake to the south-west ) which together are known as Stoney Lake.   This forms the eastern end of the Kawartha Lake region.  It’s primarily a summer cottage area but there are permanent residence on the lakes.


Then we came to lock 28 Burleigh Falls, the falls more accurately described as a chute or cascade since the drop in water level is more horizontal than vertical.  They are created by a narrowing in the flow of water between Lovesick Lake and lower Buchhorn Lake on the west and Stoney Lake to the east.  At one time the landform was known as the Burleigh chute.

There is no Lock 29 Burleigh Falls as they used to have two locks.  The newer lock replace both 28 and 29.

Lock 30 Lovesick is really unique in that it’s on an island and therefore only accessible by boat.  Lovesick Lake reportedly named for an American Indian boy spurned by a redheaded Irish girl.  It is totally isolated with no services.  There is washrooms at the lock and camping is permitted on Millage Island either at the bottom or top of the lock itself but there is no trash collection here, so you must take away all that you bring.

Lock 31 Buckhorn is the halfway point on the Trent-Severn.  Once above lovesick Lake Lock you are in Lower Buchhorn Lake which is long and narrow except for Deer Bay which comprised almost half the lakes navigable water to the south.  This group of islands beginning with Fox Island to the east of the Three islands to the west end.  Buckhorn lake is very shallow and more prone to weeds of which we found some.

Gannon Narrows ia a narrow unmarked horseshoe-shaped passage that rounds Jacob Island in Buckhorn Lake into Blind Channel and rejoins the main channel at Pigeon lake on the west of Jacob’s Landing.  This is the Gannon Narrows bridge with the water high now only has a 20 ft. clearance .


This is Pigeon Lake about five miles long and is one of a group of lakes called the Kawartha, it was a little rough due to strong winds.

We are now at Gordan Yacht Harbor, we docked about 3:00 today and will only be staying one night.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Burkhalters says:

    WOW; so, so interesting!! Thx so much for sharing!! 🍻⚓️🍻 CHEERS

  2. Linda weber says:

    I knew you would have a fantastic view across the canels of Canada. Keep up the great writings.

    1. jansyverson says:

      Thanks it’s beautiful I just want to stay and take it all in.

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