With so much shoreline to choose from, Kawartha Lakes is a waterfront camper’s paradise.
The Kawartha Lakes region features a series of long, thin lakes, many of them connected as part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. The area attracts anglers, paddlers, hikers, and campers from all around southern Ontario. Winter activities are also abundant, including skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Cycling has become a year-round activity too, thanks to “fat biking.” It’s a popular getaway for Torontonians—just a 90-minute drive from the city with lots of campgrounds to choose from, and just to the north is Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.
Near Peterborough Peterborough is the largest city in the region and offers the most conveniences for campers who want to get supplies or indulge in a restaurant meal. Beavermead Campground is right on the edge of the city, but a short drive north provides lakeside options on Chemong Lake and Pigeon Lake. Many trailer parks also have cabins available for rent. Near Fenelon Falls The village of Fenelon Falls is one of those oh-so-charming places that visitors can’t resist. It sits between Cameron Lake and Sturgeon Lake, and offers access to the 85-kilometre Victoria Rail Trail, a multi-use trail open year round. Head north of town on Country Road 121 to find private campgrounds like Log Chateau Park and Fenelon Valley Trailer Park. Near Bobcaygeon Bobcaygeon is located on an island between Pigeon Lake and the north end of Sturgeon Lake. Campers in the area have a lot of choices, with campgrounds, trailer parks, resorts, and cottages all along the shorelines. Staying near Bobcaygeon puts you close to Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park (an hour’s drive from town) if that’s your eventual destination.
Kawartha Lakes can be enjoyed year-round, although winter camping options will be limited because many private campgrounds are open only from May to October. However, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park stays open all year. Summer visits are best planned for midweek, since weekends are very busy. For peace and quiet, visit in early spring before fishing season opens and seasonal campers arrive.
- Although trailer parks are abundant in the area, many of them book out most of their sites to customers for the whole season, leaving little availability for short-term campers. - Many area cottage “resorts” also have camping options. Don’t let the name fool you. - The Trent-Severn Waterway makes boating a common activity in the area. Paddlers should be prepared for traffic on the lakes and try to stay away from the main thoroughfares. - Hikers should grab a guide to the 500-kilometre Ganaraska Hiking Trail, which passes through the region.