Discover Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

Located in the heart of Ontario, Kawartha Lakes is a picturesque region known for its stunning natural beauty, tranquil lakes, and charming towns.

Whether you’re seeking adventure on the water, a peaceful retreat in nature, or a taste of local culture and cuisine, Kawartha Lakes offers something for everyone.


Top 3 Facts about Kawartha Lakes in Ontario


Natural Beauty

Kawartha Lakes boasts over 250 lakes and rivers, offering ample boating, fishing, and water sports opportunities. The region’s scenic landscapes include rolling hills, lush forests, and numerous parks, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.


Cultural Heritage

The area is home to several historic sites and museums, such as the Kawartha Settlers’ Village and the Boyd Heritage Museum. These attractions provide insights into the region’s early settlement and cultural history.


Outdoor Recreation

Kawartha Lakes is a popular destination for outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and camping. The Victoria Rail Trail and the Ganaraska Hiking Trail are among the many trails that offer breathtaking views and a chance to explore the natural surroundings.


Must See Attractions

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Fenelon Falls


Known as the “Jewel of the Kawarthas,” Fenelon Falls features a stunning waterfall that cascades into the Fenelon River. The town offers quaint shops, cozy cafes, and beautiful waterfront views, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely day trip.

Boyd Heritage Museum


Located in Bobcaygeon, this museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the local history, showcasing artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that chronicle the development of the Kawartha Lakes region.

Balsam Lake


Balsam Lake is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the Kawartha region. It’s known for its clear waters, sandy beaches, and excellent fishing opportunities. Balsam Lake Provincial Park, located on its shores, offers camping, hiking, and swimming facilities, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Annual Events and Festivals


Kawartha Arts Festival

This two-day festival celebrates local artists and artisans, featuring various visual arts, crafts, and live music.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to appreciate and purchase unique handmade items while enjoying performances and food vendors.


Bobcaygeon Craft Beer & Food Festival

This festival showcases a variety of craft beers from local breweries alongside delicious food from regional vendors.

It’s a great event for beer enthusiasts and foodies to sample and enjoy the best local flavors.

July 1

Canada Day Celebrations

Canada Day is celebrated with parades, live music, family activities, and spectacular fireworks displays across Kawartha Lakes.

Each community offers its unique festivities, making it a day full of patriotic fun.

Top Hiking Trails

Victoria Rail Trail

Ken Reid Conservation Area

This multi-use trail extends over 85 kilometers from Lindsay to Kinmount, passing through scenic forests, wetlands, and farmlands.

It’s perfect for hiking, cycling, and snowmobiling in the winter.

Ganaraska Hiking Trail

Victoria Road, near Glenarm Rd, Kawartha Lakes, ON

This section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail runs through the western part of Kawartha Lakes, offering a mix of forests, fields, and rural landscapes.

It connects with the main Ganaraska Trail, providing extensive hiking opportunities.

Balsam Lake Provincial Park Trails

2238 Kawartha Lakes County Rd 48, Kirkfield, ON

The park features several trails, including the Lookout Trail, which offers panoramic views of Balsam Lake, and the Plantation Trail, which winds through a former tree plantation.

The trails vary in length and difficulty, making them suitable for all skill levels.

Best Golf Courses

Lindsay Golf & Country Club

282 Lindsay St S, Lindsay, ON K9V 4R5

This 18-hole course offers a challenging layout with well-maintained greens and fairways.

The club also features a driving range, practice facilities, and a clubhouse with dining options.

Eganridge Golf & Country Club

156 Bolsover Rd, Bolsover, ON K0M 2T0

Located on the scenic shores of Sturgeon Lake, this 9-hole course provides stunning views and a challenging game.

The resort also offers luxury accommodations, a spa, and fine dining.

Western Trent Golf Club

156 Bolsover Rd, Bolsover, ON K0M 1B0

An 18-hole course situated along the Trent-Severn Waterway, providing a unique golfing experience with water views and natural landscapes.

The club includes practice facilities and a clubhouse.

Water Sports


With over 250 lakes and rivers, Kawartha Lakes is a boating paradise. Popular spots include Sturgeon Lake, Balsam Lake, and Pigeon Lake.

Boat rentals, marinas, and public boat launches are available throughout the region.


The region offers excellent fishing opportunities, with species such as bass, walleye, muskellunge (muskie), and perch.

Popular fishing lakes include Sturgeon Lake, Cameron Lake, and Balsam Lake.

Kayaking & Canoeing

Paddle through calm waters and explore scenic shorelines and hidden coves in Kawartha Lakes. The region’s extensive lake and river network offers endless kayaking and canoeing opportunities.

The Kawartha Lakes Water Trail is a popular route, providing paddlers with serene waters and gentle currents. Many rental services offer kayaks and canoes, making it easy to embark on a paddling adventure.

Winter Activities

Cross-Country Skiing

Experience the serene beauty of Kawartha Lakes in winter on cross-country skis. Numerous trails cater to skiers of all skill levels, offering peaceful routes through snow-covered forests and open fields.

Many conservation areas and parks maintain groomed trails specifically for cross-country skiing.


Kawartha Lakes boasts an extensive network of groomed snowmobile trails maintained by local clubs, offering over 1,000 kilometers of scenic routes.

These trails wind through forests, fields, and along frozen lakes, providing a thrilling way to explore the winter landscape. Snowmobile rentals and guided tours are available for both beginners and experienced riders.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Kawartha Lakes, with many of the region’s lakes offering excellent opportunities to catch species such as perch, walleye, and northern pike.

Local outfitters provide ice hut rentals and gear, making it easy for novice and experienced anglers to enjoy this winter pastime.

Where to Eat

Pane Vino Trattoria & Wine Bar

$$ – $$$ • Italian

The Riverside Inn

$$ – $$$ • American

Murphy’s Lockside Pub & Patio

$$ – $$$ • Irish

Where to Shop

Lindsay Square Mall

Shopping center

Kent Bookstore


The Kawartha Store

Lifestyle boutique

Where to Sleep

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1054 Grace River Road
Number of Guests 8
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$0.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home in Kawartha Lakes

Availability and Dates

Start by narrowing down the vacation rentals based on your travel dates. In popular areas like Kawartha Lakes, booking accommodations well in advance is vital to ensure availability.

Read Reviews

Remember to consider the importance of reading previous guests’ reviews. Sites like provide helpful feedback on cleanliness, location, and overall experience. Look for rentals with consistently high ratings from guests to ensure a pleasurable stay.


If being close to the water is a priority, search for lakefront properties or accommodations boasting stunning water views.

Housekeeping Services

Many vacation rentals provide housekeeping services either included or at an additional cost, making it easier for you to enjoy your stay without worrying about cleaning.

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Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Kawartha Lakes

Kawartha Lakes, Ontario’s history and cultural significance are deeply intertwined with its rich natural landscapes and vibrant communities. Originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Mississauga and Anishinaabe nations, the region’s name “Kawartha” is believed to derive from an Anishinaabe term meaning “land of reflections.”

European settlement began in the early 19th century, spurred by the construction of the Trent-Severn Waterway, which linked the lakes and rivers, facilitating trade and development. The area quickly became known for its timber and milling industries, leveraging the waterways for transportation and power. Over time, Kawartha Lakes evolved into a popular recreational destination renowned for its picturesque lakes, forests, and outdoor activities.

Today, the region preserves its cultural heritage through museums, festivals celebrating local arts and traditions, and a strong community spirit that honors both its Indigenous roots and its pioneer history. The Kawartha Lakes region attracts visitors and residents alike, drawn by its natural beauty, historical charm, and vibrant cultural tapestry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Kawartha Lakes

Many stunning lakes in the Kawarthas are perfect for a relaxing cottage getaway. Some of the most popular lakes for cottage rentals include Balsam Lake, Sturgeon Lake, and Pigeon Lake.

Kawartha Lakes is located in central Ontario, Canada, approximately 90 minutes northeast of Toronto. It spans an area that includes numerous lakes, rivers, and rural communities.

Kawartha Lakes is home to over 250 lakes, each offering unique recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. Some of the prominent lakes include Sturgeon Lake, Balsam Lake, and Pigeon Lake.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, golfing, and wildlife viewing. The region’s extensive trail networks and waterways make it ideal for nature lovers.

The best times to visit Kawartha Lakes depend on your interests. Summer (June to August) is popular for water activities and festivals, while fall (September to November) offers stunning foliage. Winter (December to February) is ideal for snow sports and scenic winter landscapes.

Families can enjoy activities such as visiting parks like Balsam Lake Provincial Park and Ken Reid Conservation Area, exploring local farms and markets, and attending community events and festivals throughout the year.

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