Paddling Route: Lakefield to Peterborough

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Kawarthas region 1-day route

Start in downtown Lakefield and follow the channel of the Otonabee River south all the way to Little Lake in downtown Peterborough. Enjoy mostly quiet, scenic paddling, with some powerboat traffic, going with the flow of the water

Route information

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total distance: 16.5 km (10.25 miles); one way
  • Time to paddle: 1 day; 3.5 to 5 hours
  • Number of locks encountered: 7
  • Environment: Gentle river and canal
For shorter versions of this route, see alternate put-in locations in list below

Facilities and services available along this route:

  • Lockage (required)
  • symbol for accessible washrooms Accessible washrooms
  • symbol for potable water Potable water
  • symbol for information kiosk Information
  • symbol for picnic area Picnic area
  • symbol for camping Camping


Some lockstation facilities and services have changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and could affect your visit. Please visit our COVID-19 information page for more details when planning your trip.

Plan your trip

This is a one-way route that requires a personal shuttle to or from the put-in and take-out locations. Plan accordingly.

Put-in locations 8
Other locations to put-in nearby:
Take-out locations 5
Other locations to take-out along this route:

Paddling directions

  1. Depart Lakefield Beach & Playground and paddle right
  2. Follow the Otonabee River south passing through the locks
  3. After descending Lock 20 - Ashburnham, take a right to reach Roger’s Cove Beach and Mark St. Boat Launch


Lockage is recommended for several locks along this route. Portaging may be difficult.

Lockage is the process of raising or lowering boats and paddlecraft into connecting sections of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Lockage takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. During seasonal Hours of Operation, paddlers can lock through any Parks Canada lock with the purchase of a valid lockage permit. Permits may be purchased upon arrival, or in advance online or by phone.

Locks along this route

The status of facilities and services at lockstations listed below are subject to change throughout the navigation season. Please visit our 2021 Facilities and Services page for up-to-date status by lockstation.

Wind conditions

  • The water flows from Lakefield to Peterborough
  • Preferable wind conditions are from the north (tail wind)
  • Avoid winds from the south (head wind)


  • Watch for powerboats and their wake

Avoid dams

Watch for dams at the following locations and be sure to navigate away from them:

Tourism information

Nearby communities and services
  • Lakefield
    • Dining and shopping within walking distance of lockstation.
  • Peterborough
    • Dining and shopping within walking distance
Points of interest

Regional tourism

The following regional tourism experts can help guide you towards great local experiences and businesses in the areas along this route. Visit their websites when planning your trip.

Parks Canada on Youtube
Videos by others

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