Paddling Route: McCrackens Landing to Peterborough

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Kawarthas region 2-day route

On this 2-day paddling trip, paddle through three different paddling environments and plan an overnight’s stay in a Parks Canada oTENTik and experience camping at a new comfort level.

Route information

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Total distance: 37 km (23 miles); one way
    • Day 1 - McCracken’s Landing to Lock 24 - 23.5 km (14.5 miles)
    • Day 2 - Lock 24 to Monaghan Boat Ramp - 13.5 km ( 8.5 miles)
  • Time to paddle: 8 to 10 hours total
    • Day 1: 5.5 to 6.5 hours
    • Day 2: 3 to 4 hours
  • Number of locks encountered: 9
  • Environment: Lakes; Gentle river and canal

Facilities and services available along this route:
  • Lockage (required on this route)
  • 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
Other locations to put-in nearby:
Take-out locations
Other locations to take-out along this route:
Camping and Accommodations

Tent camping is available at most lockstations on a first-come, first-served basis, at the discretion of the lockmaster. Campsites can not be reserved in advance.

Learn more about camping at lockstations

Paddling directions

  1. Paddle left from McCrackens Landing
  2. Follow the west shore of Clear Lake, then the east shore of Katchewanooka Lake and the Otonabee River
  3. When exiting Lock 20, stick to the left shore to explore Meade Creek through Beavermead Park
  4. When back on into Little Lake turn left toward Lock 19
  5. Monaghan Rd Boat launch is located on your right (west shore)


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 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 / north east (tail winds)
  • Avoid strong east/southeast and west/northwest winds (cross winds), especially for when crossing the lakes
  • Avoid: south/southwest winds (head winds)


  • Watch for powerboats and their wake
  • Winding narrow sections of the Otonabee River past Lock 19

Avoid dams

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

Tourism information

Nearby communities and services
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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