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Trails and Conservation Areas

There are more than 600 km of trails spread across Kawartha Lakes. The Ganaraska Trail, Kawartha Trans Canada Trail and Victoria Rail Trail Corridor have several access points in different areas of Kawartha Lakes.

Ganaraska Trail

The Ganaraska Trail is a recreational trail with a total length of 500 km. Since 1967 it has been developed and maintained solely by volunteers and private landowners. The trail stretches across every type of landscape possible. Its route crosses parts of the Somerville Tract and the Victoria Rail Trail.

The Kawartha section starts on the Victoria Rail Trail where it intersects with Crosswinds Road, south of Reaboro. It follows the rail trail to Lindsay, along the Scugog River for some distance, and then takes the Victoria County Recreation Corridor, which it follows to 2 km past Burnt River. At this point, the trail increasingly sees evidence of Canadian Shield country. The section ends in Moore Falls after 77 km or varied terrain. The first 50 km are flat, and the next 20 km are rugged. The last 5 km are on country paths from Buller Road to Moore Falls. This section is suitable for novices.

The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail

East

The Kawartha Trans Canada Trail is multi-use from Lindsay to Fowlers Corners. The trail has been surfaced (hard-packed limestone) is flat and level and passes by scenic rivers, wetlands and vary of landscapes. There are many access points including County Road 36, Omemee and road crossings between Lindsay and Peterborough.

West

The trail goes through Lindsay on hard-packed limestone. It is flat and level allowing for easy travel passing the villages of Little Britain, Oakwood and Manilla on the way to the Town of Uxbridge and beyond. There are access points at Sir Sandford Fleming College Frost Campus or Angeline Street South behind Sweetnam Drive in Lindsay. There are numerous access points where the trail crosses roads heading west.

Victoria Rail Trail Corridor (VRTC)

The Victoria Rail Trail is an 85-kilometer rail trail with corridors linking Kinmount to Bethany through Lindsay. This public trail is open year round for recreational uses including walking, hiking, cycling, fishing, horseback riding, dog sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and, subject to possession of a valid trail permit, snowmobiling and ATV-ing.

North Corridor

The North Corridor follows the former CN rail line north, from Fenelon Falls to Kinmount. Stop for a picnic lunch at Island Park or view the falls at Trent-Severn Waterway Lock 34. The trail follows Cameron Lake and then the Burnt River leading into Somerville Tract which is heavily forested and perfect for hiking, bird watching and wildlife viewing. After leaving the Forest, head north past the Crego Creek Bridge and into Kinmount.

Recommended Access Points:

  • Fenelon Falls at Garnet Graham Park
  • Fell Station West of Arterial Road 121
  • Burnt River North of the former Burnt River Library
  • Watson's Siding West of Arterial Road 121, South of Monck Rd.
  • Kinmount at Austin Sawmill Heritage Park, Pinery Road

Central Corridor

The Central Corridor begins in the north end of Lindsay at Thunder Bridge Road and takes you north to Fenelon Falls. Ken Reid Conservation Area is the first stop and contains a variety of trails, marsh boardwalk, Osprey nests, picnic shelters, group camping and a beach area. Follow Sturgeon Lake into Cameron and then north into Fenelon Falls.

Recommended Access Points:

  • Lindsay (Non-motorized), William Street North - Victoria Junction between Eglington Avenue and Orchard Park Road
  • Lindsay (Motorized) at Thunder Bridge Road, Ken Reid Conservation Area
  • Cameron on Long Beach Rd. (Arterial Road 34) East of Highway 35
  • Fenelon Falls (South) at the Old Railway Station

South Corridor

The South Corridor is the old CP Rail line that extends 30 km from Lindsay to Bethany. This trail begins off King Street East with the new Rotary Trail - 1.5 km of paved pathway. Going south from Logie Street the trail follows the old CP Rail line to Bethany passing through farmlands and the natural areas of Fleetwood Creek Valley, bordered by the Bethany Hills. A portion of the trail passes through the newly formed Windy Ridge Conservation Area.

Recommended Access Points:

  • Bethany at the intersection of Ski Hill Road and Jackson Street
  • Pigeon River (limited parking) at Mount Horeb Road (Arterial Road 31)
  • Lindsay off of King Street

Victoria Rail Trail (VRTC) Trail Use Guidelines

While on the Victoria Rail Trail a few basic rules apply:

  • Speed limits of 20 km/h must be observed by all vehicles (ATV's, snowmobiles, and bicycles) in urban areas (Lindsay, Bethany, Fenelon Falls, Burnt River and Kinmount); elsewhere the speed limit is 50 km/hr;
  • Use of the VRTC is limited to between 7:00am and 9:30pm;
  • ATVs are not permitted on the VRTC between Logie Street and Thunder Bridge Road in Lindsay at any time;
  • ATV's are not permitted on the trail during winter months;
  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the VRTC during the month of April;
  • No two-wheeled motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail;
  • Only licensed and insured ATV's and snowmobiles with trail permits are allowed;
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash;
  • Pedestrians have right of way over all other users;
  • Privacy and rights of abutting landowners must be respected;
  • Do not litter or remove natural vegetation.

Trail rules ensure all users have a good experience. They will be enforced pursuant to City By-Laws governing use of the corridor. You can report violations by calling 705-324-9411 or by calling the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122.

Bobcaygeon and surrounding area

Bobcaygeon Wilderness Park

Bobcaygeon Wilderness Park provides over eight acres of safe, accessible trails for walking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through a beautiful mature forest. The park also provides a unique educational opportunity to visitors.

A large pollinator patch showcases hundreds of native plants and highlights the importance of pollinators, especially bees to our ecosystems.

Interpretive signs provide another educational component, explaining the significance of many of the natural features found within the park and along the trails.

The Bobcaygeon Wilderness Park is located in the northeast corner of Bobcaygeon, just off County Road 36.

Dunsford Nature Trail

The Dunsford Nature Trail is a recently built trail on a converted railway line. It extends 2.5 km from Dunsford to Verulam Concession Road 2. The trail passes through an area of lowland swamp and forest at the headwaters of a branch of Emily Creek.

Access to this trail is available in the village of Dunsford, which is located northeast of Lindsay and southwest of Bobcaygeon on Sturgeon Road (Kawartha Lakes Road 7).

For more information call 705-738-2363.

John Eakins Walkway

This walkway is located along the Trent-Severn Waterway at Bobcaygeon Lock 32, a National Historic Site of Canada. The walkway is dedicated to former politician John Eakins. Access to the trail is available in the Town of Bobcaygeon at Lock 32.

Gamiing Nature Centre Trails

Explore the wetlands and forests at Gamiing Nature Centre. The 55 hectare property includes over 7 km of trails and 15 hectares of wetland along scenic Pigeon Lake. Future plans include a 600 metre boardwalk into the marsh.

Address: 1884 Pigeon Lake Road, Lindsay, ON

For more information call 705-799-7083.

Kawartha Settlers' Village Trail

Kawartha Setters' Village features a beautiful nature trail that extends around the perimeter of their 9 acre property. The trail is completely natural with mature trees, historic flowers and vines. The grass is kept short and the trail provides a peaceful walk. Plan a walk and visit the Village while you are there.

Address: 85 Dunn St, Bobcaygeon, ON

For more information call 705-738-6163.

Coboconk and surrounding area

Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Balsam Lake Provincial Park has two hiking trails.

Lookout Trail - a 2.6 km walk through eskers and kames formed over 10,000 years ago from the Wisconsin Glacier. Enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

Plantation Trail - a 4.2 km moderate forest trek with both natural and pioneer highlights.

Indian Point Provincial Park - Indian Point Trail

Located on the north end of Balsam Lake, the 946 hectare Indian Point Provincial Park features one of the longest undeveloped shorelines in Kawartha Lakes. Consisting of a low, limestone escarpment, this lake shore property is an alvar.

This is not an operating Provincial Park and there are no visitor facilities. Camping is prohibited.

Water access is available from Balsam Lake. 

For more information call 705-454-3324.

Fenelon Falls and surrounding area

Hydro Dam Trail

Access this trail from Fenelon Falls. This trail provides a great location to watch beautiful waterfalls and to learn more about hydro-electric power generation. There is no sign pointing towards the Hydro Dam.

Kinmount and surrounding area

Somerville Tract

Somerville Tract is comprised of 3,420 hectares of mixed forest property. There are three trail loops covering a variety of terrain including pine plantations, wetlands, hardwoods and rock outcrops. Somerville Tract offers many kilometres of double track. The rolling cottage roads and forest tracks are ideal for mountain bikes.

Somerville Tract is located 5.6 km west of Kinmount on Arterial Road 45.

For further information call 705-324-9411 extension 1176.

Kirkfield and surrounding area

Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands

Formerly known as Dalton Digby Wildlands, the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park is one of the most diverse and least disturbed natural areas found in Central Ontario. Containing more than 50 landform vegetation patterns, this site has limited or no recent history of logging. Its low-rolling topography includes organic soils, flat sandy deposits, and bare bedrock uplands with shallow soil patches.

Day use hiking and canoeing are permitted activities. Overnight camping is only allowed on existing campsites on the Ganaraska Hiking Trail. Victoria Falls, Hunter's Lake and Little Gull Lake are popular day use areas. No camping is actively enforced in these areas.

There are no maintained public facilities or services within the park.

Ganaraska Hiking Trail 

Over 40 km of trail traverse the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park including an additional three loop trails. Check the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association website for more information.

Access Points:

  • 1115 Devils Lake Road - Township of Minden Hills
  • 1526 Black River Road - City of Kawartha Lakes

Telephone: 705-454-3324 extension 5224

Lindsay and surrounding area

Carew Park - McDonald Park

This 4 km trail is well lit and located in downtown Lindsay. For more information call 705-324-9411 extension 1301.

Ken Reid Conservation Area

Ken Reid Conservation Area is a 110-hectare (272 acre) property of open meadow and forest that provides protection to the Mclaren's Creek wetland. It is designed to be easily accessible and enjoyable for the whole family. Amenities include:

  • hiking trails
  • cycling trails
  • picnic shelters
  • group camping area
  • wetlands
  • cross-country ski trails

Ken Reid Conservation Area is located 3 km north of Lindsay on Sturgeon Lake, off Hwy 35 on Kenrei Park Rd. It contains 12 interconnected trail loops totalling almost 12 km. Please call 705-328-2271 for more information.

Lindsay Legacy Trail

The Lindsay Legacy Trail is 1.6 km section of paved trail from Victoria Junction (the corner of William Street North and Orchard Park Road, Lindsay) to Thunder Bridge Road, along the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor. This trail is great for any form of active transportation. Stop by the railway station replica for information on geocaching, train history and local wildlife.

Rivera Park Trail

The Rivera Park Trail is located on the east side of the Scugog River in Lindsay. The trail is 2 km and takes approximately 30 minutes to walk. The trail is open year-round and is great for a variety of outdoor activities. For more information please call 705-324-9411 extension 1301.

Rotary Trail

The Scugog River Rotary Trail follows the Scugog River on the east side of Lindsay. This trail was paved by the Rotary Club of Lindsay and is accessible for walkers, wheelchairs, strollers and roller skates. This trail is non-motorized. You can access the trail from Logie Street and King Street.

Sir Sandford Fleming College Trails

There are three loop trails off of the Kawartha Trans Canada Trail behind Fleming College that travel through the woods, along the Scugog River and across a field. Beautiful bridges, boardwalks and look out areas have been developed and maintained by College students. Enter Campus on Albert Street South. Trails are accessible behind Heavy Equipment Building and Student Union Building.

Omemee and surrounding area

Emily Provincial Park

Emily Provincial Park is located on Regional Road 10, just north of Omemee. The entrance to the trail is near the south beach parking area. Walk along the elevated boardwalk over a cattail marsh to a sphagnum moss island and a lookout tower to see the osprey nests. You can also swim at two sandy beaches along Pigeon River, fish or paddle.

Marsh Boardwalk Trail

The Marsh Boardwalk Trail begins on a bark-chipped surface and immediately you enter an area of tall and mature cedar trees creating a dense tree canopy. Soon you arrive at the boardwalk and begin walking through cattails and ferns. The boardwalk stops at a unique island referred to as Sphagnum Island, which was created over thousands of years. The trail continues to circle around the island and leads to a lookout platform that allows you to scan the marsh, Pigeon River and forest. If you look carefully, you will see a nest where for generations a pair of ospreys has raised their young.

Emily Tract - Loops 1 and 2

Emily Tract is located on Arterial Road 14, just west of Cowan's Bay and Emily Provincial Park.

Emily Tract comprises 99.2 hectares (205 acres) of mixed forest property, with two trail loops winding through the property allowing you to explore unique glacial land features including moraines and eskers.

Emily Tract contains two trail loops: Loop 1 is gently rolling and heavily forested and Loop 2 crosses a wooden bridge, is hillier and is also heavily forested.

For more information please 705-324-9411 extension 1176.

Windy Ridge Conservation Area

Windy Ridge Conservation Area is a 35-hectare (87-acre) property that offers an ideal spot to enjoy a short walk in the open air and a stunning view. It is located at 998 Mount Horeb Road off of highway 35. A lookout is minutes away from the parking lot, where you can see a panoramic view of natural areas of significance and beauty, including the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Hogsback Esker, and a provincially significant wetland that includes Pigeon River and Fleetwood Creek.

The Conservation Area has a single 1.3km loop trail and is bordered by the Victoria Rail Trail along the western boundary. Parking is not maintained from October 31 to May 1.

Pontypool and surrounding area

Fleetwood Creek Natural Area

Fleetwood Creek Natural Area is a 900 acre (380 hectare) tract of land managed by Kawartha Conservation for the Ontario Heritage Foundation. Located within the Oak Ridges Moraine, the area is characterized by steep valleys, sand, soil, and many cold water streams. These streams form the headwaters of Fleetwood Creek, a major watercourse within the Kawartha Region watershed. The property is home to 250 species of flora and fauna and 44 species of birds. Three trails lead you through uplands, deciduous forests, meadows, and wetlands. Fleetwood Creek Natural area is located at 902 Ballyduff Road, Pontypool. Please call 705-328-2271 for more information.

Forest Trail

The Forest Trail is divided into two branches; the West Branch is a 3 km loop which consists of a twisting path on a gradual slope leading through open meadows and forests. The East Trail, a 3 km loop leads through a dense forest then climbs up the valley slope. The Trail ends with a walk through an open meadow and then back through the forest to the parking area.

Valley Trail

The Valley Trail is a 2.2 km trail that allows the visitor to view the characteristic valley lands of the area from two perspectives.  An observation platform offers a spectacular view of the surrounding land at any time of the year.  The more adventuresome can also descend into the valley.

Telephone: 705-328-2271

Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area

Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area is a diverse 125-hectare (308 acre) property situated partially within the Oak Ridges Moraine. It is important for the many cold water seeps and springs that form the headwaters of Pigeon River, and as habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The southeast corner of the property offers a panoramic view of a vast tableland and the valley of the Pigeon River.

The conservation area has three interconnecting trail loops that total almost 5 km. The trails go through dense forest, wetlands and meadows.

The marsh boardwalk is a highlight of the park. Water milfoil, turtlehead, asters, cattails, and arrowhead all thrive along the length of the walkway. Frogs, salamanders, turtles, and other water loving creatures also enjoy the marsh.

It is located at 445 Gray Road, Pontypool off of highway 35. The road is unassumed and the driveway and parking lot are not maintained from October 31 to May 1.

Trail Use Guidelines

Here are some suggestions for using and sharing the region's trails responsibly:

  • Try to stay on the trail, even if it rough and muddy;
  • Walking or cycling on the edge of the trail can widen the trail and cause damage and erosion;
  • Travel single file to avoid widening the trail;
  • If you are in a group and are not following a marked trail (for example, if you are walking through an open field) try to spread out rather than following in each other's footsteps to reduce environmental impact;
  • Avoid sensitive vegetation and watch where you put your feet;
  • Be considerate and honour other's desire for solitude and a peaceful outdoor experience;
  • Be especially cautious around horses and bikers, stay to the right of the trail and let them pass;
  • Allow for future use of the outdoors, by leaving it better than you found it;
  • Carry out what you carry in, don't burn or bury trash;
  • Respect the environment and other trail users.

City of Kawartha Lakes Trails Master Plan

The City of Kawartha Lakes hired ENVision - the Hough Group to develop a Trails Master Plan in 2006.

The Trails Master Plan addresses the need for a comprehensive approach to trails planning and development throughout the City, and provides a framework for future decision-making. It serves as a long term planning tool to guide the development of new trails and open space linkages.

To obtain a copy of the City of Kawartha Lakes Trails Master Plan please call 705-324-9411 extension 1350.

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