Explore Our “Bright Waters” By PWC This Summer

Story by Craig Nicholson, The Intrepid Cottager

Photos by Allan Glanfield


My first thought about personal watercraft (PWC) was “there’s my summer sledding!” 

And ever since, I’ve spent thousands of hours touring waterways across Ontario and 

Quebec from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. 


Best PWC Riding in Ontario

When it comes to Ontario waterways, there’s no better place than the Kawarthas, the home of “bright waters and happy lands”, for enjoying a day ride or overnight tour by PWC. Thanks to the Trent Severn Waterway, PWC operators can easily ride “water trails” anywhere between Rice Lake and Lake Simcoe, following a system of navigation buoys to guide your way. All you need is your Pleasure Craft Operator’s Licence and “trail pass” in the form of a Parks Canada Permit to go through the locks. You can even rent a PWC to give it a try!

Benefits of PWC Riding

As I did, you’ll discover new places, exciting sights, and view our lakes from a remarkably different perspective from the seat of your PWC. You’ll welcome new camaraderie with other PWC riders and take your family on unrivalled adventures. You’ll experience fun and freedom with many similarities to riding a snowmobile or motorcycle, with a fresh summer breeze in your face and a spray of water to keep you cool.

Along the way, PWC riders can access marinas with fuel, waterfront restaurants and lodgings with docks, and public washrooms at each of the 18 Trent Severn Locks between Hastings and Kirkfield. Many Kawarthas residents are able to start from their own dock on a PWC adventure. Alternatively, you can trailer to one of the many marinas or public launches scattered around the various lakes.

PWC Rides You Can Do

I’ve toured my Sea-Doo watercraft on a 387-km, multi-day ride from Lake Ontario (Trenton) to Georgian Bay (Port Severn). I’ve also enjoyed some amazing day trips, like Peterborough to Trent River on the Otonabee River and Rice Lake (150 km return), Burleigh Falls to Fenelon Falls (130 km return) and Bobcaygeon to Port Perry (140 km return). Many other Kawarthas ride choices include following the shoreline around any one of the larger lakes, to cruising to a favourite restaurant on another lake for lunch. Plus, there are many side trips into connected lakes like Chemong, Scugog, Big and Little Bald. My wife has even shopped at Bigley’s in Bobcaygeon by PWC!

From my perspective, PWC’s are made for touring, not doing repetitive donuts in front of the cottage. Summer’s almost here, so why not make the most of it by doing something really special – exploring the Kawartha Lakes by personal watercraft (PWC)!

Wondering how to get started? Find everything you need to know about PWC touring at intrepidcottager.com.