04.25.22 | The Kawarthas

Summer is Coming: Here are the Lakes Near Peterborough You’ve Got to Visit!

What is it about Peterborough that is most surprising to people who aren’t from the area? Many non-residents don’t know just how many beautiful lakes and rivers are closeby. The Kawartha Lakes is a network of 14 lakes in South Central Ontario, stretching across Peterborough and Victoria County. If you want to escape for a weekend, head out to the cottages on the Kawarthas. But you don’t have to travel far to see the water. 

Peterborough has a downtown area that rivals the Toronto waterfront. 

Speaking of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, here are some events that are back on the calendar this year! 

You can sit on a restaurant patio and look out over the waves while you eat, or you can hit the beach and spend your time swimming or boating. Summer is on the way, and it’s a good time to plan out the best lakes that you simply must see this year.

Little Lake

Every summer, Little Lake becomes a hub of hot weather activities. Beavermead Park Beach is a quick five-minute drive away, making it a popular destination for swimming, boating, fishing, and playing volleyball. Picnic tables are dotted around the park, making it a perfect place to spend the afternoon relaxing with your family. There’s a sandy beach area and a playground for children to run around in. Lifeguards watch over the swimmers daily from 11 – 6 pm to help keep the little ones safe. Change rooms, washrooms and plenty of parking are available.

If Beavermead Park is too busy, drive for one more minute until you get to Rogers Cove, another supervised beach with a playground and a splash pad.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can go back and forth between the two beaches using the Trans-Canada Trail.

Little Lake is also where the action is during the annual Dragon Boat Race. The event takes place on June 11 this year. It’s a friendly competition where everyone wins because all proceeds go to support cancer research. 

It’s hard to believe, but there’s more to the Kawarthas than just the water. Here are some other ways to enjoy the area while staying dry.

Chandos Lake

Chandos Lake is located in the North Kawarthas and is a popular destination for visitors from Peterborough and the surrounding areas. There are over 1100 cottages, three marinas and a public beach for day use. The lake has many bays and islands for boaters to explore, and there is always something to see and do. 

Chandos beach is clean and sandy, and swimming lessons are available during the summer. 

Cameron Lake

Cameron Lake lies west of the town of Fenelon Falls, which is often called the “Jewel of the Kawarthas” due to its scenic landscapes and superb shopping and dining options. If you’re lucky enough to have a cottage, the Kawartha Arts Festival is not to be missed.

The beaches of Cameron lake have a high proportion of sand-bottomed waterfront, making them ideal for swimming.

Four Mile Lake

The Four Mile Lake is at a high elevation, and no rivers or streams lead into it. Instead, the lake is 100% spring-fed, making it crisp and clean. Many of the cottages face a rugged, rocky beach area full of natural beauty. The gentle flowing current makes for ideal swimming conditions for teenagers and adults, but caution is advised for young ones. If you’re looking for a safe, sandy beach area for day use, then head west of the Village of Burnt River. Here, you’ll discover the Burnt River Beach, 12 metres of sandy waterfront that is clean and warm. 

Sturgeon Lake

The close proximity of the surrounding towns make Sturgeon Lake a popular lakefront choice for year-round living. Services and amenities are easily accessible in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon, and cottages tend to be more affordable here than on other Kawartha lakes. 

The lake is shallow and covered largely by a limestone bottom, which makes it warm up quickly for swimmers in the springtime. 

Bobcaygeon Beach Park provides day access to a soft sandy beach. There are fire pits and picnic tables to help you enjoy an afternoon Bbq. Washrooms are easily accessible, and admission is free, making this a bustling hotspot when the warm weather arrives!

Balsam Lake

Balsam Lake is located near the town of Coboconk and has a reputation for being one of the cleanest and best of all Kawartha beaches for swimming. The sandy waterfront is covered in dunes, and there are large, private bays throughout the area. 

The water is shallow and warms up quickly, making it a favourite spot for early swimmers.

The Balsam Lake Provincial Park welcomes visitors for day use to enjoy a variety of summer activities. Ride your boat off the Trent-Severn Waterway or rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. 

There is a large, sandy beach area for swimmers of all ages. Or, explore the vast, forested hiking trails along the waterfront. Large picnic shelters are available if you remember to book them ahead of time. 

When you’ve finished with your fun in the sun, why not head to Coboconk for some ice cream and sightseeing?

Sold on the Kawarthas? Here are some resources to help you if you’re thinking about a cottage in the area: