Jet Ski Peterborough Kawarthas On A Self-Guided PWC Tour…

peterborough kawarthas

Photo © by Allan Glanfield for Ontario Tourism

Related: West to East Kawartha Lakes Tour


The Peterborough Kawarthas region of Ontario is part of the famous Trent-Severn Waterway. Certainly, the region offers superb, self-guided jet ski, waverunner & Sea Doo watercraft riding close to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In this recreational boating paradise, you can pursue your Ontario powersports passion on the water. Either by trailering your own personal watercraft for a day ride or weekend getaway for PWC adventures. Or by renting a Sea Doo watercraft from Kawartha Adventure Rentals. In fact, both Peterborough and the Kawarthas make my top 10 list of Ontario Sea Doo tours.

Another option is staying overnight at a PWC-friendly, waterfront location. For example, the full Kawartha Lakes experience, the family owned Beachwood Resort (with its own launch and docks) is a great option. Or for a Sea Doo tour on the Otonabee River (one of my best river rides) and Rice Lake, you can dock at the Peterborough Marina. And then, tuck into the nearby downtown Peterborough Holiday Inn. Fortunately, both are located on Little Lake.

Either way, you’ll find outstanding Sea Doo riding and recreational boating day-options. For instance, these range from exploring many kilometres of interconnected Kawartha Lakes to scenic river-cruising. And to locking through the heart of the Trent-Severn Waterway on your Sea Doo tour.

peterborough kawarthas

Centennial Fountain Photo © by Allan Glanfield for Ontario Tourism

Where To Find It

The Peterborough & the Kawarthas region is located just northeast of the GTA. Luckily, it’s easily accessible by the four-lane Highway 115 running north from the 401. What’s more, the region includes lakes like Katchewanooka, Clear, Stoney, Lovesick, BuckhornChemong and Pigeon. Plus, 30 km of the Otonabee River south from Peterborough to Rice Lake. And, 25 km north from Peterborough to Katchewanooka Lake. Undoubtedly, that’s a huge whack of Trent-Severn Waterway, ripe for Sea Doo riders, PWC adventures and recreational boaters!

peterborough kawarthas

Peterborough Lift Lock Photo © by Allan Glanfield for Ontario Tourism

Peterborough Kawarthas is anchored by the waterfront city of Peterborough (pop. 135,000). Here, the iconic Centennial Fountain (the highest jet fountain in Canada) greets arriving Sea Doo riders and recreational boaters from the centre of Little Lake. Nearby Del Crary Park is the site of the famous Peterborough MusicFest. And while in Peterborough, don’t miss the view from the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world! Fortunately, it’s located one lock north of Little Lake. Plus, it’s one of my must-see bypass systems.

Peterborough Kawarthas – Kawartha Lakes

peterborough kawarthas

Beachwood Resort Photo © 2016 by Craig Nicholson

For our Peterborough Kawarthas Sea Doo ride, we overnighted at Beachwood Resort for two nights. There, we enjoyed scrumptious meals at its on-site Frederick’s Restaurant to energize our adventures. One day, we rode east through the LovesickBurleigh Falls & Young’s Point Locks to Katchewanooka Lake and back (see locking through advice). Along the way, we side tripped into Stoney Lake. But stick to the main channels so as not to run into any of the objects that give this water body its name.

The next day, we made the westbound return Sea Doo ride through the Buckhorn Lock to Pigeon Lake and Big Bald Lake. Then, we cruised into Bobcaygeon (northwest end of Pigeon Lake) for lunch and fuel. And we even rode a side trip down the length of Chemong Lake on our way back to Beachwood.

Peterborough Kawarthas – Otonabee River & Rice Lake

peterborough kawarthas

Otonabee River Photo © by Allan Glanfield for Ontario Tourism

We had only a day left in our three-day Sea Doo ride. So, we didn’t have enough time to cruise from Beachwood all the way to Peterborough and back. Instead, we checked out and trailered to the city in a mere 30 minutes. There, we launched from the Mark Street boat ramp (located beside Rogers Cove Park).

Our goal was to ride south on the Otonabee River through the Scotts Mills lock to Rice Lake and back (see ride article). Certainly, this Sea Doo ride features both excellent river running and extensive lake exploration. But be careful not to get too close to shore and avoid back bays, which can both be pretty weedy. As mentioned, we overnighted on our return at the nearby waterside Holiday Inn.

“Kawartha” means “bright waters and happy lands”. Without a doubt, this is exactly what every Sea Doo rider needs for memorable jet ski fun. But to really do the Peterborough Kawarthas region justice by personal watercraft or recreational boat, you’d need four to five days. And that’s okay by me. Because it just means I’ll have to go back again for more real soon!


Peterborough Kawarthas Day One Services

Peterborough Kawarthas Day Two Services

  • Refuel (After Day One) – Reach Harbour, Lower Buckhorn Lake
  • Lunch – The Patio Bar, Bobcaygeon
  • Fuel – Gordon’s Marina, Bobcaygeon
  • Lodging – Beachwood Resort, Lower Buckhorn Lake
  • Launch, Docking & Parking – on site

Peterborough Kawarthas Day Three Services

Check out more Sea Doo Tours!

The tips and advice in this article are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.

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