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I’ve toured the waterways of Ontario, Canada extensively on my Sea-Doo watercraft for many years, but I’m still working on cruising all of them. Of the many I’ve already discovered, it’s not easy to pick a top ten. So I’ve applied some basic criteria such as accessibility, good launch, decent parking & services and available fuel. Most are already popular boating routes that are marked with navigation buoys, charted, within cell service and have enough towns, traffic and cottages that help is usually nearby if needed. With a couple of noted exceptions, most are also relatively sheltered routes where strong winds and big waves are normally less prevalent. Generally, this list is set up from least sheltered (10) to most sheltered (1), while the distances are approximate depending on how much exploring you do, so get out there and enjoy!

10. Trenton to Kingston

Round Trip Distance – 226 km

Highway Access: 401 exit 522

Water body(s): Bay of Quinte, inner channel of Lake Ontario

Launch(s): Centennial Park, Trenton

Lunch: Street vendors, Confederation Basin, Kingston

Fuel: Glenora Marina, Picton; Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston

Locks: none

Side Trip(s): Picton, Napanee

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Bay Marine, Trenton; Cartronics, Napanee.

More Info: Southeastern Ontario Tourism


9.   Penetanguishene to Parry Sound

Round Trip Distance – 180 km

Highway Access: 93

Water body(s): Severn Sound, inner channel of Georgian Bay

Launch(s): Public launch, Penetanguishene

Lunch: Henry’s Fish House, Frying Pan Island, Sans Souci

Fuel: Nautilus Marina (Honey Harbour); Henry’s; Parry Sound (various)

Locks: none

Side Trip(s): 12 Mile Bay

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Factory Recreation, Midland; The Cove, MacTier.

More Info: BruceGreySimcoe Tourism; Muskoka Parry Sound Tourism


8.   Parry Sound to Pointe au Baril

Round Trip Distance – 120 km

Highway Access: 400 exit 224

Water body(s): inner channel of Georgian Bay

Launch(s): Glen Burney Marina, Parry Sound

Lunch: Ojibway Club, Ojibway Island

Fuel: Ojibway Club; Pointe au Baril (various)

Locks: none

Side Trip(s): ride around Parry Island

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): The Cove, MacTier

More Info: Muskoka Parry Sound Tourism


7.   Kingston to Morrisburg

Round Trip Distance – 260 km

Highway Access: 401 exit 615

Water body(s): St. Lawrence River

Launch(s): Public launch at foot of West St (3), Kingston

Lunch: Chrysler Park Marina, Morrisburg

Fuel: Gordon Marine, Gananoque; Ed Huck Marina, Rockport; Brockville harbour. Chrysler Park Marina, Morrisburg.

Locks: none

Side Trip(s): 1000 Islands, Boldt & Singer Castles

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Ed Huck Marine, Rockport; Jim’s Performance Plus, Iroquois.

More Info: video; Southeastern Ontario Tourism


6.   Kawartha Lakes

Round Trip Distance – 150 km

Highway Access: 28

Water body(s): Lovesick, Buckhorn, Pigeon, Sturgeon and Chemong Lakes

Launch(s): Public launch, Burleigh Falls beside Lock 28

Lunch: Bobcaygeon Inn (dock in front)

Fuel: Bobcaygeon (various); Wychwood Lodge Cottage Resort, Fenelon Falls; various marinas en route.

Locks: Lovesick, Buckhorn, Bobcaygeon

Side Trip(s): Big Bald Lake, Scugog River to Lindsay

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Gateway Powersports & Marine, Peterborough; HB Cycle, Lindsay.

More Info: Kawarthas Tourism


5.   Muskoka Lakes

Round Trip Distance – 200 km

Highway Access: 11

Water body(s): Lakes Muskoka, Rousseau and Joseph

Launch(s): Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst

Lunch: Crossroads Pub & Grill, Rosseau (public docks)

Fuel: Port Carling (various), Rosseau (marina), Bala (marina), Port Sandfield (marina)

Locks: Port Carling

Side Trip(s): Little Lake Joseph

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): The Cove, MacTier; Northland Recreation, Utterson.

More Info: video; Muskoka Parry Sound Tourism


4.   Pembroke to Mattawa (overnighter)

Round Trip Distance – 300 km

Highway Access: 17

Water body(s): Upper Ottawa River

Launch(s): Pembroke Marina

Lunch: Snacks at convenience store, Rapides-des-Joachims (Swisha)

Fuel: Deep River Marina; Swisha Esso; Mattawa Marina

Transfer: Swisha (reservations)

Side Trip(s): Bird Rock

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Pete’s Sales & Service, Petawawa.

More Info: Canadian Yachting article; video; Ottawa Valley Tourism


3.   Huntsville Area

Round Trip Distance – 70 km

Highway Access: 11

Water body(s): Lakes Vernon, Fairy and Peninsula

Launch(s): Hunter’s Bay Public launch, Huntsville (foot of Yonge St S)

Lunch: The Cottage Waterfront Grill, Huntsville

Fuel: Huntsville Marine, Fairy Lake

Locks: no

Side Trip(s): no

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): The Cove, MacTier; Northland Recreation, Utterson.

More Info: Muskoka Parry Sound Tourism


2.   Sparrow Lake to Honey Harbour

Round Trip Distance – 120 km

Highway Access: 11

Water body(s): Severn River, Severn Sound, inner channel of Georgian Bay

Launch(s): Lauderdale Point Marina

Lunch: Harbour House at Nautilus Marina, Honey Harbour or Port Severn (various)

Fuel: Big Chute Marina; Port Severn (various); Honey Harbour (various)

Locks: Swift Rapids, Big Chute

Side Trip(s): Whites Falls at north end of Gloucester Pool

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): St. Onge Recreation, Barrie; Leatherdale Marine, Orillia.

More Info: BruceGreySimcoe Tourism


1.     Hastings to Peterborough

Round Trip Distance – 120 km

Highway Access: 45

Water body(s): Trent River, Rice Lake, Otonabee River

Launch(s): Hastings Village Marina

Lunch: Peterborough Marina or Holiday Inn

Fuel: Peterborough Marina; Bensfort Bridge Resort

Locks: Peterborough

Side Trip(s): Trent River east to Healy Falls

Sea-Doo Dealer(s): Gateway Powersports & Marine, Peterborough

More Info: Kawarthas Tourism

By Craig Nicholson, The Intrepid Cottager