Kawartha Lakes — a name meaning “ bright waters and happy lands” — is a beautiful chain of 14 lakes in southeastern Ontario. Just a one hour and 45 minute drive away from Toronto, it’s the perfect destination for a short road trip. The scenery is breathtaking, and there’s plenty to do to suit all interests.
Preparing for your road trip
Before you begin your road trip, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable car. Consult reviews and guides created by experts to get a professional perspective on the latest vehicles on the market. Your chosen car should be comfortable, durable, and perform efficiently on long rides. You may also want the latest driving assistance technology to keep you safe on the road. For example, adaptive cruise control is designed to continually adjust your speed to keep a safe distance between you and the car in front. Be sure to prepare for the worst with an emergency roadside kit: jumper cables, a lug wrench, flares, and a first aid kit are important to include.
Things to do
Stop off at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, which impressively hosts the largest collection of canoes and kayaks in the world. After touring this unique heritage center, you can test your own canoeing skills in their interactive, hands-on galleries, as well as join scavenger hunts and watch the puppet theatre. If you want something a little different, however, try the escape maze at Cedarbank Farm. It spans 130 acres and offers four different old-west themed escape rooms. Outside, there’s two Amazing Race-style games to test your problem solving and critical thinking skills further.
The Balsam Lake Provincial Park, located on the Trent-Severn Waterway, is the best place to go for exciting outdoor activities like canoeing, boating, kayaking, and paddle boating. It’s also great for birding and fishing (particularly Muskellunge, Large and Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye). Skiing is available in the winter. The park offers several easy day-hiking trails, and features a lookout tower that provides beautiful views of Balsam lake and the stunning surrounding countryside. If you want to extend your trip here, there are several campsites with car access available.
Whether you go for the day, the weekend, or even longer, Kawartha Lakes is an enjoyable Toronto road trip. It offers plenty of beautiful scenery, history, and fun activities to keep the whole family happy.