Tag Archives: Trent Severn Waterway

Busy Boating Day at Lock #42

A very busy boating day on a busy long weekend in August. This was filmed during our return trip homeward to Lake Simcoe, coming back from Georgian Bay. Location is at the top side of Lock #42, Couchiching Lock, of Ontario’s 240 mile long Trent Severn Waterway.

The weather had been forecast for strong winds and potentially heavy thunderstorms, so we were eager to get back to our home port before the worst of it hit. As luck would have it, we made it back mere minutes before a big storm rolled through! Click on this link to see what that looked like, as well as more footage from this part of the trip – https://youtu.be/2GslNAotBh4

Filmed in August, 2015.

Captured with GoPro Hero 2.

Location of this video: 44.76966 -79.35030

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Be sure to visit us at http://BoatsBeachesAndBars.com/video_store.html for information on purchasing our exclusive Trent Severn Waterway feature DVD/Blu-ray that takes you from the beginning at ‘Mile Zero’ in Trenton, Ontario, and through to Port Severn at the north west end at Georgian Bay. Take in the beauty and adventure as we cruise all 240 miles of the highly diverse waterways and see the many wonders of the world’s highest lift locks, take a ride over North America’s only marine railway, visit the communities along the way and so much more!

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Long Boat Cruise Video – Port Severn to Georgian Bay

This boat cruise aboard ‘Boogaboo IV’ (our 1997 Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge), takes us from the bottom side of Lock #45 at Port Severn, Ontario and through to Severn Sound. We pass under the provincial highway #400 overpass, through an area known as ‘Tug Channel’. As you will see, the passage below the bridge is extremely tight, with a strong down-bound current most times just to make things more interesting ;-)


A little farther along, we pass through the ‘Potato Island Channel’, a narrow, man made cut through the granite rock that Georgian Bay is renown (and sometimes cursed) for. From there, it’s a straight run through a well marked passage to ‘Severn Sound’, a large bay that takes one onto Georgian Bay proper, as well as the town of Midland, to the south. You can see an expanded view of our arrival at Midland from this same trip by following this link; https://youtu.be/yWFxrSYWrfE.

Lock #45 is the ‘last’ lock on Ontario, Canada’s 240 mile long Trent Severn Waterway – a series of interconnected lakes, rivers and canals that joins Lake Ontario in the south-east with Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) at this north-west terminus.

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Filmed in July, 2015.

Captured with GoPro Hero 3 camera.

Location (start) of this video: 44.80409 -79.72042

Be sure to visit us at http://BoatsBeachesAndBars.com/video_store.html for information on purchasing our exclusive Trent Severn Waterway feature DVD/Blu-ray that takes you from the beginning at ‘Mile Zero’ in Trenton, Ontario, and through to Port Severn at the north west end at Georgian Bay. Take in the beauty and adventure as we cruise all 240 miles of the highly diverse waterways and see the many wonders of the world’s highest lift locks, take a ride over North America’s only marine railway, visit the communities along the way and so much more!

Discovering The Trent Severn Waterway, Part Four – Simcoe to Severn

Having departed our last stop at Fenelon Falls, we continue east toward Lake Simcoe. Before reaching Simcoe, there are a few more locks to go through, including the impressive Kirkfield Lift Lock. This is the second lock of it’s type on the system as well as the second highest in the world, with the one at Peterborough being the highest. You can learn more about that one in the part two of this series. Right now, enjoy this video from one of our own passages through Kirkfield to see how it works;

Just beyond the village of Gamebridge, the Trent portion of the Trent Severn Waterway meets Lake Simcoe which is, by far, the largest body of water along the system. From this point, the Small Craft Route follows a north-east path towards the Atherley Narrows and Lake Couchiching, a trip of roughly 15 miles. Although many people traveling the waterway simply pass right through Simcoe, there is a great stopover location to check out on the way.

First Stop

Lagoon City is situated just east of the small-craft route, approximately eight miles north of Gamebridge. This master planned community began with the creation of ten miles of canals and lagoons designed exclusively for all waterfront homes and condos. Also located here is Lagoon City Marina, a full service facility where transient boaters can tie up for a day, week or more. For those requiring service work or haul out, there is a 35 ton travel lift, on site mechanics and access to a complete selection of parts. They are also the first place offering mast stepping for sail boats coming off the waterway.

Lagoon City Marina

Some of the 277 boat slips at Lagoon City Marina.

Jewel of The Trent

Just north of Lake Simcoe sits one of the most popular destinations in the area; the Port of Orillia, on Lake Couchiching. With 222 transient slips, Orillia continues to live up to its reputation of welcoming boaters from near and far. More than simply a spot to tie up, the Port hosts regular events throughout the season, including boat and cottage shows, waterfront festivals and the always enjoyable ‘Christmas in June’. During that weekend long event, boats are decorated to various themes with many participating in a nighttime ‘Parade of Lights’.

Port of Orillia

Overlooking the docks at the Port of Orillia

With its quaint, old downtown situated just steps off the docks, there are endless choices of things to do and see and probably one reason that many visitors try to arrange an extended visit here. The close proximity to major highways also makes it perfect for crew changes. It’s no wonder that Orillia is called ‘The Jewel of The Trent Severn Waterway’.

Rugged Beauty

Exiting the top of Lake Couchiching, we enter the Severn section of the Trent Severn Waterway. Only three more locks lie ahead before reaching the final one at Port Severn and the end of the system.

The Severn River quickly transcends from rural countryside and gentle shorelines to a decidedly more rugged landscape, with dramatic Precambrian rock formations covered by spruce and pine trees contributing to the stunning scenery. Although this stretch can be traversed in a day, each of the locks offers its own special surroundings, so try to spend an afternoon or overnight at any or all of them.

Severn River

Cruising down the rugged Severn River on a beautiful summer day.

Swift Rapids (Lock #43) doesn’t have any road access, so it is peaceful location offers pretty tie up options both at the top & bottom. It also features the highest lift of any of the conventional locks, with the deep lock chamber dwarfing any boats making the trip through.

Next along is the famous Big Chute Marine Railway. Although not a true ‘lock’ in the orthodox sense of the word, it instead carries vessels up and over the 60 foot change in elevation by way of a massive cradle set on railway tracks. It’s quite a show to watch the big machine partially submerge to allow boats to get on for the trip. Once secured by a series of adjustable straps and blocks, boats are then ‘portaged’ over land to reach the other side. This system is the only one of its kind in North America and can carry vessels up to 100 feet long!

Big Chute Marine Railway

Loading up a boat on the Big Chute Marine Railway.

Here’s a video I put together showing us passing through Swift Rapids lock, going over the Big Chute Marine Railway and heading on to Lock #45 at Port Severn – the final lock on the system;

End of The Line

The final stop on this journey is Lock #45, at Port Severn. Beyond the public docking alongside of the lock itself, Port Severn offers a number of tie-up options for boaters, most within sight of each other. Whatever your overnight destination is, you can walk to each of a number of restaurants, ranging from a simple burger to five star fare.  If you need a break from the boat for a night or two, there are three establishments that offer rooms or suites where you can enjoy all the comforts of home, while keeping an eye on the boat!

No matter how long you spend venturing along the Trent Severn Waterway, or how many times you visit, there is sure to be a lifetime of wonderful memories. And a lifetime of longing to return to this special, historic gem.

Up Next?

I hope you will have a chance to read all four parts in this series to learn a bit more about the lovely Trent Severn Waterway.

Have look at the introduction to our ‘Cruising The Trent Severn Waterway’ video production. This 76 minute long feature is now available both as a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, or a convenient digital download. Feel free to visit our site at TheWaterway.ca for more information on the video, as well as the entire Trent Severn Waterway.

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