Article submitted by Prior Smith
The Kawartha Highlands chain of lakes is a gem that the Association had the pleasure of enjoying in the first run of this summer season.
A dozen boats took part in the event and in the span of two and a half hours we travelled through seven lakes and made our way along several connecting rivers. The high water levels made for a smooth trip from start to finish with not one boat encountering a problem. (When was the last time you took part in a boat run and all of those who started finished under their own power?!). The weather was ideal. This is a chain of lakes that many regard as the best kept secret in the Kawarthas.
The chain consists of lakes Catchacoma, Mississauga, Gold, Little Gold, Beaver, Cavendish and McGinniss. They’re connected by Catchacoma Narrows, Rattys River and, most importantly, “The Cut”.
The run started and ended at Baldwin Bay Marina on Highway 507, about 25 minutes north of Buckhorn. It’s THE place to start and finish for one good reason. It’s the ONLY place. It’s the only full service marina serving the chain.
The run has to be done early in the season given the fact the lake levels drop dramatically in late summer as water flows south out of the chain down the Mississauga River to maintain water levels in the Trent-Severn Waterway from Buckhorn to Lake Ontario. By mid September, we’re told, the water levels have dropped by about 5½ feet. And, that brings the story of our run to “The Cut”.
The final leg of the run (which was basically a big circle) took us from McGinniss Lake back into Catchacoma Lake where it began. In order to get from one lake to the other we had to pass through a man-made “Cut” in the rocks that’s no wider than the width of two cedar strip boats and perhaps 25 feet long. We had no trouble negotiating “The Cut” in the third weekend of June. Had we been doing the run in the third week of September it would have been a much different story. At that time of year, “The Cut” is all but impassable.
If you’d like to do the run on your own, Baldwin Bay Marina has an excellent map of the lake system and they know everything about the region you would need to know.