The Trent-Severn Waterway is a scenic 386 km stretch connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. A National Historic Site of Canada, the Waterway naturally has a storied past, but today serves as a recreational attraction to the boaters, paddlers, cyclists, and other visitors drawn to explore its scenic, meandering route. Nestled along its length are a series of charming communities known as the Trent-Severn Trail Towns – in this post we’ll look at Kawartha Lakes’ Rosedale.
The northern section of Kawartha Lakes is quiet and green. If you’re looking for a rural escape, Rosedale has what you’re after. As the second most northern Trail Town after Coboconk, and with Fenelon Falls just a ten minute drive south, Rosedale is positioned to offer a wide range of amenities with the feel of a lakeside retreat.
The town sits between Balsam and Cameron lakes. Pleasure boaters have their choice between two full-service marinas, Rosedale Marina and Pride of Balsam Lake Marina. The former rents boats, and both offer fuel docks and boat repair and maintenance. Many visitors spend their time in the region fishing for bass, walleye, muskie, and other plentiful species. Both lakes are accessible via Lock 35, which dates to 1873.
The same area is popular with birders thanks to Dewey’s Island Nature Reserve. The 3 km of trails here are adjacent to the lock, and pass by an old dam and 19th century log shoot. Outdoorspeople looking for a longer excursion should visit Balsam Lake Provincial Park. The large park offers a sandy beach, multiple hiking trails, and a variety of campsite types.
If you’d like to stay awhile, Rosedale has plenty of cottage and accommodation options. Shorelea Cottage Resort, Riverview Cottages, and Woodland Cottages all offer cozy cottages overlooking the water suitable for individuals and large groups alike. Arkadia Trailer Park and Cottages has both cottages and trailer sites near a sandy private beach.
Whatever the length of your visit, do drop in at the Curious Bear Marketplace. This unique vendor space sells a wide variety of local artisanal goods, from soap to jewellery to alpaca apparel. It makes the perfect stopping spot along the Farm to Shield route, one of Kawartha Lakes’ recommended scenic drives. The route is so named because it will take you from the agricultural landscapes of the region’s southern half through to the rocky, woody views of the north.
Rosedale marks the end of the designated Farm to Shield route, so you might also stop for a picnic beside the Rosedale Pollinator Garden in the Trent-Severn Parkette. As part of the Bee City project, the garden demonstrates Kawartha Lake’s commitment to sustainability by supporting pollinator habitats. It’s a spot that encapsulates the region’s natural appeal, as well as its residents’ dedication to preserving and appreciating it.