A houseboat moored at a dock with a raft tied up beside it

Top Things to Do in & Around Buckhorn

Welcome to Buckhorn

Buckhorn is the heart of the Kawarthas. This small town wraps around Lock 31 of the Trent-Severn Waterway, between Upper Buckhorn Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake. Buckhorn is a perfect combination of country and cottage, and this community serves as a natural stopping-point for all sorts of adventures. There’s lots to see & do here! Click here to get travel tips & assistance from the trained Travel Counsellors at Peterborough & The Kawarthas Toursim

Fishing & Boating

  • Both Lower Buckhorn Lake & Upper Buckhorn Lake are exceptionally clear. These lakes feature rocky Canadian Shield shorelines and they are speckled with many rocky islands. Boating through here is a quintessentially Canadian experience, almost as though you’re immersed in a “Group of Seven” painting.
  • All that variety of rock, islands, and weed beds creates terrific habitats for many kinds of fish, particularly Large and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Muskie, Bluegill, Perch, Crappy, and Carp. The fishing here is excellent!

Move Yourself

  • Want to get on the water? Check out Adventure Outfitters for rental canoes and kayaks and discover signature paddling routes by clicking here.
  • Need a boat launch? There’s a good one at Sunrise Resort, but you do have to pay a fee to use it. Here’s the GPS location.
  • Cycling? There are beautiful backroads for cycling this area. Get all the details from this cycling portal via Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism.
  • Boat over to Wolf Island Provincial Park. Located right between Lower Buckhorn Lake and Lovesick Lake, this park is accessible only by water. There is easy access from Lock 30 (Lovesick). Note that the park has no facilities and trails are not marked. Washrooms are available at Lock 30 when the Trent Severn Waterway is open.
  • Experience the largest known concentration of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada at Petroglyphs Provincial Park. These carvings are considered sacred, so photography is not permitted. That means you must be here to see them! Petroglyphs Provincial Park is on the north-east end of Stoney Lake (just east of Lower Buckhorn Lake), and the park also features McGinnis Lake, which is a meromictic lake. In most lakes, the surface and deep waters mix with one another at least once a year. In a meromictic lake, however, the surface deep waters do not intermix. These unusual lakes create unique colourations and extremely low-oxygen habitats. There are only a handful of these lakes in Canada.

Where to Stay

Eats & Treats

  • Located right beside Lock 31, the Mainstreet Landing Pub and Restaurant is your port of call. Dock right there & eat on the patio beside your boat! They also have Kawartha Dairy ice cream!
  • Just across the street from the lock, is the Lock Stop Cafe, one of over 50 stops on the Butter Tart Tour.
  • Buckhorn wouldn’t be the heart of the Kawarthas if it didn’t have more than one Butter Tart Tour stop, and thankfully the Buckhorn Country Mart & Bakery is a short walk from the lock. Their plain butter tart came in 2nd at the 2017 Taste-Off!
  • Kawartha County Wines is just a short drive up County Road 36 from downtown Buckhorn. Once there, you’ll be dazzled with the largest variety of premium fruit win in the province, many of them award-winning! There is also a wide variety of preserves and other tasty locally-sourced fare.

Savour the Seasons

  • Buckhorn features one of Canada’s largest privately-owned, retail art galleries. The beautifully situated Gallery on the Lake has 15,000 square feet of original fine art, sculpture, glassware, pottery, and jewellery from Canada’s top artists. At any time of year, it is a treat to immerse yourself in their stunning collections. You could go home with your new favourite piece of art, and you can also pick up some gorgeous art cards and smaller gifts to remind yourself of your visit or to share with friends.
  • There are several nearby fall studio tours, including the Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour and (farther afield) the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour.
  • McClean Berry Farm and Buckhorn Berry Farm offer plenty of seasonal produce, including family-fun experiences like berry picking, Pumpkinfest, and more!
  • Experience “Rock the Locks”! Every year on the last weekend of August Buckhorn celebrates the Trent Severn Waterway with classic cars, vendors, music, a petting zoo, horse and buggy rides, and an ARTivity Zone. Get details here. 
  • Find one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted treasures at the many seasonal arts and crafts shows hosted at the Buckhorn Community Centre. Check out their events calendar here for upcoming show dates.

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