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Outdoor Recreation

Adventure for the Adventurist

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If adventure is what you’re looking for, you will have no problem filling your days with breathtaking and exhilarating activities. With hundreds of kilometres of hiking and cycling trails, 350+ lakes to paddle on, and unique natural wonders to explore, you will be left wanting more.

Climb, crawl, and bend through seven caves that were formed thousands of years ago by the rushing, melting waters of the last ice age at the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area. Push your endurance by mountain biking through the many trails in Ganaraska Forest or feel your adrenaline rush by swinging through the trees at Tree Top Trekking. Rent a sea-doo or a power boat and bomb around the lakes, or book a white water canoe trip with an expert guide. Kawarthas Northumberland also has many snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing opportunities that will have you winding through beautiful forested areas surrounded by wildlife and fresh air.

Trails for Hiking and Biking

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Winter Adventures Info
Snow kites on Rice Lake

Kawarthas Northumberland offers access to many outdoor winter experiences, all within an hour or two of Canada’s biggest city. With plenty of trails, natural spaces, and outdoor activities, your winter getaway wouldn’t be complete without getting outside. Each activity and winter resort comes with countless pristine snowscapes to discover.

Grab your snowshoes or your cross-country skis and trek through kilometers of winding trails. Have your skates? Feel your blades slice into the ice on the Trent-Severn Waterway beneath the worlds highest lift lock. Or try the truly Canadian experience of pond hockey or curling on the doorstep of one of our all-season, lake-front resorts.

Drop your line into the hole and take in some of the best multi-species ice fishing in the province. Soak up the magic of the night sky in the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, one of the closest dark sky sites to Ontario’s major urban centres. Whatever you choose, you will be left breathless in more ways than one.

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Ice Fishing Links
Family trying ice fishing in Kawarthas Northumberland

Drive past a good fishing lake in Kawarthas Northumberland during the winter and chances are good you’ll see a smattering of ice huts out on the water. Ice fishing puts a unique twist on familiar activity, and it’s accessible to participants of all ages. The biggest challenge for some people is knowing how to get started, so we’ve put together a handful of options to help make it fun and easy.

Family Fishing Weekend

The best place for a newbie to try their hand at ice fishing is at the OFAH Family Fishing Weekend. This annual tradition takes place over the Family Day weekend (February 15 in 2020) and allows fishing without a license, making for a convenient and affordable outing. Equipment is provided through the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ TackleShare program. All holes are pre-drilled, and prizes are dished out to keep young fisherfolk engaged. Ice conditions are checked regularly leading up to the event to ensure a safe experience for the 1,000 expected participants. 

If this event sounds intriguing, shuttles depart regularly to BEL Rotary Park north of Peterborough and experts are on site to demonstrate the tools of the trade. Chemong Lake provides an excellent habitat for perch, bluegill, and crappie, so odds of landing a catch are good. Just note if you’re having a very lucky day on the ice, all regular license limits must still be observed.

Elmhirst’s Resort

Rice Lake also offers terrific ice fishing – it even got the thumbs up from fishing legend Bob Izumi. Elmhirst’s Resort got in on the Family Day festivities last year too, but if you’re tied up that weekend Elmhirst’s can help arrange equipment throughout the season. Couple that with their luxurious cottages and you have all the makings of a memorable winter getaway.

Golden Beach Resort

Golden Beach Resort’s ice fishing package is a pretty sweet deal. Booking a weekend with them gets you access a two or four-person heated ice hut, all the necessary equipment, and five hours of fishing time. Oh, and a two-bedroom lakeside condo with a gas fireplace to retreat to with the day’s catch. It’s a good setup for beginners and pros alike — you can even arrange to bring your own ice hut.

Additional Considerations

Wherever you’re heading for your next ice fishing expedition, the usual winter rules apply. Dressing in layers is highly advisable, as you’re likely to warm up while getting established then cool down as you wait for a bite. Never assume ice is safe. If you’re not going with an experience guide, then remember ice should be a minimum of 15-20 cm thick. It’s important to gauge that thickness regularly as when moving from location to location. If you’re coming from a distance, it’s best to check on the conditions with local fishing authorities before making a long trek.

Outside of Family Day weekend, of course, anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 will need a license. Details on how to get one can be found here. Get some tips from local pro Chris Huskilson’s more thorough equipment recommendations. Hope the sun’s shining and the fish are biting for your first ice fishing expedition!

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