The Trent-Severn Waterway is an intricate inland system of rivers, lakes and canals connecting Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. In 1615, Samuel de Champlain became the first European to traverse the various rivers, lakes, waterfalls and rapids. Prior to European settlement, various First Nation tribes created the trails, river routes and portages along the valleys of the Severn and Trent Rivers. These byways provided trading routes and passages for warfare.
Today the 240-mile (386-km) waterway has 45 locks and 60 bridges (39 of which are swing bridges) with the lowest having a fixed vertical clearance of 22 feet (6.7 meters). Water depths (under normal conditions) are 8 feet from Locks 1 through 19 and 6 feet from Locks 20 to 45.
In addition to the natural beauty of this waterway, there are several noteworthy features including the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world (Peterborough) with a 65-foot vertical drop. The second highest is at Kirkfield, which lifts your vessel 49 feet. Finally, the Big Chute marine railway is a roller coaster for your boat that rises and falls a total of 58 vertical feet.
Plan your boating trip on the Trent Severn Waterway, ON, CAN. Browse marinas, dockage, service yards, and navigation alerts.
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The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!