Northern region 2-day route

Spend 1 day making your way around Cameron lake without forgetting to stop for ice cream in the lovely town of Fenelon Falls. Leave the other day to explore Balsam Lake.

Route information



  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Total distance: 33 km total
    • Day 1 - Cameron Lake – 17.5 km
    • Day 2 - Balsam Lake – 15 km
  • Time to paddle: 8 to 12 hours
    • Day 1 - 4 to 6 hours
    • Day 2 - 4 to 6 hours
  • Number of locks encountered: 2
  • Environment: Open waters, lakes; populated shorelines
For shorter versions of this route, choose either lake to explore

Facilities and services available along this route:

  • Lockage (recommended)
  • symbol for accessible washrooms Accessible washrooms
  • symbol for potable water Potable water
  • symbol for information kiosk Information
  • symbol for picnic area Picnic area
  • symbol for camping Camping

COVID-19

Some lockstation facilities and services have changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and could affect your visit. Please visit our COVID-19 information page for more details when planning your trip.

Plan your trip

This is a one-way route that requires a personal shuttle to or from the put-in and take-out locations. Plan accordingly.

Put-in locations
Suggested:
Other locations to put-in nearby:
Take-out locations
Suggested:
Camping

*Tent camping is available at most lockstations on a first-come, first-served basis, at the discretion of the lockmaster. Select sites at Lock 35 - Rosedale may be reserved in advance. Book online or by phone at: 1-877-RESERVE.

Learn more about camping at lockstations

Paddling directions

  1. Put in at the lower reach of Lock 35 to paddle the circumference of Cameron Lake
  2. Opposite side of the lake to Lock 35 is Lock 34 Fenelon Falls
  3. Put in at the upper reach of Lock 35 to paddle on Balsam Lake
  4. Head straight towards the left of Grand Island
  5. Loop around Grand Island following the shore on your right
  6. Once at the North point of Grand Island, head straight towards the shore.
  7. Follow the shore back towards Lock 35

Lockage

Lockage is recommended for several locks along this route. Portaging may be difficult.

Lockage is the process of raising or lowering boats and paddlecraft into connecting sections of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Lockage takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. During seasonal Hours of Operation, paddlers can lock through any Parks Canada lock with the purchase of a valid lockage permit. Permits may be purchased upon arrival, or in advance online or by phone.

Locks along this route

The status of facilities and services at lockstations listed below are subject to change throughout the navigation season. Please visit our 2021 Facilities and Services page for up-to-date status by lockstation.


Wind conditions

  • Avoid any strong winds (head and cross-winds)
  • Caution of strong winds on both Cameron and Balsam Lakes; waves can get pretty high
  • Winds on Balsam Lake can pick up quickly, especially in the afternoon

Hazards

  • Strong winds on open lakes
  • Watch for powerboats and their wake
  • Busy lakes for powerboats during the summer season, especially on weekends

Avoid dams

Watch for dams at the following locations and be sure to navigate away from them:

  • South side of Lock 34 (to the left when passing the lock)
  • North side of Lock 35

Tourism information

Nearby communities and services
  • Fenelon Falls
    • Dining and shopping within walking distance of lockstation
Points of interest

  • Watchhouse exhibit at Lock 34 Fenelon Falls
  • Fenelon Falls
  • Dewey’s Island: 3km walking trail close to Rosedale
  • 1.5 km Dam Trail all on Parks Canada site at Rosedale
  • Grand Island is a good destination for swimming with sandy shorelines

Regional tourism

The following regional tourism experts can help guide you towards great local experiences and businesses in the areas along this route. Visit their websites when planning your trip.

Videos
Parks Canada on Youtube
Videos by visitors

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