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“A wonderful vacation!”

Trent-Severn Waterway
Ranked #1,532 of 3,881 things to do in Ontario
Attraction details
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A wonderful vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

I had the pleasure of taking a trip with Egan houseboats last season. My friends and I were very impressed with every aspect of the trip- from the warm and hospitable staff to the excellent condition of the boat. We started with an informative session on how to operate the boat and navigate the waterway. As non-boaters, we were unsure of how easy it would be, but it turned out to be a breeze. Throughout the orientation, Ron (owner) and his staff were patient and helpful. Our three day journey was scenic and relaxing, and we all fell in love with the Trent Severn Waterway. As a testament to how much I enjoyed myself, I am not one to usually write reviews for things of this nature, but we enjoyed ourselves so much that I felt compelled. We all agreed the trip was excellent value and we will certainly be returning in the future.

Visited June 2012
8 Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Impressive locks and waterway !”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

The Trent-Severn system stretches 386 km from Lake Ontario's Bay of Quinte to Georgian Bay. Those who visit the locks will find it very interesting. In 1920, The locks in Couchiching opened to boaters travelling the interior route from Trenton to Georgian Bay.The Big Chute was completed in 1977. Lock 42 & 44 were great to visit. Watching the boats transport from the one lake to the next with hydraulic lift locks and the marine railway. There are picnic areas, clean washrooms and displays and information about the snakes, frogs and turtles around the area.

Visited July 2012
6 Thank sugarlipsinfo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“trent a beauty”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2012

Our family really enjoyed the trent, beautiful area, and the locks are fun for all. The lockmasters were very helpful so that anyone can do it. We did have a less than enjoyable experience with Egan Houseboats. The houseboats are band aided together, and we expereinced numerous issues with the boat. The owner was a real piece of work as well, including uncalled for foul language at a family resort when another customer had issues with the boat and charges....with lots of kids and other customers milling around too. He really is not a people person, and should leave it up to others. Really bad from that aspect. Loved the trent but suggest paying a bit more and avoid Egan.

Visited July 2012
22 Thank easygoingandgoing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas Hill Country
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“You Must do this as Least Once”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2006

Lake Ontario to Lake Huron by water. Quite a dream if you’re an American leader in post-Revolutionary War times.

Preventing that was also the dream of the Duke of Wellington. What he constructed was 386 km of waterway with 36 conventional locks, 2 sets of flight locks, two of the world's highest hydraulic lift locks (#36 and #21), and a marine railway (#44). As we know from history, it was never needed. As we know from today, it’s nicely needed as a tourist attraction.

It takes about a week, in a powerboat (NOT a houseboat) to traverse the full length. That can be the best week of your life where you escape cell phones and the internet, meet lock staff dedicated to making your travel easy and enjoyable, see the best scenery Canada has to offer, and learn new skills.

You can camp at most locks. Many, such as Bobcaygeon (a contraction of an Indian name meaning “Shining Waters”) or Buckhorn or Peterborough are located within towns so you can walk to restaurants, stores, or ice cream parlours. The waterway is fairly well marked with red and green buoys (“Red Right Returning”), but you WILL want a set of charts which ay come with your rental.

For our money, you don’t have to do it all. The sections from the entrance at Trenton through Buckhorn (#31) are in country more described as grassy water than rocky water. Start around Pigeon Lake or Young’s Point (#27), travel west as far as you wish, and return. For a week’s journey on a houseboat, choose one of the three firms renting houseboats around Pigeon Lake and make a loop from there to Buckhorn (#31), Bobcaygeon (#32), possibly to Fenelon Falls (#34), and return.

The hospitality shown by lock masters such as Sean at Buckhown and Scott and Eric at Bobcaygeon will exceed your expectations – and maybe keep you from damaging your boat or embarrassing yourself. Hospitality to tourists is their full-time job and they have the budget for it and take it seriously. The most important rule for a novice boater entering a lock is that you can’t do it too slow.

A place to start, other than your search engine, A place to finish is when your memories fade away.

24 Thank Hard2Pleeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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