Paddling Route: Buckhorn to McCrackens Landing

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Kawarthas region 1-day route

Paddle the scenic Upper Buckhorn, Lovesick and Stoney lakes on this beautiful one-day paddling trip. Do not hesitate to explore all the islands and inlets on your way.

Route information

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Total distance: 18.5 km (11.5 miles); one way
  • Time to paddle: 1 day; 4.5 to 6 hours
  • Number of locks encountered: 3
  • Environment: Lakes, islands and inlets
*For a shorter version of this route, use Burleigh Falls as your start or end point

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


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. Be sure to arrange your transportation accordingly.

Put-in locations
Take-out locations
Other locations to take-out nearby:

Paddling directions

  1. Follow the left (north) shore on Lower Buckhorn Lake until you reach Lock 30
  2. McCrackens Landing is located in the centre of the southeastern shore of Stoney Lake


Lockage is recommended for some 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 Facilities and Services page for up-to-date status by lockstation.

Wind conditions

  • The water flows from Buckhorn to Lakefield
  • Best wind conditions are from the west (tail wind)
  • Avoid winds coming from the north & south (side wind) and the east (head wind)


  • Watch for powerboats and their wake
  • There is a narrow passage in the navigational channel around Dinnertime Island (Lower Buckhorn Lake)

Avoid dams

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

Tourism information

Nearby communities and services
Points of interest

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 by others

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