Paddling Route: Mitchell Lake to Talbot

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site

Northern region 1-day route

On this beautiful and relaxing paddling trip, experience the thrill of locking through the Kirkfield Lift Lock.

Route information

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total distance: 18 km (11.2 miles); one way
  • Time to paddle: 4 to 6 hours
  • Number of locks encountered: 3
  • Environment: Padddling in and out of lakes, canals and rivers

Facilities and services available along this route:

  • Lockage (required)
  • 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. Plan accordingly.

Put-in locations
Take-out locations
  • Upper reach of Lock 38 Talbot
    Location: 1427 Canal Rd, Brechin, ON

Paddling directions

  1. Enter the canal from Mitchell Lake
  2. Follow the left (south) shore of Canal Lake towards the arc bridge
  3. Enter the Talbot River


Lockage is required for some locks along this route. Portaging may be difficult or not possible.

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

  • Preferable wind conditions are from the northeast (tail wind)
  • Avoid winds from the northwest and southeast (cross wind) and from the southwest (head wind)


  • Strong wind on Canal Lake as waves can get pretty high

  • Watch for powerboats and their wake
  • No safety ladders on the walls at Kirkfield
  • Be aware of ongoing construction at Lock 38

Avoid dams

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

Tourism information

Nearby communities and services

There are no towns or villages within walking distance along this route

Points of interest

  • Kirkfield Lift Lock

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.

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