Find yourself in the Peterborough area and fancy getting out on the water? Rent a SUP from Wildrock Outfitters or Peterborough SUP and get out there, both have similar day rates. With something slightly more ambitious than a day of paddling in mind, I carried my rented SUP down to the water and set off on a 6 day SUP camping trip.
It was on Saturday just after noon when I set off from Millenium Park in Peterborough’s downtown, on the edge of the Otonabee River. From there it was about 35min over to Lock 20 where I picked up a 6 day lock pass ($60). This allows lock usage for any 4 days over a 6 day period and seemed like it would be the best value for what I had planned, although many other lock pass options are available…
The lock pass is worth it to avoid this one portage around the Peterborough Lift Lock:
Heading north up the Trent-Severn Waterway offers an interesting mix of urban, rural and wilderness paddling. The waterway is quite undeveloped as you slip quietly through town. It feels immediately like you’re out in the country.
Last year I stopped for the night at Lock 24. It’s a beautifully secluded spot. Lock 23 isn’t bad either if you’re looking for options. On this day I paddled on to Lakefield’s Lock 26, about 18km upstream from my put-in.
It was only 530pm as I brought my gear ashore. Still plenty of light left, but the end of the road for me on this warm and sunny day. Though my energy level was still good, my hands were shot, even through my new paddling gloves! This is what I find tough to prepare for. I made sure to get out on the water a number of times before this outing, but the place in Toronto where I rent offers blades with a palm grip. The paddle from Wildrock has a T-handle. A 1st world problem if ever there was one, but my callouses are in the wrong spot…
Getting camp setup early, I found two trees appropriately spaced, and hung my hammock, before wandering through town looking for a place to eat.
On the map above you’ll find Foodland marked off. This grocer is open 24hrs, so if you want to paddle light on the 1st day, you can pick everything up once you get to Lakefield. Most of the town’s restaurants can be found along Queen street. I stuffed myself with a full rack of ribs at the Thirsty Loon before heading back to “camp”.
Camping lock-side is incredibly cheap. I think they charged me $5! I suppose you could just show up after the lock has closed and camp for free, but then you don’t get a key to the washroom… 4-5 boats called this lock home for the night also. It seems a strange place to camp, on the edge of town, next to some boats docked for the night, but it is a quiet spot, quieter than I would have expected…
The 1st day was coming to a close as a full moon rose over head. Dinner in a restaurant, running water, a washroom. Didn’t feel quite like camping, but my trip was underway….