The Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park is one of the newest parks in the Ontario Provincial Parks roster. This area of beautiful lakes and groomed portage trails is easily accessible to canoeists of all levels of experience. It makes for perfect family camping experiences, or provides excellent opportunities for small groups to develop their wilderness skills.
Since there are many lakes connected by portage trails, the diversity of options for avid outdoors persons abounds - one day paddle tours; weekend getaways; or week-long trips. The excellent fishing and spacious campsites (complete with picnic tables, fire pits with metal grills, and "thunder boxes" supplied) make this park one of Ontario's unknown treasures.
Although it is not as large as Algonquin Park, it has many of the same aspects which make Algonquin so appealing.
Since the city of Peterborough is only 45 minutes away and the whole Kawartha Lakes region is peppered with many B&B's, hotels, motels and resorts in addition to this beautiful park, overnight accommodations other than the campsites are readily available.
All sites must be pre-registered through the Ontario Parks registration system on-line. The prices vary depending on age of campers and the number of campers.
The main park entrance (there are a few access points to choose from!) is at Long Lake. This entrance is to the west off Highway #28 north of Peterborough and south of Apsley.
If one is driving from either the east on Hwy #401 or from the west (Toronto) on Hwy#401, you would go to Port Hope and take Hwy #28 North (following the Hwy signs all the way north about an hour and 15 minutes). The park signs are on the Hwy.
Kevin Callan outlines some of the routes in his books of Ontario Canoe Routes