Thousand Islands, ON to Campbellford, ON


After a great week of fireworks in the US to celebrate the 4th of July we headed into Canada. 

Checking in was easy. We docked at a customs location (which is unstaffed), called into Canadian Customs, answered a few questions, receive a clearance number and posted the number in a visible place on our boat. No in-person inspection needed. 

A Canada courtesy flag is now flying on Heartbeat. 

Our first stop was a night in the Thousand Islands but this time we were in Canadian waters. In fact of the 1,864 islands 2/3 of are in Canadian waters. Much of the Canadian portion of the Thousand Islands area has been designated as National Park space. Turns out there are over 100 red chairs throughout Canada’s National Parks and Historical Sites, often sets are places at key viewpoints.  Our anchorage at Beau Rivage happen to be one of those locations. If you are curious where all red chairs are located check out this link:  –

Kent and Penny enjoying their first red chair experience. 

Stunning day to sit and soak in the view. Heartbeat is tucked away over of the left. 

We could have spent days exploring the different parks in the Thousand Islands but we needed to get into Kingston to pick up a boat part (a water pump – a long story and not worth sharing). Fortunately we arrived during Buskers Rendezvous. The Main Street was closed to traffic and street performers did their gigs all day and into the evening. 

Penny dotting the “i” in Kingston.

Our favorite performer, this guy should be a part of the Cirque du Soleil group – he was that good. 

We traveled 47 miles the following day anchoring off the very small town of Deseronto, catching back up with Jay & Barb (The Blessing) and then logged another 27 miles to Trenton. In Trenton we stayed at the Port Trent marina which was built in the past 5 years ago and is one of the nicest marinas we have been to. Loved the community herb garden where we picked up some fresh dill and added it to some delicious Atlantic salmon for dinner. 

Port Trent Marina keeping the weeds under control. This contraption would cut and harvest the weeds, looked to us like a combine and a lawn mower.  

Trenton is the start of the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW). This waterway consists of 44 locks along 240 miles and ends at Port Severn. It allows travel from Lake Ontario to the Georgian Bay. There are several types of locks used along this waterway (power, manual, lift, flight and marine railway) and several bridge types (fixed, swing, high). Starting at 243 ft above sea level the first 33 locks raise boats up to 840 ft and then decline to Port Severn at 576 ft above sea level. 

We are guessing we will take around 2 weeks to travel from Trenton to Port Severn.

The locks are managed by Canada Parks and employ college age kids for summer. They assist the lock masters to ensure boats are locked through efficiently and have the best attitudes – they make a point to talk to each boat, offer advice about the area and even share history on the locks. 

We set off with The Blessing on day 1 of the TSW by completing 6 locks and 7 miles. Not a huge distance but it allowed both of our boats to get a space on the lock wall at Frankford and enjoy the afternoon. A season pass makes it easy, it allows us to go through all of the locks and to stay on the lock walls. Space is limited on the lock walls this time of year, most boats begin traveling at 9am when the locks open and are at their destination by early afternoon. This is ideal as it gives you time visit the small towns along the waterway, support the local businesses and even go for a quick swim. Day 2 we  moved on our own 30 miles through lock 12 and stopped at Campbellford. Fortunately we got a space on the wall with electricity at this popular spot. It was hot and humid, the AC was cranked on and it worked hard to cool the boat (and us) down. We stayed here for 2 nights, exploring what the town of 3,500 had to offer. 

Sign at the top of lock 1 – we were on our way!

Heartbeat with another boat rafting up. To be efficient the Canada Parks staff will work to direct as many boats into a lock as possible. 

Lunch out in Frankford with Jay & Barb (The Blessing) and Milton & Julie (Here’s An Idea). We figured out over lunch that we had all started The Loop about the same time from near the same places. 

Video of locks 10, 11 and 12. Lock 10 is a 24', lock 11 and 12 are a chamber lock where you enter the lower chamber (24') and are looking up at the doors to the second chamber (24'). This type of lock is used where a large lift must be achieved in a short distance. 

Video of Penny's perspective on the TSW so far. Admittedly her voice is a little fast and chipmunk like, will have to work on it for any future submissions.

Great small place to grab nachos and a cold beverage in Campbellford. Could be that we stopped in here more than once. 

Campbellford also had an amazing bakery. A fresh strawberry pie that had to weigh 10 pounds was consumed in under 24 hours. I’d like to say we had help but there was no way we were going to share. 

Summer concert in the park – we may have been at the wrong end of the park but we could hear it perfectly. 

Toonie Monument ($2 Canadian coin). 

As always so much more happened along the way but just hitting the highlights in this post. Tomorrow we will continue toward the numerous locks ahead. Fortunately there are great parks to enjoy and small towns to explore along the way. More to come when we find ourselves again with strong wifi.