Picture Stories

Trent Severn, Georgian Bay & North Channel

The first lock of the Trent Severn Waterway was built in 1833. It’s history is the clash of lumber, railway, and steamship barons; local, regional, national politics; man and nature. By the time the first complete transit was made in July 1920 it was obsolete. Great Lake ships were now too big to use it and railroads stole most of its intended freight. None of that diminishes the natural beauty of the Canadian Shield rivers and lakes or the delightful small towns it offers today’s Loopers. 240 miles and 44 locks.

The abrupt transition from the Trent Severn to Georgian Bay is matched only by the opposite transition 600 water miles away from Lake Michigan to the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – though the Trent Severn certainly has the more appealing name. As we entered Georgian Bay, L.T. and I once again had to pay attention to where we’re going and decide daily between open water or the more challenging ‘small craft routes’.

Georgian Bay and then the North Channel are the most remote sections of the Great Loop. Towns get smaller and further apart as you go west so we had to pay attention to fuel and supplies too. The trade off is beautiful anchorages and plentiful kayaking, hiking and even a few mountain biking opportunities. If you want to contemplate nature or your navel for a while, this is your place.

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