Ontario's Best Boat Launches for PWC Day Trips

Locations across the province to easily get in and out of the water so you can spend more time exploring!

Many a great day ride on #Ontariowaterways starts with a good launch site for your PWC or boat. My definition of a “good” launch includes easy access, plenty of manoeuvring room, ample parking, a smooth ramp, sufficient water depth and decent docks, so all the Ontario launches listed below provide these assets, plus they’re open early and late. If a launch offers other services such as fuel, food or restrooms, all the better and these are so noted.

I should also make the disclaimer that those on my list are not the only good launches available, just the ones that I know are good, use most frequently and can recommend to you. So why not make plans to start exploring other waterways today!

Bay of Quinte

Tourism Region: The Great Waterway

#greatwaterway

Trenton Launch: Free launch, free parking, outhouse plus bathroom in nearby arena. Located beside Duncan MacDonald Memorial Gardens in Centennial Park near downtown Trenton at the mouth of the Trent Severn Waterway, this public launch provides western access for an eastbound ride on Bay of QuinteAdolphus Reach and North Channel to Kingston. View Trenton Public Launch map and ride article.

Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching

Tourism Region: BruceGreySimcoe

#brucegreysimcoe #ontarioslakecountry

Barrie Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, plus food available nearby. Located near downtown on Kempenfelt Bay, this launch provides west shore access for rides on Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching. View Barrie Marina, Lake Simcoe map.

Bradford Launch: Fee for launch includes parking, outhouse. Located on the east side of Yonge Street (Hwy 11) at the south end of Bradford, this marina launch provides southern access for rides up Holland River to Lake Simcoe. View Bradford Launch, Holland River map.

Orillia Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, plus restaurant and fuel nearby. Located in downtown Orillia’s Couchiching Park, this public launch provides west shore access to Lake Couchiching for rides on that lake and Lake Simcoe. View Orillia Public Launch map.

Muskoka Lakes

Tourism Region: Explorer’s Edge

#explorersedge #muskoka

Gravenhurst Launch: Free launch, free parking, outhouse (restrooms in nearby Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf), fuel on site, plus restaurant nearby. Located on Steamboat Bay Road off of Hwy 169 at Muskoka Wharf, this public launch provides south shore access for a ride on the Muskoka Lakes. View Muskoka Wharf, Gravenhurst map and ride article.

Huntsville Launch: Free launch, free parking, outhouse, plus restaurant with docks on river in town. Located at the foot of Yonge Street at Avery Beach, this public launch provides south shore access to Hunter’s Bay for a ride west to Lake Vernon or east on the river thru Huntsville to Fairy Lake and Peninsula Lake. View Avery Beach Public Launch, Huntsville map.

Rosseau Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, fuel at marina next door, plus restaurant nearby. Note: avoid launch on Fridays during the summer because access is difficult due to on site Farmer’s Market. Located on Highway 141 just south of town (at foot of big hill), this public launch provides good northern access to the north end of Lake Rosseau for a ride on the Muskoka Lakes. View Rosseau Public Launch map and ride article.

St. Lawrence River and The 1000 Islands

Tourism Region: The Great Waterway

#greatwaterway

Kingston Launch: Fee for launch, paid parking, restrooms. Located at King Street East and West St, west of downtown, this public launch provides western access for an eastbound ride through the Thousand Islands to Brockville. View Kingston Public Launch map and ride article.

Morrisburg Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, plus restaurant and fuel nearby in town. Accessed from Highway 401 at exit 750, this public launch is located on the St. Lawrence River at the foot of Ottawa Street (where it becomes Lakeshore Drive) and provides good eastern access for a westbound ride through the 1000 Islands to Kingston and back. View Morrisburg Public Launch map and ride article.

Otonabee River and the Kawartha Lakes

Tourism Region: Kawarthas Northumberland

#experienceKN #thisisliving #thekawarthas #peterborough

Burleigh Falls Launch: Free launch, fee for parking, restrooms, plus fuel and convenience store across the road. Located just south of Lock 28 off Highway 28 on Lovesick Lake, this public launch provides eastern access for a westbound ride on Kawartha Lakes. View Burleigh Falls Public Launch map and ride article.

Hastings Launch: Free launch, ample free parking, restrooms, plus restaurant nearby. Located on the south side of the Trent River just west of Lock 18 off County Road 45, this public launch provides eastern access for a westbound ride on Trent Severn/Rice Lake/Otonabee River. View Hastings Marina Public Launch map and tour article & video.

Long Beach Launch: Fee for launch, limited parking, plus restaurant, fuel nearby. Located on the west shore of Sturgeon Lake and accessed by Long Beach Road off Highway 35 at Cameron, this marina launch is a western launch site for an eastbound ride of the Kawartha Lakes. View The Landings, Long Beach map and ride article.

Peterborough Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, with restaurants and fuel nearby on Lansdowne Avenue. Take the Ashburnham exit from Highway 115 bypass north to Maria Street and hang a left to the 1st street after Rogers Cove Public Park on Little Lake. This public launch provides good access for a southbound ride on the Otonabee River to Rice Lake and beyond. View Mark Street Public Launch, Peterborough map and ride article.

Ottawa River

Tourism Regions: Ottawa & CountrysideOntario's Highlands

#comewander

Lefaivre Marina Launch: Free launch, free parking, restrooms, on-site fuel. Tucked away in the sleepy little village of Lefaivre, located on the south shore of the Lower Ottawa River midway between Ottawa and Montreal, this public launch provides good access for cruises both up and downstream. View Lefaivre Marina map and ride article.

Pembroke Launch: Fee for launch, free parking, restrooms, fuel, chip truck. Located at the foot of Albert Street in downtown Pembroke, this public launch provides access to the Ottawa River for a ride west to Mattawa and beyond. View Pembroke Marina Launch map and ride article.

Severn River and Georgian Bay South

Tourism Region: BruceGreySimcoe

#brucegreysimcoe

Penetanguishene Launch: Fee for launch, free parking, restrooms, restaurant on site, plus fuel at nearby marina. Located at the foot of Main Street, this public launch is good western staging point for a ride north to Honey Harbour or east into the Trent Severn Waterway at Port Severn. Note: for launching in the area, this one is better than the Midland public launch. View Penetanguishene Public Launch map.

Severn Falls Launch: Fee for launch includes limited parking, outhouse. Located off Hwy 69 at exit 153, this resort launch provides southern access for northbound rides on Severn Sound and the inner channel of Georgian Bay to Parry Sound. View Muskie's Resort Launch map.

Sparrow Lake Launch: Fee for launch includes parking, restrooms, fuel and snacks on site. Located west from the South Sparrow Lake Road exit off Hwy 11, this launch at Lauderdale Point Marina provides east shore access for westbound ride from Sparrow Lake through Severn RiverGloucester Pool and on to Honey Harbour.  View Lauderdale Point Marina, Sparrow Lake map and ride article.

About Craig Nicholson—The Intrepid Cottager

Popularly known in the summer as “The Intrepid Cottager,” Craig Nicholson is a freelance journalist, writer and communications consultant who specializes in motorized recreational activities, including personal watercraft. As an avid Sea-Doo rider, Craig logs over 100 hours and 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) on the water most summers on many waterways in Ontario and Quebec. His one-of-a-kind Intrepid Cottager website features his Sea Doo tour articles, PWC riding tips, product reviews and comment.

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