City of Orillia
Waterway: Lake Couchiching, Narrows, Lake Simcoe
Distance: 13km Loop
Time: 4 – 6 Hours
Type of Route: Loop
(1) Portage Bay – 388 Couchiching Point Rd., Orillia, ON
(2) Collins Dr. – 425 Collins Dr. Orillia, ON
(3) Atherley Community Park – 3 Winchester St, Orillia, ON
Parking: Tudhope Park (Free – See full details on the City of Orillia website), or Collins Drive (limited), or Atherley Community Park (limited)
NOTE: Winds on Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching can pick up quickly. Please check the forecast and paddle within your ability. This route can also experience heavy boat traffic on the weekend, especially through the Narrows. Stand up paddle boarding is only recommended in the Bays at the beginning and ends of this route, and it is highly recommended to avoid the Narrows. Please always respect and obey the rules of the waterway.
Paddle through Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching and visit a National Historic Site of Canada: the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs. Located just below the surface in the Narrows, which connects Lake Simcoe to Lake Couchiching, the weirs are an important site of gathering and healing for First Nations people. The word Mnjikaning is Ojibwe which translates to “fish fence” and the weirs are a system of wooden stakes used to catch fish entering Lake Couchiching. This area was rich in food and the seasonal harvests provided sustenance to the First Nations and settler communities that lived and travelled through the area. French explorers Etienne Brulé and Samuel de Champlain visited the weirs and noted their beauty and plentiful wildlife in their writings. As paddlers travel Lake Couchiching they will pass some small islands. On main land you can connect with multi use trails and parks. There are picnic spots and beaches for swimming, providing an abundance of scenic natural landscapes and wildlife viewing.
Points of Interest
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