Cobourg to Port Hope & Newcastle
Upon leaving Cobourg harbor and proceeding west there is little to permit recreational activity or landings. The coastline for the 5 miles between Cobourg and Port Hope is typical of much of this part of Lake Ontario. Low clay banks with heavily wooded areas at times separating the lake shore from the farmland beyond.
Approximately midway between the Cobourg and Port Hope lies Peter Rock at ( 43°56' :N, 78°14' :W ) is 0.7 miles offshore and is a drying feature connected to the shore by a very shallow rocky spit. Peter Rock light (497) is built on a concrete foundation and mounted in a white circular tower, with a red upper portion at an elevation of 13 feet.
A few notes of Caution.
Port Hope Lights. Port Hope West range lights are aligned to 320.5° , the front light (499) located on the southern end of the west break wall, is 20 feet high located in a white circular tower with green upper portion and a florescent-orange triangular day marker with a black vertical stripe. The rear element of this range is a light (500) 30 feet high on a white skeleton tower with an inverted florescent-orange triangular day marker with a black vertical stripe. Port Hope light (498) is on the south end of the eastern breakwater in a white circular tower 28 feet high and having a red upper portion. Port Hope Yacht light (500.5) is 0.12 miles north of the front range light which is atop of a building at an elevation of 37 feet and is privately maintained.
Port Hope is designated a recreational harbor and is maintained by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but managed by local authorities. Port Hope is also a Customs Reporting Station. The harbor itself is divided into two parts, an artificial concrete basin to the west lined with concrete walls and an eastern section created by the Ganaraska River. The harbor is entered between the westerly concrete pier and at easterly boulder break-wall.
Port Hope Marina is located on the east shore of the Ganaraska River and is operated by Municipality of Port Hope. Depth at he dock were limited to 2 to 3 feet in 1994. There was dockage, power and water, pay phones, ice and gas, picnic areas, showers and toilets along with a snack bar and restaurant available for those with shallow draft.
Port Hope Yacht Club is located at the northern end of the westerly artificial basin and provides moorings, pump out, a mast crane, a pay phone and picnic area.
Port Hope has seen some changes since my last visit. The town itself has the feel of an English village and would make an excellent stopping place for those who love to investigate charming ports.
From the harbor the town is separated by an elevated railroad overpass carries more than a little traffic, making the Yacht Club somewhat noisy at times.
Passing under the overpass, about 200 yards to the North is Port Hope with its Town Hall clock tower and surrounding park area welcoming you to the main shopping area about 2 blocks to the north.
For the fishing enthusiasts it should bee noted that this is one of the best inland salmon fishing areas in the country, so much so that a Salmon Festival is held each year from September to mid October. In the spring of the year rainbow trout abound at the mouth of the Ganaraska River and in the summer as well as the two species mentioned above almost every other species of fish to be found in Ontario, including eels provide sport for the angler.
As an aside from Edgar, especially to those who have never tasted eels and have no wish to do so, a short story:
Conspicuous landmarks visible when approaching Peter Rock are three radio towers 1 mile NNE of Peter Rock, two of which have hights of 186 feet and one somewhat shorter, all showing obstruction lights. There is also a microwave tower 3 miles NNe of Peter Rock with a height of 441 feet also with air obstruction lights.
Approaching Port Hope you can see the high green and white buildings to the west of the harbor which belong to Canadian Mining and Energy Corporation , and a microwave tower 1.6 miles to the NE. Also visible behind the trees is the white standpipe of the waterworks .Port Hope is located on the Ganaraska River with a population of 11,800 and is close to all major types of public transportation all of which offer scheduled services.
The main street is Walton Street where there, and close by you will find a couple of chain grocery stores, a pharmacy, beer and a liquor store.
There is quite a collection of restaurants, to meet various tastes in the vicinity of John, Walton, Mill and Peter Streets.
If the British feel of this beautiful little town gets to you, try afternoon tea at either the Owl or Pussy Cat Tea room (also an antique shop) both of which are on Walton.
There is a Canadian Tire close by the overpass and many interesting pubs and restaurants are to be found along the street leading to downtown.
One evening the conversation turned to eels, it seemed that very few of the dozen or so at the table had ever tasted an eel and had no desire to do so because of their resemblance to snakes.
Next morning dad and I set out to catch nothing but eels, and we caught several pounds of them, with little effort.