We will explore Lake Simcoe in a clockwise direction from the entrance to the Trent Severn Waterway. On leaving the Canal and heading south toward Beavertown and Cook's Bay the run to Beavertown is roughly 22.8 miles with few no obstructions in the course, providing you maintain a respectful distance from shore and watch for break walls. However, if you are traveling at night CAUTION should be exercised as the background clutter of background lights combined with the four visible quick flashing lights can be confusing. These lights are found on the entrance to the Trent Severn Canal break wall, Thorah Island's south east tip, Beavertown's south break wall and Pefferlaw Brook.
As the prevailing winds in this area during the summer blow from the north west considerable wave action can build up on the lake quickly if they pick up any strength.
The Town of Beaverton lies almost due south from the canal entrance on the east side of the lake. Beavertown hosts a reasonable sized harbour having a mix of public and private facilities. When approaching from the lake remember that most harbours here have fairly break walls that extend outward from shore some distance. At Beavertown the harbour entrance is marked by day markers and a quick flashing yellow light (QY) at the end of the south break wall. Entrance depth between the break walls varies from 5' to 8' with an uneven bottom and shoals near the edge. As you reach approach the boat houses on the south and building to the north the channel narrows favoring the north side where there is only a narrow cut having much more than 4.5'. There are concrete public wharves on both sides, the north side may have a 7+' of depth while the south side may be as little as 4'.
Located at the back of the harbour the Beaverton Yacht Club (705) 426 7309 has 5' draft and up to 45' length. This is a full service marina with repairs and haul out using a 10 ton hydraulic trailer. They do accommodate transient boats and offer gas, pumpout, water, washrooms, showers, picnic tables, sauna, BBQ'q phone and launch ramp.available.
South from Beavertown, along the south shore of the lake Georgina Island with a large shoal area the extending between the island and the mainland at Virginia Beach means most cruising boats head almost due west to clear Blackbird Point on the north tip of Georgina Island. The area between Beavertown and Georgina Island contains a number of smaller communities, with public docks and marinas. If you wish to explore this area or visit Pefferlaw be sure be careful to stay far enough offshore to avoid McCrae Shoals a mile offshore between the communities of Cedarhurst Beach and Maple Beach roughly 2.5 miles south of Beavetown. THe shoal is marked by SV 3 and SV5 with 4' to 5' of depth.
Pefferlaw is about 6.5 miles south of Beavertown and is the major community along this section of the lake with the town a mile and a half from where you will be able to take your boat. The entrance to the harbour is marked by a flashing flashing quick yellow (QY) light at the end of the east break wall. There are three marinas within Pefferlaw harbour.
As you enter the harbour the first marina is Flying Bridge Marina (705) 437 2373. The entrance is a sharp jog to the east as you make the sharp turn into the river from between the break walls. Transient boats are welcome and a depth is 5' and up to 50' length accommodate most boats. They do keep a mechanic on duty 7 days a week during the season along with towing or mobile service and handle all repairs. Facilities 20 or 30 AMP power, Launching Ramp, 30 ton travelift, playground, washrooms and showers. For those without a boat they also have a B & B, a motel, camping and cottages.
Everglades Marina (705) 437 1340 is unmistakable on the east shore.There are 300 slips both covered and open here. Transient boats are welcomed with a depth of 5' to 7' and 42' of length. Facilities include repairs gas, pumpout, 15 or 30 AMP power, washrooms, showers, playground, picnic facilities and a small store.
As you proceed upstream beyond Highway 48 is Quinn's Marina (705) 437-1122. This family business been here a while, 50 years and has no transient dockage specializing in PWC's and smaller sport boats.
If you choose to investigate the waters behind Georgina Island and visit Virginia Beach a small center which serving as the shore link with Georgina Island. CAUTION must be exercised when heading for Virginia Beach from either Beaverton or Pefferlaw in the half mile wide passage between Bald Point located on Georgina Island and Dulcos Point to the mainland. Bald shoal, marked by SV7 and SV9 divides the channel and in rough water conditions the shoal markers can be hard to see.
Virgina Beach Marina (705) 437 2533 has 88 docks with 6' of depth and 33' length. Facilities include a B & B, motel, hotel, cottages, restaurant and snack Bar.
To pass outside of Georgina Island clearing Blackbird Point from Beaverton Harbour your course will be 250°T and is clearly marked by a flashing light (FL), on the island. CAUTION: Big Shoal with 2' of water is off of Sawlog Point on the east shore of the island and identified by SG3 and SG5.
Once outside of Blackbird Point you can change your heading to reach Cook's Bay by to 242°T which will bring you between Fox and Snake Islands. If you wish to investigate the communities and park along the shore once clear of Blackbird Point your course will be 178°T to Sibbald's Point Provincial Park, or 188°T to Jacksons point.
Sibbald's Point Provincial Park is a popular camp ground for many Toronto area residents. Note: the water surrounding the park docks is only 3' and it is more suitable for small boats.
To the west of Sibbald's Point in the mouth of Black River there is a public dock. CAUTION: the entrance is marked by SB 2 located at the outer end of a string of pilings along the west side of the dock, there are also a series of markers not shown on the chart between SB2 and shore.
Perhaps of more interest to the cruiser is Jackson's Point an attractive village which is a hub for this section of the lake. There is a government dock on the north side of the harbour area with an adjacent marina. The harbour is protected by a stone watch for marked by a flashing yellow light (FIY) . Depth at the entrance is over 10' There is some dock space along the south side of the federal dock, but the water shoals close south of the dock its self..
Bonnie Boats Ltd. (905) 722 9717 has no transient facilities and but does offer service for boats limited clearance of less than 12' and a draft of less than 5'. They are located on the edge of the village and it facilities.
Jackson's Point Harbour (905) 722 9717 does offer transient facilities with depths of 5' to 10' and up to 40' in length. Facilities are limited but do offer showers 15 AMp power, showers and picnic areas.
There is an IGA, post office, laundramat, and several places to eat and drink, a drug store. For those seeking shore leave there are several options. For entertainment the Red Barn Theater (888) 733 2276, and is the oldest in Canada has a dinner Theater which is a popular destination. There is a Best Western Inn with a restaurant and lounge. THere is the Jolly Roger close by with a continental menu and is licensed. For pub folk the Lake Simcoe Arms has an English flavor with a good selection of brew. Then there is The Briars (800) 722 3271 which is a traditional country inn with a long list of facilities and historic hospitality. There is a golf course, spa, a long list activities and delightful dining.
From Jackson's Point to Cook's Bay you will need to head north for a mile to avoid the Townline Shoal marked by SJ1 before turning west on a heading of 265°T to bring you between Snake Island and Fox Island.
Along the shore smaller boat may consider the popular Willow Beach which is a favorite of wind surfers with 4' of water and sandy beach. Three miles further west Paradise Beach is marked by SP1 and SJ2 off the entrance to the harbour.
Mahoney's Marina (905) 476 5463 has limited vertical clearance of 7' and 5' of depth with very limited transient space. They have gas, water launch ramp and a restaurant.
Leaving Paradise Beach en route to rounding Snake Island stay east and north of SJ3 marking Willow Rocks with 3' to 4' of depth and the unmarked shoals in a line from SJ3 to the SJ9. The preferred course to Cook's Bay uses the passage between Snake and Fox Islands island. Fox Island is marked by SG8 and a flashing light (FL). Snake and Fox Islands are Indian land trepassing is prohibited.
Once through their passage between the islands the entrance to Cook's Bay and the Holland River is south with a course of 200°T.