The Haliburton Highlands Water Trails (HHWT) consists of approximately 28,000+ hectares of provincial and municipal public lands comprised of countless lakes, rivers, trails and continuous forest.
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The HHWT manages camping and recreation in two distinct management areas: the historic Frost Centre canoe routes and the Poker Lakes canoe routes.
These areas serve as year-round destinations for thousands of canoeists, campers, hikers, day-trippers, fisherman, hunters, cottagers, snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers providing significant backcountry recreational and conservation values.
Frost Centre Area
The Frost centre area encompasses approximately 26,500 hectares of rugged backcountry provincial crown, municipal and private lands comprised of mixed forests and 60+ lakes, some with cottages and others that are undeveloped. There are numerous canoe route possibilities, 171 interior canoe/boat-only access campsites and 70 portages. There are a limited number of road access campsites which are primarily found along the Sherborne Lake Access road.
This area has something to offer to all levels of canoeing/camping experience, skill and ability. It’s an ideal getaway for families and paddlers looking for two- to three-day trips.
The area can be accessed by 11 public access points, most of which are easily accessible off of Highway 35 North. Significant natural and aesthetically pleasing features can be found throughout the area, from waterfalls, to natural old growth forest, to the Black River head water wetlands. Some notable areas are two conservation reserves - the Clear Lake conservation reserve is an area representative of old growth Hemlock forest and is protected from future logging operations. The Dawson Ponds Conservation reserve was established to protect provincially-significant floral features.
Poker Lakes Area
The Poker Lakes area encompasses approximately 1,800 hectares of remote backcountry provincial crown and municipal lands comprised of mixed forests and 12 lakes with minimal development. Camping/canoeing routes include 47 campsites and 10 portages.
This is an ideal area for novice paddlers, families or anyone looking to have a relaxing and rejuvenating adventure in a natural setting.
Access to the area is from two public access points, one at 5128 Highway 118 and one on the Cinder Lake access road, off of the Black River Road. It should be noted that the Cinder Lake access road is a remote, unmaintained, “use at your own risk” road, and the access point itself can only be reached by a truck, SUV, ATV, snowmobile (in winter) or on foot. Vehicles using this access point should be equipped with 4-wheel drive capabilities as there is very rough terrain and two water crossings.
Trails Office (Haliburton Highlands Water Trails)
20130 Highway # 35 North
Township of Algonquin Highlands
1123 North Shore Road, Algonquin Highlands, ON K0M 1J1
Hours of Operation
May to August
Open 7 days a week
Sunday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
September to October
Open 7 days a week
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
November to April
Open 7 days a week (except public holidays)
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.