Passing Peterborough

Yay!  Helen’s back!

For the entire month of February I’ve been in a holding pattern while Helen’s been in Portugal.  Temperatures have been so spring-like that I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back out on the trail, so Helen had barely unpacked her suitcase and I was hauling her out for a hike.

While being out on the trail is a treat at any time, one of the things we love the most about cross-country trekking, is being able to visit the various communities we pass along the way.

Peterborough is one of those treasures.

Located about 125 km northeast of Toronto, this city of 82,000 boasts the world’s highest hydraulic lift lock.


This is Lock 21 on the Trent-Severn Waterway and it rises 20 metres from the bottom – that’s approximately 6 storeys.

Sadly, on this gray winter day, the waterway was still frozen and there was no boat activity to watch transfer through the lock.  This engineering marvel has changed little since it was built in 1904 and although I’ve never seen this lock in operation,  I would love to experience it from a boat one day.

Side view of Lock 21

To see this lock, we had to take a bit of a side trip.  The Trans-Canada Trail crosses the canal at Lock 20, about a mile downstream.  This lock is considerably smaller and the gates looked battered and derelict.

That’s Helen on the Trans-Canada, crossing at the much smaller Lock 20

The trail through Peterborough was well-marked and easy to follow.  Kudos Peterborough!  We appreciated it.

As we left the city streets to enter the rail trail, we could see evidence of its origins still scarring the road.


We had so much to catch up on with each other, that before we knew it, we had chatted our way to the end of the Peterborough Trail and were entering the Lang-Hastings Trail.


A few more kilometres in, we turned around and headed back to our car and thermos of hot chocolate.

We’ve often noted that a trail can look very different depending on the direction you are moving in.  This happened to us again on this day when we noticed a western boot and apparel store that we had completely failed to notice on our way out.

How could we have missed the giant red boots marking the driveway?


… but these boots aren’t made for walking, so we kept on moving along.




  1. I like the first lock. It looks a bit majestic. The second one looks like its well used.

    Hahaha! You two just have been so engrossed in catching up to notice the biggest boot. 😉😂

    I’m glad you have your hiking partner back safely.


  2. I see Jude has mentioned the Falkirk Wheel already, which is what this made me think of. I’ve been on it a couple of times and it doesn’t really feel like flying! You go at a very stately speed. It’s fun though, I think it’s the only one of its kind.


  3. I’m happy that you have your hiking partner back. It’s pretty funny that you missed that sign 🙂

    The trail looks a little easier to follow. I love waterways, and I would like to see that lock in operation. I’ve been on boats in locks on the rivers around Pittsburgh, and it’s a very interesting experience.


  4. A very different Peterborough to ours! And the ‘Trent-Severn’ waterway? I had to check twice to make sure you were still writing about Canada.

    You’d like the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland if you ever get over here. It looks amazing!


    • hahaha! I feel the same way sometimes when I’m reading posts from bloggers in the UK. I’ve said it before, but our early settlers weren’t exactly creative in the use of their naming conventions in the New World 🙂

      I had to look up the Falkirk Wheel. Oh my – this is another one I’d like to try from the perspective of the boat! It would feel like you’re flying!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Peterborough is a lovely community. If you have a chance to go back in the summer, it is beautiful. Glad you have your hiking partner back!


    • We visited the locks in Peterborough once many years ago before children. I didn’t remember how large and impressive it was. I would love to return in summer and experience the lock from a boat.
      I discovered that there is an annual event there called Lock ‘n Paddle where they try to fill both sides of the lock with canoers and kayakers. From the video I watched, it looks amazing! I immediately wanted to add it to this year’s activities, but unfortunately I’m already committed that weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind thoughts, but March typically isn’t very warm here. At this point I’m just hoping we don’t get any major snowfall. It’s so much easier to plan hikes without worrying about snow and ice!


  6. I love Peterborough. Well done Helen for heading out on a hike when she had barely unpacked her suitcase from Portugal. That’s hardcore!!


    • I hadn’t visited the hydraulic lock in Peterborough since ‘before children’ – in other words, a very long time ago. I had forgotten how impressive it was.

      … and yes, Helen is the best. Everyone should have a Helen in their life 🙂


  7. I like that first photo of the lock. It thought you had captured one of those long exposure photos cause the water looked so foamy and pretty. Ooh, Joanne’s really good! 🙂 But, it’s frozen?! No wonder you had hot chocolate in the car. This looks like a fun walk.


    • hahaha! No fancy camera tricks for this neophyte – that water is solid! 🙂
      We were a little surprised by how cold it was that day. The temperature was fairly mild around the freezing mark, but the wind was bitter. Let’s just say we didn’t linger long and our hot chocolate was enjoyed from inside the car!

      Liked by 1 person

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