One of the many sweet benefits of living in the Patch is the proximity to beaches. A hot day—and we've had a lot of those this summer—practically commands a trip to one of the many great swim spots that pepper the area.
While the beaches located within the city limits are nice for evening strolls, I can’t really condone swimming at them. Little Lake is a visual gem, but I wouldn’t dip more than a toe into it. As for the Otonabee River? Pretty much the same rules apply, especially south of Little Lake. Short of those taking part in the annual Peterborough Triathlon, you will not see many folks dipping beyond their waists.
My family talks about installing a pool each and every spring. Yet, we’ve avoided taking the plunge. Why would we go to that cost when we can jump into the car and in under 15 minutes be kicking off our shoes and jumping into Chemong Lake. Frequented by a selection of regular faces, a little known beach called Jones Beach is located at the north end of Bridgenorth (on Jones Beach Road), just as the road turns out of town towards Lakefield. Jones Beach is small, but features a nice sandy area, a gentle slope into the deeper water and a solid platform to swim and jump from. Yeah, people will say that Chemong is full of weeds, making swimming less than delightful. They are wrong. The weeds of Chemong Lake are present, but far enough out that most folks will not likely feel their tickling tentacles.
Another beach, Lakefield Beach, lies on the south-west shore of Katchewanooka Lake, within the town of Lakefield. It’s a larger beach than Jones, and far more populated. The swimming in my opinion isn't as good as Chemong Lake, but for kids and teens, this is a great hangout. A grassy park lies adjacent, giving shade to picnickers and those who prefer to be out of the hot sun.
Stray a little farther from town, and other wet, refreshing locations await. Sandy Beach, west of the town of Buckhorn, is a prized destination both for its Caribbean blue shallow waters and its people watching. Most people make a day of it and bring all the necessary gear to get them through their adventure.
We are all very lucky to have these beaches nearby. Now, get out there and take advantage!
—Jeffrey Macklin, PtboCanada contributor