Serpentine Lake Route

CanadaOntarioSouth Central
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
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Additional Route Information
21 km
2 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
3250 m
Longest Portage: 
1585 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Not applicable
Lake Travel: 
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Turn off Hwy 28 just south of town of Apsley
Anstruther Road - travel 10 km to Government Launch
North through Anstruther Lake
P 162 m around Rathbun Dam
Northwest through Rathbun Lake
P 135 m into Rathbun Creek
P 1584 m into Serpentine Lake
South through Serpentine Lake
P 160 m into creek
P 30 m on creek
East then south through Copper Lake
P 837 m to Anstruther Creek
West on Anstruther Creek
P 180 m to Rathbun Lake
South on Rathbun Lake
P 162 m around Rathbun Dam
South on Anstruther Lake to finish


Post date: Tue, 01/24/2017 - 22:31


We did this loop CCW last Sept and enjoyed it. You missed North Rathbun Lake in the loop between Rathbun and Serpentine. Not sure what the 30m P on the creek from Copper to Serpentine was, must have been a low water year. Beavers were busy last year and the creek has a small lift over at Copper then it was clear paddling to Serpentine Portage, absolutely beautiful part of the trip. The Kawartha Highlands PP map from 2015 is fairly accurate, recommend it for this site. Copper Lake is the most scenic in my opinion and I have been on all but a few routes. We did it in 2 days which I don't recommend, 2 nights min, 3 even better to really explore. Great Park.



Post date: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 14:11


Heres a trip video for the route

Post date: Tue, 04/27/2010 - 21:03


I am planning to do this trip, I wanted to know if I could bring a portable gas motor into this route. Second, are the portages marked? Lastly, does anyone know where I can get a map that shows this camping route in detail, such as portages?
Thanks in advance.

Post date: Wed, 11/11/2009 - 11:27


This is a wonderful short trip with easy access. We did it in early November and it was utterly quiet and still and nobody was there. I would imagine human traffic could be heavy in high season, but campsites are abundant. We were wishing it was warmer because of all the fabulous swimming rocks. It is an interesting combinations of lakes, bogs, and woods and islands. Portages are easy walking but could be more slippery and muddy in wet conditions. The 837 into Rathbun lake is more like 200 from what we experienced, which made the latter leg of the loop much easier than expected. We took a day just to explore the narrow reaches of Serpentine Lake, which proved very fun.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


Although Kevin Callan advises against it in his book, paddling the route counter-clockwise is advisable. I feel this is true because it is safer to go up rather than down the steep portage if the rocks are slippery. Even if they're not slippery, up seems easier than down (although this may be a personal thing). All things considered, the portage isn't that bad, and the steep section is very short.