Chemung Lake

To the south of Buckhorn Lake and 8kms north of Peterborough is Lake Chemung. Chemung is 14 miles long but perhaps only 2/3 – 1 mile wide. The lake extends from Fowlers Corners in the south to Curve Lake on the north and Selwyn on the east. Bridgenorth and Ennismore are located The Villages of Bridgenorth and Ennismore are located on opposite shores near the southern end of the lake, which are connected by The James A. Gifford Causeway. Despite its width Chemung holds fair depth and relatively obstruction free water for miles of pleasure cruising.

Chemung Lake, (pronounced “shi-MONG), is official spelled Chemung, although, it is quite common to see it spelled “Chemong”. “Chemung”, from the First Nations languages translates to Mud Lake; a name was apt in the pre Trent Canal days.

The construction of the dams and locks of the Trent-Severn Waterway significantly impacted water levels throughout the central Kawartha Lakes changing transforming low wet land, shallow lake areas forming the lake we know today.

The Curve Lakes First Nations Territory located on the northern end of the lake. This area has some of the nicest unspoiled waterfront shore line around and makes for terrific sight-seeing. The Whetung Ojibwa Art and Craft Gallery, is open year round and is a great place to purchase gifts, home décor items and art work by local First Nations Artists. Annually the Curve Lake Pow-Wow celebrations are held the third weekend in September. The event is open for all with traditional foods, dances, songs and stories!

Chemung Lake’s close proximity to Peterborough and the lake-front communities that have grown up on its’ shores the lake make this a popular area for year round residents of the greater Peterborough area. Canoeing, boating, windsurfing, hiking, golfing, and swimming in the fresh waters of Chemung Lake, are among the popular summer activities enjoyed by year round and season residents. Public Parks are located close to both villages.

Chemong Lake is 7/10’s of a mile wide at the causeway. Early history of the area includes a short lived ferry service in the 1840 to enable travel in-between Bridgenorth and Ennismore. This proved to be too expensive for the local government of the day, to maintain. This was followed by a floating bridge that began operations in 1870. Known as the longest floating bridge in the world; locals referred to it as the “Bridge of Terror” and was replaced with a more practical causeway and bridge in 1949 and updated to what you see today in the early 1960’s.

Chemong Lake is part of a 5-lake water system consisting of Chemong Lake, Buckhorn Lake, and Pigeon Lake , Big Bald Lake and Little Bald Lake. These five lakes are all navigable without lockage. The 5-lake area is host to several popular fishing tournaments throughout the all year round fishing season. The most common game fish in the lake are Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Muskellunge as well as a number of Panfish.

Chemung Lake Facts


44° 25′


78° 22′


Sparse sandy loam


Granite, Sedimentary


246 m or 807 ft ±

Max. Depth

6.7 m or 22 ft

Mean Depth

2.4 m or 7.8 ft


2279.7 hectares or 5628.8 acres

Common Tree Species

Cedar, White Birch, Willow, Oak, Ash, White Pine, Elm, Maple, Poplar, White Spruce

Aquatic Vegetation

common cattail, white waterlily, yellow waterlily, yondweed, tapegrass, sweet gale, joe-pye-weed, common waterweed

Fish Species

muskellunge, white sucker, carp, rock bass, pumpkinseed, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch, walleye

Shoreline Length

Lake: 76.8 kilometers or 47.75 milesIsland: 6.3 km or 3.92 mi

Interesting Fact: Chemung Lake has the smallest percent of total shoreline belonging to islands, 8%.