Kennisis Lake

General Information about Kennisis Lake

Kennisis Lake is one of the larger lakes in the region and sits in a corner between the Leslie M Frost Center and the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, with Algonquin Park to its North.  From Haliburton, follow Highway 118 West to the Kennisis Lake Road (County Road 7).  Kennisis Lake Road leads to the southern shore of the lake where one of the three boat launch areas can be found.  The second launch site lies along the northeast end of the lake and an additional access can be found near the northwestern shore of the lake at the Kennisis Lake Dam.

Fishing on Kennisis Lake

Kennisis Lake is a deep lake that provides great habitat for lake trout.  These naturally reproducing fish have been known to reach up to 75 cm (30 in).  Ice fishing is quite popular and is perhaps the most successful lake trout angling method in this lake.

In recent years, brook trout have been heavily stocked into the lake.  For added success, springtime or late fall can definitely increase your catch rates for brook trout.  Brookies have been known to be quite aggressive at these times of year and can be readily caught by casting towards shore with small spinners of flies.  Bobber fishing with a hook and worm can also work well.

Fishing success on Kennisis is fair for smallmouth bass that average 0.5-1 kg (1-2 lbs) in size and can be found larger.

Little Kennisis is popular as well for smallmouth bass fishing.  The shoreline rock structure provide good habitat for bass in the spring.  Larger smallmouth tend to head for deeper water in the summer and the shallow area in the northwest part of the lake is the better fishing areas for the bigger fish.  Try working jigs and deep running spinners to find these scrappy fish.

Lake Information

  • Elevation
  • Surface Area
  • Mean Depth
  • Max Depth
  • Perimeter
  • Kennisis Lake

  • 1,213ft (364m)
  • 346 acres (140 ha)
  • 77.1ft (23.1 m)
  • 223 ft (66.9 m)
  • 26 miles (41 km)

Kennisis Lake Cottage Owner’s Association (KLCOA)

The Kennisis Lake Cottage Owner’s Association (KLCOA) is a non-profit organization that is committed to contribute and provide the best services to its members, cottagers, and its visitors. The organization sponsors and conducts many activities for cottagers of all ages during the summer. KLCOA does not operate on a loan, mortgage or any other kind of debt to run its affairs.

Events conducted by KLCOA

Events and contests that are held by KLOCA every summer include:

  • Swimming Lessons
  • Fishing Tournament
  • Island Clean-up where volunteers and participants spend a couple of hours picking up waste from the Island
  • Regatta
  • Canoe Lessons

Celebrations are held for holidays such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Canada Day. All the members, cottagers, and visitors gather together and participate in various activities, barbecues, and firework shows at night time.

The KLCOA only consists of people who pay an annual fee in order to be a member. The membership fee is $30 before July 1 and $35 after July 1.

Norahs Island Kennisis LakeNorah’s Island

Norah’s Island is the largest island in Kennisis Lake.  The island was named after Norah Carruthers, the late wife of Bruce Carruthers, who owned the island for 32 years. Bruce Carruthers donated the island to the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust in the summer of 2007. Since then, many members of the KLCOA have donated money to the Land Trust’s Endowment Fund to maintain the cost of preserving the natural habitat of the island. Norah’s island has been deemed a lasting piece of land representing the true ecosystem of Kennisis Lake. The island ecosystem consists of native trees that surround the lake as well as many rare, native species of orchids. The natural habitat of the island is protected, prohibiting development and allowing access to all of the cottagers to enjoy. The Norah’s Island Committee of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust is in the process of developing a plaque to acknowledge the donors of the Endowment Fund who donated in excess of $50,000.




Swimming lessons are held at Kennisis Lake Marina every summer for six weeks. These lessons are available for both members and non-members. To be eligible for a badge, Kennisis’ swimming students must attend at least two weeks of lessons. However this does not imply that the participant will pass the level.



The Ontario Sailing Association (OSA) runs a BOOM Sailing Program at Kennisis Lake during the summer. The program offers Kennisis resident members and non-members five days of lessons. This program includes in-water and in-class sessions teaching Kennisis members how to sail on the lake. The Ontario Sailing Association provides professional instructors tending to a limited class of sixteen students. The OSA also supplies instructional boats, teaching aids and lifejackets for all the participants. Although the summer program targets children ages nine to fifteen, the OSA offers an adult “learn to sail” program with a more limited number of participants.



The annual Regatta is an all-day event that brings residents together to participate in games and activities. A marathon swim, horseshoe tournament, battleship golf, mini putt, Frisbee, morning swim races, water balloon toss, bubblegum blowing contest, afternoon boat races, egg tosses, log rolling contests, and more activities fill the day. Most of the activities compete for prizes, typically trophies named after generous donors.



The Kennisis ski trails are maintained by residents of the lake. Measuring 10 kilometers in length, the ski trails reopened off the west shores of Kennisis Lake (in what is known as the ‘Clear Lake Conservation Area’). With access on West Shore Road, the trails map around west of Kennisis down to the south of Red Pine Lake.

Snowmobiling around Kennisis Lake

When winter comes, Ontario rolls out its white carpet of snowmobile trails, welcoming you to the best snowmobiling in the world.  The OFSC offers more trails to ride than there are provincial highways to drive!!!  This makes for the world’s largest interconnected recreational trail system.  Our own Haliburton County Snowmobile Association (HCSA) invites sledders to enjoy 350km of excellent wide groomed trails with spectacular scenery.    Trails 11 & 62 go right across Kennisis Lake, 11 towards Haliburton Forest (which has 300km of its own trails) and 62 to Tall Pines.

Tree icon

Tree Planting

The tree and shrub planting program was recently established in 2009. This program offers Kennisis members the chance to rehabilitate open or harvested areas, control erosion, create windbreaks, naturalize shorelines, or create wildlife surroundings. For this program, the KLCOA offers two classifications of trees (coniferous trees and deciduous trees) and two classifications of shrubs (shoreline shrubs and upland shrubs). Kennisis members have the option of ordering the tree or shrub of their choosing.

The coniferous trees the KLCOA include white pine (that grows 30–45 cm tall), white spruce (30–45 cm tall), and balsam fir (20–35 cm tall). The deciduous trees consist of red oak (60–90 cm tall), white birch (45–60 cm tall), and sugar maple (60–90 cm tall). The program also provides shoreline shrubs such as red osier dogwood (60–90 cm) and upland shrubs including staghorn sumas (30–45 cm tall).

Maintenance of the planted trees and shrubs involve the controlling of weeds or other competing species around the young plants and provide adequate watering in the event of summer drought conditions to help the plants establish.

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