by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
The Jewel of The Kawartha Lakes
The following is an excerpt from the Visit Fenelon Falls website - "As you walk the streets of Fenelon Falls circa 2008, you will find wonderful antique shops, a variety of restaurants & coffee houses, beautiful flower shops and trendy clothing boutiques. You will also experience lovely beaches, boating and snowmobiling. Most importantly you will encounter a friendly and laid back atmosphere !"
"The following description of Fenelon Falls is base on our many visits to the village."
Fenelon Falls, often referred to as “The Jewel of the Kawartha’s”, is a picturesque thriving tourist destination. Judi and I can attest to this because of our many trips to Lock 34. Lock 34 takes boats from Sturgeon Lake to Cameron Lake and is a popular lock to stop and tie up at. I can remember one memorable experience when visiting this lock We had just taken delivery of our new boat and were “sea testing it” with a trip to Fenelon Falls. At the top of the locks we wanted to dock and tie up. As we approached an empty docking space a gust of wind caught our boat and, much to the dismay of other boaters, we turned in the lock. To boaters, this is NOT a good thing to, especially when you are out of control! To add our humiliation, the lockmaster (over the loud PA system) actually asked us if we were going back into the lock for the return trip down! I had trouble from there, both controlling the boat and docking it! I couldn’t understand why I was having so much trouble! That is until I found out, upon further examination, that the steering wheel fluid had leaked, thus leaving me without any power steering. Power steering was needed to properly steer this type of boat! Once the problem was solved, I became a “pro” at docking the boat and fortunately did not have this type of “spectacle” again! My memory of Fenelon Falls goes back some time, as my Aunt Jay and Uncle Herb had a cottage not far from the town. My own mother and father eventually purchased a cottage close to theirs. I can remember visiting my parents and Aunt and Uncle and then taking trips to Fenelon Falls. There we toured the town and purchased mouthwatering Chelsea buns from the local bakery. They were certainly something to remember. In later years, apart from visiting Lock34 with our boat, we used to drive to Fenelon Falls to get together with artist friends Marg and Terry Andrews. Terry became one of our favorite artists and was one of Judi’s first "art" mentors. It was always fun when we played “Pictionary” with Terry. Terry always drew the most elaborate picture that were easy to recognize. Unfortunately he normally ran out of time and couldn't finish the picture!
Being a tourist town, Fenelon Falls offers visitors a number of great shops and festivals and events to enjoy. Festival and events include a number of "Lock Jams", the Fenelon Falls Fair, the Fenelon Falls Heritage Day and the Fenelon Falls Stamp Show. Shops include Country Cupboard, Stokes on Trent and The Village Shop. If you are planning on touring the Kawarthas, either by boat or car, Fenelon Falls should definitely be on your list of places to visit!