Severn Travel Guide

  • Looking down the line to Gloucester Pool
    Looking down the line to Gloucester Pool
    by CdnJane
  • Old cradle used 'til 2003 when new was serviced
    Old cradle used 'til 2003 when new was...
    by CdnJane
  • The rails and cables to lower/raise the cradle
    The rails and cables to lower/raise the...
    by CdnJane

Severn Off The Beaten Path

  • CdnJane's Profile Photo

    by CdnJane Written Sep 1, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Big Chute Marine Railway is a boat lift on the Trent-Severn Waterway between Lake Ontario traversing southern-southeastern Ontario up to Georgian Bay (Lake Huron). Technically it is known as Lock 44. It is just what its described - a flatbed railway car that brings the boats up the steep 60 ft incline, and is the only working marine railway in North America, of its kind. Built initially in 1917, and at that time only able to bring boats up to 35 feet long, it prevented commercial vehicle use. There were plans over the years made to build a traditional lock, but the final reason against it was to keep the lamprey eels out of the Severn Watersystem that had reached Gloucester Pool. They cannot survive out of water so cannot make the voyage. The eels are not native to these waters and it is the only way to keep them out.
    My friend and I went in by car to see the railway - as a child I used to go by boat but wanted to see it again. We took Hwy 400 north of Barrie and exited at White Falls Road. Turn right at the first corner and the road becomes Upper Big Chute Road. There is a parking lot just before the Marine Railway on the right - a marina on the left.

    Two boats entering the cradles from Gloucester Poo At the top - traffic stops as the railway goes by The rails and cables to lower/raise the cradle Old cradle used 'til 2003 when new was serviced Looking down the line to Gloucester Pool
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Road Trip

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