Frankford to Campbellford

Our second day began with a 10 AM start from Frankford. The route follows the river, so it’s fairly wide, and depth is good. There are areas with some current and the entire run is going upriver, so we’re bucking anywhere from a bit of current to a couple of knots, depending on the terrain. We ended up transiting locks 7 thru 12, with locks 11 & 12 comprising a flight, or back-to-back locks to provide a higher lift in a short distance. Campbellford was our stopping point for the day, almost 22 miles. Campbellford is typical of the towns along the waterway, most having a history of prosperity related to the waterway as the thread that wove the fabric of the area from very early times when the waterway provided commerce routes for the early explorers and indians, to later years when industrialization began making use of water power for mills, lumber operations and later lock traffic. Although the Trent-Severn’s inception was based on providing a more modern commerce route from Lake Ontario to the more inland reaches of the waterway, by the time the locks were completed, rail had become king, so the era of barge traffic as a means of shipping never really materialized. Still, it’s interesting to learn the history of the area and the influence that immigrants had on the shaping of the area’s history.

Many of the small towns, Campbellford included, were established by one or two ambitious individuals who purchased large tracts of land and developed it, or in some cases established a mill or other business that prospered and seeded the establishment of towns and other businesses. Central to the foundation of the community is the water and its contribution of power for industry and transport of goods. We arrived early enough to take in some local sights, visited the World’s Finest Chocolate factory store, strolled around town and did some provisioning at the local grocery store, where we picked up some Empire Cheese, also made locally and regionally well-known. The plant is outside of town, biking but not walking distance. Also regionally famous is Doerr’s Bakery located in town. We visited the bakery, but found it pretty much devoid of baked pastry goods. The young woman behind the counter just chuckled and said ‘if you want any good stuff, you’ll have to come in the morning before it’s all sold!’ So we returned in the morning just after 8, and found plenty of good stuff to build a breakfast around! Apparently it’s well known in the looper community. The town lies on both sides of the river/waterway, the bridge being the central artery between the two sides. The interesting thing about the small towns is their downtown- shops and stores are located on the main street and seem to be thriving, or at least operating, in contrast to boarded up storefronts so typical of the downtown landscape in most of the US locations we frequent. It’s delightful to see folks in town! The waterfront has facilities to moor/tie up at a very reasonable cost, with power and water available, and is operated by the local Chamber of Commerce whose offices are also located on the waterfront adjacent to a delightful park. An enjoyable stopover!

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