There are numerous lakes around Bruce Mines which make for a nice day of canoeing or kayaking. There is fishing on all the lakes and many have beaches for swimming. Carry with you the Bruce Mines Chamber of Commerce map and a compass. Have fun, but be careful and take the necessary safety precautions.
1. Bruce Bay/ Copper Bay. There is a boat launch at the marina in town. Stay in the bay and do not go out past the island as the currents are strong and the big ships come into the Trap Rock loading site. But, a paddle around the bay is enjoyable. As well, you can go under the bridge that crosses to Mackay Island and paddle in Copper Bay. Once again, stay close to shore, but it is the best place to see the sun set.
2. Ottertail Lake. From Hwy 17, go 10-12 KM up Hwy 638 to Rydal Bank. At Rydal Bank Park, there is a boat launch. It is not recommended that you put your boat in below the dam as there is a small waterfall and then strong rapids. Above the dam, Ottertail Lake offers choices. The lake is split by a long finger of land which is to your right as you go out from the launch. On the other side of the “Ottertail” is a slightly larger body of water. As an alternative, instead of turning to go into the other side of the “Ottertail” you can continue straight on and enter the Thessalon River which will take you through pleasant farm country to Gordon Lake. It is about 1 ½ - 2 hours to Gordon Lake from the Ottertail boat launch. Gordon Lake is slightly bigger than Otterail Lake and is good for pike fishing. If you wish, on the northwest side of Gordon Lake, you can enter a river and canoe to Rock Lake (3-4 KM), although there is a dam at Rock Lake which requires a portage. So, it makes for either a good afternoon or a full day of canoeing or kayaking.
3. Round Lake. 12-14KM from Bruce Mines. Go westward on Hwy 17 for about 1KM outside Bruce Mines, turn right on Centre Line Road, (Just past the rest area), Go 11 KM up Centre Line Road, turn left on to Carter Side Road. The roads to Round Lake run northward off Carter Side Road. Round Lake is a small lake, but has good fishing and many pleasant cottages.
4. Rock Lake. Rock Lake has a nice beach where families and locals swim and spend the day. 22 or so KM up Hwy 638 from Hwy 17. Up Hwy 638, at Rydal Bank, keep right. Follow 638 for 10-12 KM and then turn left on Old Mill Beach Road. There is parking at the beach. Rock Lake has islands and is known for pickerel fishing. See the Ottertail entry for ways to Gordon Lake from Rock Lake.
5. Caribou Lake – 16-18 KM Northwest of Bruce Mines. It is a very clear lake. Drive west on Hwy 17 from Bruce Mines to Fisher Road (4-5 KM). Turn right onto Fisher Road, Proceed north to Gordon Lake Road, for about 10 KM. Turn right onto Gordon Lake Road. Proceed to Suddaby Park Road. (1 KM). Turn right onto Suddaby Park Road and Caribou Lake is about 1 KM further on.
6. Desbarats Lake. Approx 17 KM from Bruce Mines, Drive westward on Hwy 17 from Bruce Mines to Desbarats, (9KM) Turn right onto Huron Lake Road and proceed to Government Road. (< 1 KM). Turn left onto Government Road and go to Puddingstone Road (2-3 KM) . Turn right onto Puddingstone Road and proceed north for about 4-5 KM. The boat launch will be on your right. And, as well, there is a boat launch just off Hwy 17 at the turn off into the hamlet of Desbarats. This is a reedy area, very popular for fishing.