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Rice Lake

Rice Lake is a lake located in south-eastern Ontario, in Northumberland County , south of Peterborough and north of Cobourg. The lake is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, which flows into the lake by the Otonabee and out via the Trent. The lake is 32 km long and 5 km wide making it one of the largest of the Kawartha lakes. The Natives called it Pemadashdakota or "lake of the burning plains".

A drumlin field is located northwest of the lake, and the lake's islands are partially submerged drumlins. Rice Lake nearly bisects the Oak Ridges Moraine, with three wedges to the west (Albion, Uxbridge and Pontypool), and one wedge to the east (Rice Lake) which has terminus at the Trent River. A narrow corridor to the south of Rice Lake connects these wedges.

The lake is fairly shallow and was named for the wild rice which grew in it and was harvested by native people of the area. Most of the extensive stands of wild rice originally found in the lake were wiped out when water levels were raised in the lake during the construction of the waterway.

The village of Bewdley sits on the West end of the lake and the town of Hastings sits on the East. Prehistoric burial mounds are found at Serpent Mounds Park on the north shore of the lake. Other places of interest on the lake include the Native Reserves of Alderville and Hiawatha. Other communities include Roseneath, Bailieboro, Gores Landing and Harwood.

The Cobourg and Peterborough Railway was completed in 1854 and crossed Rice Lake from Harwood to Hiawatha. However, the thick layers of ice that cover the lake in the winter damaged the bridge beyond repair and it was declared unsafe and closed within six years. Sections of the railway bed are still clearly visible on the lake. In the late 19th century, steamboats provided passenger service on the lake.

Rice Lake is an attractive tourist area but is most famous for its fish. Annual fishing contests are held at Rice Lake, as well as personal fishing. Rice Lake is said to be the lake with most fish in Ontario. Panfish, Walleye, Muskie and Bass are found in Rice Lake's waters.



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