Big Cruise For A Big Cause – The Famous 100 Mile Cruise Aboard The RMS Segwun

Vintage 1950 Brochure of the 100 Mile Cruise

This just in from Kathy Rhodes and the nice folks at the Toronto Chapter ACBS about a very cool event that a number of area boat clubs have planned for 2012.

Wooden boaters to recreate the famous 100-Mile Cruise on Saturday, August 18, 2012

Don’t miss your opportunity to recreate a part of history and contribute to cancer research. On Saturday, August 18, 2012, the “RMS Segwun” will depart from the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst, Ontario and follow the route of the “Sagamo” on Lake Muskoka through the locks at Port Carling and on to Little Lake Joe. Along the route, the “Segwun” will be joined by over 100 wooden boats; some will complete the entire journey, others will join en route.

The original 100-Mile Cruise ran from 1922 to 1958 as part of the Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company’s efforts to make the ships more than simply a means of transportation to and from the hotels and cottages on the lakes. Passengers could travel by rail from Toronto, spend the night on board the “Sagamo”, and be ready for departure at about 7:00 a.m. Along the route, other ships such as the “Segwun”, the “Cherokee”, and the “Medora”, bringing additional passengers from Bracebridge, Foot’s Bay, and Rosseau, would meet the “Sagamo”, which also often stopped at Windermere, the Royal Muskoka Hotel, and Clevelands House.

Once all passengers had boarded, the “Sagamo” would continue to Natural Park which had been specifically purchased by the Muskoka Lakes Navigation Company in 1923 to serve as the stopping off point of the cruise. Once at Natural Park, passengers could enjoy the walking trails, beautiful scenery, and a delicious lunch.

In a 1953 Muskoka Lakes marketing brochure, the 100-Mile Cruise is described as “the most famous of its kind on the North American Continent.”

And now the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS) – Toronto and Manotick chapters, along with the Trent Severn Antique and Classic Boat Association, the Dispro Owners’ Club, the Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society, and others are working together to recreate that voyage with a goal of 100 passengers aboard the Segwun, and at least 100 wooden boats joining along the way. In addition, this will be a fund-raising event for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Registration details will be available soon on the Toronto Chapter ACBS website and quarterly publication Classicboat – In the meantime, mark the date and don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of history.

The Muskoka Lakes region of Ontario, Canada is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and certainly one of the most historically significant regions for antique & classic boating on the planet. Internationally renowned boat designers / builders such as Minett-Shields, Ditchburn, Duke and Greavette to name a few, were located in the Muskoka Lakes region of Ontario. That rich history lives on in the region today, where many of the original boats can still be found, hidden away in their boat houses.

Recently while searching for images of “RMS Segwun” and the Muskoka Lakes Region for our story today, we discovered a great website dedicated to “All Things Muskoka” that features some spectacular photography from the region. We contacted the creator of the Blog – Ed Boutilier and he granted Woody Boater permission to use the following images, which help describe the beauty of the Muskoka Lakes. Just a taste of what you will experience on the 100 Mile Cruise next August…

Image Courtesy of

Monyca Island Image Courtesy of

Monyca Island Image Courtesy of

North Jo Image Courtesy of

Here’s a recent shot of the “RMS Segwun” Steamship in drydock for some winter maintenance. They note “The locks have been drained creating a drydock while they perform the work. The “Wenonah II” is right behind her and will be taking her turn next.” You can click here to go directly to this cool blog dedicated to all things Muskoka Lakes.

HMS Segwun Image Courtesy of

You can also learn more about the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Center and the history of the Muskoka Cruise Lines and Steamships, including “Segwun” North America’s oldest operating steamship by clicking here.


10 replies
  1. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Thanks Texx, for an interesting story. The cruise will be beautiful & full of history. All for a great cause.

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    A 100 mile cruise sounds wonderful and to have a flotilla of woodies is fantastic. Maybe I should go? Of course I’m holding my breath just with a day cruise around the harbor that I don’t have to get towed back. Then there is the potty issue. On a 17′ even if I have an official CC wooden toilet seat I would have to mount it on the transom. Think the wife will object? Ok everyone, avert your eyes. Yea, don’t think it will happen. Good excuse for a bigger boat?

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    A toilet on your boat in Canada will get you 25 to life!

    For my lil’ 16 footer the bigger issue would be planning all the fuel stops.

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      You should upgrade to my MUCH LARGER 17 , then I could move up also. Just think how much more room that extra foot will give you. LOL Then you could go screaming across the lake like I do. No speeding, screaming-“HELP!! I NEED A TOW!!”

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        With my super reliable jet drive I can both scream across the lake with speed AND scream across the lake for a tow. There’s nothing like those special moments of boating when you are zipping along at 45 mph and suddenly discover you have no steering…again.

  4. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Thanks for letting us know about this – I think it forms the fundamental premise behind a great excuse to go to Ontario around that time! What a great event, and for a good cause. Now, does one hitch a ride on a woody or go on the Segwun? Or bring their own boat, from 2000 miles away? For a woody Boat tourist, it could be part of a great tour!

    • Classicboat
      Classicboat says:

      If you have friends in the area, call them now to book a ride; otherwise, there will be tickets for sale on the Segwun (which comes well equipped to answer the earlier potty concerns). And – there are women on the planning committee,so your map will include all known potty and fuel stops. Lunch will be served on board the Segwun and provided to those who have registered for the tour once we reach Little Lake Joe.

  5. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Great story. And now I also discovered the muskoka blog. Wow: Amazing photography, great design and solid writing.
    You should add it to your links, Matt and Texx.

  6. Ed
    Ed says:

    Hi Texx,
    Thanks for including some of my Muskoka photos for this article and worthy cause. Just an FYI – Muskoka was voted #1 by National Geographic on their 10 Best Summer Trips list for 2011 – but shhh! – lets keep it a secret – LOL

    As many of you know the 3 big lakes, Muskoka, Rosseau and Lake Joseph are populated by many historic boats such as Ditchburns, Dukes, Minett-Shields and Gravettes to name a few.
    Thanks gain!

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