The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is pleased to advise that the Turtle Portage marine railway facility on Lake of the Woods is now open and operational for the 2024 season. The facility has undergone improvements in operation and safety since last season and we ask you keep the following in mind during use of the facility.


Loading and Securing a Vessel to the Cart:

  • Using the retractable handle, turn the wheel to lower the cart into the water, partially submerging bunks
  • Slowly drive the vessel between the uprights until centred on cart bunks.
  • Securely fasten vessel to all four cleats on the cart using ropes appropriate for size of vessel.
  • All individuals must exit the vessel prior to moving the cart.

Transferring a Vessel:

  • Ensure the track is clear of obstructions.
  • Use the retractable handle to turn the wheel and move the cart up the rails.
  • Turn the wheel until the cart reaches the other end and the vessel starts to float.

Unloading Vessel from the Boat Cart:

  • Untie the vessel from the cleats on the cart and slowly pull the vessel clear of the uprights.
  • As a courtesy to the next user, move the cart back up to the centre of the railway.

Capacity Limits:

  • Maximum vessel weight: 2721 kilograms (6000 pounds)
  • Maximum vessel width: 2.7 metres (9 feet)


Additionally, the Mechanical wheel must be attended at all times while vessel is on the boat cart. Apply foot brake at all times while vessel descends the ramp. Misuse of the system could lead to injuries.


The ministry remains committed to providing a user-friendly facility and thanks you for your patience while improvements were being made. Turtle Portage will be closed for the season October 31st, 2024, which will allow for facility maintenance to ensure continued operation for years to come.


For more information, please contact Cam Koch, IRM Technical Specialist at (807) 407-9665 or



Lake of the Woods
PO Box 427
Rainy River, ON, P0W 1L0