The Burnt River flows from its source in Haliburton County southerly into the Kawartha Lakes region. It empties into Cameron Lake, which is part of the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Originally settled in the 1830s, the first name of the community of Burnt River was "Rettie's Crossing," after local settler Alexander Rettie. The name Burnt River came to be after an unfortunate accident occurred in the 1920s when a gentleman drove his truck into the town gas station and severed the lines connected to the gasoline storage tank. The gasoline was almost immediately ignited, and flowed like a river, down the main street engulfing everything it touched in flames, until it poured into and spread across the fast-moving river. According to local legend, there were 18 miles of "Burnt River" stretching from there to Cameron Lake. Shortly after this, the Post Office changed its name to "Burnt River," and the former village of "Rettie's Bridge" to the north became known as "Kinmount".
The Burnt River is a popular paddling and outdoor recreation destination in the Kawartha Lakes with canoe routes coming in north from the Haliburton Highlands, and the popular Victoria Rail Trail travelling alongside stretches of the Burnt River throughout the Kawartha Lakes. [source: City of Kawartha Lakes Tourism]