The Burnt River flows from its source in Haliburton County south, into the Kawartha Lakes region, where it empties into Cameron Lake, part of the Trent–Severn Waterway. The town of Burnt River is located near the southern end of the river.
In the early 1800s, the river was used to transport lumber to sawmills downstream. Later, the Victoria Railway was built along the river. Today, the old railway bed is part of the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor, a popular recreational trail, drawing hiking, cycling, and paddling enthusiasts with routes stretching throughout the Kawartha Lakes region and into the Haliburton Highlands.