Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021
Rideau River Provincial Park is located just south of Ottawa on the historic Rideau Waterway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As such, it is a popular spot for its water-based recreational activities, including boating, canoeing and fishing. It also offers a single hiking trail along the shoreline that provides great opportunities to view the river and explore the park.
After spending the morning hiking through Burnt Lands Provincial Park, we arrived at Rideau River just after 10:30a.m. We checked in at the Registration Office to pick up an information guide of the park and park patch.
We then went to hike along the Shoreline Trail (2.7km, rated easy), which passes through the park’s campgrounds, day-use areas, beaches and forests. It is an out and back trail and there are a few access points to get to the trail. We parked at one end (or start) of the trail on the western side of the park and hiked east towards the other end.
The trail is relatively flat, well-signed with blue markers and follows along the shore of the Rideau River.
The Rideau River offers a lot of opportunities for paddlers to explore with many points of interest in and around the park. It is 146 kilometres in length and flows north from Upper Rideau Lake and empties into the Ottawa River at Rideau Falls in Ottawa. The river was named by Samuel de Champlain, a French colonist and important figure in Canadian history, who was the first European to have seen it. He gave it the name Rideau” (which is the French word for curtain) because the Rideau Falls resembles a curtain.
The trail passes through the entire campground. Rideau River offers around 200 campsites, which are spread out in a series of loops through the forest. The trail then leads down to the boat launch, two beach areas and picnic area. We initially planned to go swimming afterwards, but the shoreline looked far too marshy for our liking.
The trail ends at the group camping area, which is also located along the shoreline. As with many parks this summer, group camping was still closed this year due to COVID. We turned around and walked back the way we came. We then drove to the picnic area to make and eat some lunch before heading back out on the road.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here