Friendly guides, rolling rivers, picturesque wilderness, and sometimes a bit of a chill; we think whitewater rafting is a truly Canadian experience (and we won’t be making any apologies for it).
Imagine piling into a raft with friends and family, laughter filling the air as you soar over roaring rapids; dip, twist, and turn around bends and crooks; and feel the cool spray of water against your sun-warmed skin. Renowned as the Whitewater Capital of Canada, the Ottawa Valley doesn’t discriminate against less seasoned paddlers, and offers experiences for every type of traveler. So climb aboard, dip your paddle, or simply float in your tube and get ready to embrace some whitewater fun.
For the Weekender: OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River
Climb into a 12 person raft and spend two days paddling, splashing, and rolling down one of the world’s great whitewater routes as you immerse yourself in paddling culture during a full Adventure Raft Package with OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River. Enjoy the chance to head back to camp and breathe in the delicious scent of open air grilling; bump and dive during beach volleyball; hear laughter fill the night sky during the fireside programming; and soak any aches away during a hot sauna.
Insider Tip: Give your ‘sea legs’ a rest and take a break from paddling, to pedal the backroads and countryside of the Ottawa Valley by booking a tour with Valley Cycle Tours.
For the Thrill Seeker: Wilderness Tours
Ever play Rock ’Em Sock ‘Em Robots? The Sport Rafting Program is kind of like that, except instead of mini robots you can control, you’re the one being rocked, socked, and dipped as you make your way down the roaring Ottawa River, paddling hard and feeling every single wave and ripple along the way in your 6-person raft (ok, maybe it’s not like the game after all). Affectionately known as The Flip Trip, the knowledgeable Wilderness Tours guides who lead you on this safe, invigorating, cruise down the river guarantee you will get wet.
Insider Tip: When we say you’ll get wet, we’re not lying. So pack a dry set of clothes to leave on land so you can comfortably enjoy any après-raft activities, like a local brew at Whitewater Brewing Company.
For the Family-Focused: Madawaska Kanu Centre
Huddling together in a boat as a guide steers you over tumbling whitewater and navigates down five kilometers of river – resulting in excited screams and plenty of laughs – certainly has a way of bringing a family closer together. With Madawaska Kanu Centre (MKC) being family created, owned, and operated since 1972, they truly understand the importance of family and their two-hour guided trip is suitable for ages two and above. Get your heart racing together and watch your children’s faces light up with each exciting dip and curve.
Insider Tip: Fresh air and sunshine have a way of bringing out an appetite and luckily MKC is FeastON certified, so you can refuel and avoid any hangry family moments with delicious, hearty, and locally-sourced meals.
For the Relaxed: RiverRun Rafting
Whitewater doesn’t need to be all about holding on tight and paddling hard. Hop in a tube, soak up the sun, and float down two kilometres of Mother Nature’s own lazy river with RiverRun Rafting, then feel the sand between your toes at the resort beach.
Insider Tip: Just because your body gets to relax, doesn’t mean your taste buds should. Stop into Bonnechere Bakery to pick up sandwiches, salads, and pastries for a picnic lunch that will thrill your palate.
Ontario’s Highlands Insiders
Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.