The whitewater rafting specialists, Wilderness Tours, was established in 1975 and recently moved to an incredible new location on the Ottawa River.  The new site has a big beautiful pavilion with a restaurant and bar, tons of different types of on-site accommodations, heaps of hiking and biking trails, a beautiful beach, fun resort activities and several different types of river adventures and rafting options.

Feature Image Credit: Wilderness Tours

Experience a Lazy River Float

Photo Credit Sara Edmison

Lazy River Tubing has become one of the most popular additions to Wilderness Tours' programming and I can see why - it was a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Guests are shuttled to just below the last major rapid on the main channel, where the tubes are waiting. From there, the guide gave us a briefing on safety and paddling - and then, the fun began!!  

Each tube has a waterproof map that matches numbered signs on the shore for us to follow along the route. The trip is approximately three kilometers long and takes guests through “Heaven’s Half Mile” a gentle, fast moving section of the river that brings guests back to the Park Village Center.  

Depending on water flow and conditions, the trip is about 1-1.5 hours paddling and floating in the current, while enjoying beautiful scenery along the Ottawa River.  This ‘low intensity’ option was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend time on the water with family and friends.  I highly recommend this trip in the warm summer months when getting splashed is welcome!!  

Explore 50 Kilometres of Trails

Photo Credit Sara Edmison

Another great non-rafting option at Wilderness Tours is the new expansive network of hiking and mountain biking trails.  There are over 50 kilometers of hiking and biking trails right on site!!  While you can rent bikes from Wilderness Tours, my preference is to hike and I thoroughly enjoyed spending an afternoon exploring Ridge Runner, Lookout Trail, Confluence Trail and the Bayside loop.  

I picked these trails for their great news of the river and I wasn’t disappointed.  I will definitely go back to explore more of the hiking trails.  If you are a mountain biker, check out Trail Forks for specific information on the trails.

Relax and Dine in the RiverBarn

Photo Credit Sara Edmison

Another new addition to Wilderness Tours is the RiverBarn.  Just upriver from the Park Village Center is this beer garden and country store.  Eat inside or outside, play a round of corn hole, and enjoy the atmosphere.  This relaxed location has a shop highlighting local vendors and artists as well as some great food and drink choices - I had the delicious pulled pork tacos.    

If you feel like a stroll after visiting the RiverBarn, you can get down to the Rocher-Fendu Gorge Outlook and a stunning viewing point of “Butcher’s Knife” rapid.  

All in all, there are some incredible new activities available at Wilderness Tours.  If you are a local or from out-of-town, you should definitely take a look at options that you would enjoy and stay for a day or a week!


Sara Edmison

Sara grew up on the shores of the Ottawa River in Dunrobin and it was these early years of outdoor adventuring with her family that cemented her love of exploring and her deep connection to the Ottawa River. Proud mom to two amazing humans, Sara also channels energy into her career as a high school teacher and guidance counselor. While she’s traveled to locations across the world, Sara always finds her way back home to the Ottawa Valley. She shares her adventures and love of rivers, lakes, rocks, trees and all things geography as @sara.e_outdoors.