Kemptville / Ottawa / The Wedge / Tourism / What To Do

Minutes from Home: Picnic, Canoe, Swim, Fish, Camp in the Wild

Covered picnic at Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Editor, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE

I arrived at this long-planned destination, an oasis for nature-seekers looking for an escape from urban life. The gates were open. The warden was nowhere in sight; so, I sauntered in to capture its treasures.

I was the lone blood sacrifice at the Rideau River Provincial Park, it seemed. It rained heavily in the morning and as nature dictates mosquitoes were in formation, waiting for their next host. These sneaky squatters have learned that our swatting digits are far from our ankles and so they snacked on mine. One did not live long with my life force in his belly–I have a window sill to prove it. I digress.

I soon found campers in trailers and some in screened tents as I explored. Evidently, precious real estate was near water’s edge, on the Rideau.

Larger beach of two at Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

Mysterious mound on the beach, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

This park has everything for a family outing. Two unsupervised but spotless beaches is impressive. On the very hot days of the summer this will be a draw. Picnic tables are numerous and nicely located under shaded trees.

On the southern edge a boat launch and canoes stacked high offer an exciting excursion for trekkers yearning to kick-it up a notch. You can pick up worms at the entrance office and go fishing.

Boat launch and canoes for hire, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

There are plenty of clean showers and bathroom buildings throughout the park. One features a laundromat; this is unique and a draw for longer stays. Other services for trailers are on-the-spot including potable water and dumping station.

Northern grounds with picnic, beach and facilities, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

The only downside is there is no convenience shop on site for other than worms and wood; but, Kemptville is a mere five minutes by car. Brewed Awakenings is a top-notch light fare and coffee shop. B & H Your Community Grocer offers a lot of prepared foods for campers. Frankly, everything you need is five minutes away–including ice cream bars.

While there you can fish on the creek at Curry Park or visit Old Town Kemptville and its amazing shops. Grahame’s Bakery which operates the oldest brick oven in commercial use in Canada is a must see.

Northern picnic grounds, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

Shoreline Trail southern entrance, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

I will return as a day tripper for some picnicking, canoeing and fishing, while reciting Hamlet’s soliloquy with my best buddy. It’s a thing we started. Besides, you just don’t do that when you are alone in a public place. O wait! I did that in Prescott and no one tagged me as an outpatient.

Hamlet at Rideau River Provincial Park? That is the question.

I will be brave and use my fingers when hooking a worm–not a triple layered tissue. I’ll say a little prayer for his squiggly self. However, I simply won’t be able to look into my catches’ eyes without returning them to the waters; but, this suits our ecology well. Aye there’s the rub.

Beautiful forest all around, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

Perfect picnic spot on beach edge, Rideau River Provincial Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada © PHOTO BY theWedge.LIVE

WHERE? About 30 minutes south of Ottawa; 5 minutes northwest of Kemptville.

Address and phone number for the park:

  • 2680 Donnelly Drive, Ottawa
  • Park Warden cell : 613.485.2959

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