Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Man in kayak on Bonnechere River

Located along the meandering Bonnechere River, Bonnechere Provincial Park is the perfect place to explore with your family.

Bonnechere, located in Killaloe, ON (just 2 hours from Ottawa), is one of the hidden gems of the Ottawa Valley. It’s also a great place from which to explore everything the region has to offer.

Here’s how you can do it:

Your base of operations

Bonnechere campers return year after year thanks to its beautiful private campsites.

Camping for tents in Bonnechere

There are three campsites, each with a different feel. Of these, all provide access to a central comfort station and water taps.

River Loop Campground sites are located along the river and do not have electricity. You can bring your own canoe and launch it right from the campsite!

Camping Bonnèchere

Tall Pines Campground features electric and non-electric sites surrounded by massive White Pines.

Sandy Flats Campground is a radio-free area that offers unpowered sites in a slightly more secluded area of ​​the park.

Things to do in Bonnechere

There is plenty to do in Bonnechere, starting with a relaxing day on the beach. The park is located on Round Lake and has a sandy beach with a shallow entrance.

Bonnèchere Beach

Or you can explore the Bonnechere River by paddling to Jack’s Chute. This calm river is ideal for introducing the little ones to rowing (and the landscape will leave you speechless).

Bonnechere rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, which you can pick up right at the dock. Life jackets, paddles and safety kits are included in the rental.

Man kayaking on the Bonnechere River

There are several fantastic trails to explore in Bonnechere.

The Walks of the Little Bonnechere River is a compilation of 10 local trails and stopping places to help you understand the history of the river and its people.

Family on the trail Footprints in time

The Footprints in Time trail is a real highlight.

This innovative trail design features unique signs (also known as “museums on a stick”) along the way for a self-guided experience. Along the way, you will travel from the year 10,000 BC. C. to the present day using the posters as a guide.

Man and baby on the trail Footprints in time

Finally, throughout the summer, the park’s Discovery staff offers a variety of educational programming through camp visits and Discovery stations.

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Destination: Ottawa Valley

The Ottawa Valley is famous for its unique combination of heritage and outdoor recreation.

Panoramic view of Home Fires Park in PetawawaPhoto: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure like no other or interested in exploring the historic towns that line the Ottawa River, this region has it all.

This is what awaits your discovery:


Pembroke, often called the “heart of the Ottawa Valley,” is a small city with a rich history on the banks of the Ottawa River. Today, the downtown district is filled with historic homes, shops and churches that keep the city’s energetic momentum alive.

And for a city its size, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. For example, consider spending a day shopping or trying out local restaurants and breweries.

Then, take a stroll downtown to see Pembroke’s heritage murals. A self-guided walking tour will help you discover the large-scale paintings that celebrate the area’s rich character and heritage.

Pembroke Heritage Mural. Photo: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

History lovers can also visit the Champlain Museum Trail and Pioneer Village, a trip back in time to the turn of the century.

Here you’ll see several interesting historical sites, including a Victorian home, Pembroke’s first doctor’s office, Pembroke’s first motorized fire truck, a general store, a barber shop, a steam engine, and much more.

Mural on the Pembroke BuildingPembroke Heritage Mural. Photo: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

There are entertainment options too: in regular summer seasons, you can enjoy the old days dancing and playing the fiddle at Fiddle Park. Or catch a movie at the Skylight Drive-In Theater!


Renfrew is another small Ottawa Valley town with a lot to offer. The city offers a wide range of services, including even more diverse dining and shopping options in the vibrant city center.

And, like Pembroke, there’s plenty of history to explore in Renfrew.

The McDougall Mill Museum has three floors packed with artifacts, many from Renfrew’s early industrial days. Ottawa Valley natives donated other artifacts from their travels through Canada and other exotic places.

For hockey fans, Renfrew is home to an interesting piece of history: Ambrose O’Brien, who founded the National Hockey Association (the predecessor to the NHL) was born and raised in Renfrew.

Man with a hockey stick at the Renfrew NHL MuseumNHA/NHL Birthplace Museum. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

Today, the NHA/NHL Birthplace Museum represents his legacy and Renfrew’s connection to an early period of sports history.

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Be sure to visit the Renfrew Swinging Bridge for a great view of the Bonnechere River!

Other towns

There are many other small towns in the Ottawa Valley that are well worth a visit.

A small town rich in Polish history, Wilno offers historical sites and a museum, a craft gallery, restaurants serving traditional Polish food, churches and more.

Polish Kashub Museum in Wilno. Photo: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

Meanwhile, nearby Eganville features several unique restaurants, including coffee shops, cafes, and craft breweries.

Many Ottawa Valley communities host farmers markets selling locally produced fruits and vegetables.

In Petawawa, you’ll find the Garrison Petawawa Military Museums, which commemorate the area’s military history.

Outdoor experiences

The Ottawa Valley is known as the whitewater capital of Canada, and for good reason: it’s home to some of the fastest, cleanest, warmest and safest rivers in the country.

Group rapid raftingPhoto: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

The valley is also home to Canada’s best rowing, kayaking, canoeing or rafting schools. And several experienced providers offer a variety of guided packages!

Aerial view of white water raftingPhoto: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

The famous Bonnechere caves are also located in this area. Guided tours will take visitors through a stunning cave system to learn more about fossils and prehistoric life.

Inside the Bonnechere cavesBonnechere Caves. Photo: Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization

Lastly, I would be remiss to tell you about the Ottawa Valley without also mentioning some of the other provincial parks in the area.

Algonquin Provincial Park It’s only an hour away.

You could visit the famous Highway 60 corridor.

Be sure to reserve your daily vehicle permit in advance to explore the Algonquin Visitor Center, Logging Museum, Art Center, interpretive walking trails, and more.

Or you could visit the lesser-known east side of the park. Here you will find the Barron Canyon trail.

Tree and a canyon with a river.Barron Canyon, Algonquin Provincial Park

Many people (including staff) will tell you that this is the most impressive day hike in the park.

Driftwood Provincial Park is also quite close by.

Driftwood Provincial Park

Its hiking trails, including the Oak Highland Trail, climb to lookout points with panoramic views of the Ottawa River.

Out of county

Bonnechere is just two hours from Ottawa. That means you can explore the National Capital Region’s many museums, historical sites, shops and restaurants during the day or as the next stop on your trip.

Check out the Ottawa Tourism website for a complete picture of everything the city has to offer.

Bye It is two hours from Ottawa and just over four hours from Toronto.