Province/Territory: Ontario

High Adventure, Historic River

  • 40+ years of rafting experience
  • 400 years of Voyageur heritage
  • 07 hours of whitewater adventure

Northwest of the nation’s capital, the Ottawa River surges across Canadian Shield country. This is a travel-path forged by First Nations, traversed by fur traders since the 1600s and fostered by foresters at the turn of the last century. Today you’ve come for whitewater adventure—and a daylong rafting experience through the dynamic Rocher Fendu Rapids awaits. With experienced and passionate guides at the helm, you’ll splash and roll through one of the world’s great whitewater routes—a high-volume, temperate and dynamic waterway that merges exhilaration with natural serenity, and history with heart-pounding adventure.

Following a gentle, guide-paddled Family Float or an adrenaline-surging, active-paddling High Adventure tour on the Ottawa River’s most rough-and-tumble rapids, relax and reflect at OWL Rafting’s lakeside resort; it's an idyllic wind-down to a memorable day in one of Canada’s greatest whitewater playgrounds.

Why you should visit
  • Explore the last undammed section of the Ottawa River, or the picturesque Madawaska River, on your choice of family-friendly floats for children and adults, or high-adventure whitewater tours for active teens and adults.
  • An experienced guide is in full control of your boat during Family Rafting Trips; guests are paddled into Class II or III rapids—smile and hold on for the ride!
  • High Adventure trips may see Class IV+ rapids—guides are in control, but all guests paddle and participate in this heart-pounding, big-water, wet-and-wild escapade.
  • Feel the hydrodynamic power of the Ottawa River on your choice of boat—12-, 7-, or 2-person—a deep-water river renowned for massive rapids and huge splashes, yet still fun  and accessible.
  • Dip into the surprisingly warm Ottawa River—midsummer water temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius invite wetsuit-free rafting, swimming and bodysurfing.
  • Between rapid-runs, enjoy serene floats over temperate lakes while your guide illuminates local history—from multi-millennia of First Nations occupation to European Voyageurs and beyond           
  • Spot bald eagles, blue heron and beavers along the shoreline.
  • Finish your adventure with a 45-minute pontoon boat tour—savouring an onboard barbecue buffet lunch while you exchange stories from the day.
  • Relax at OWL Rafting’s lakeside resort—stretch out on the sandy beach, have a hot shower, play disc golf, view or purchase a video of your tour, head out for a paddle or play beach volleyball—the facilities are yours to enjoy for the remainder of the day.
     

Weather

  • Expect a mild to warm climate throughout the operating season. Average daily high temperatures are approximately 19°C (May), 24°C (June), 27°C (July) and 25°C (August). Discover current local weather information.
  • Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website.
     
Visitor information
  • Reserve Family Rafting tours on the Ottawa and/or Madawaska rivers as well as High Adventure tours directly through the operator.
  • OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River operates from mid-May to early September annually; contact operator for available dates and current program prices .
  • All whitewater rafting tours are fully guided; operator provides rafting and safety equipment; wetsuits are available for an additional fee.
  • All rafting tours include a buffet lunch, transport to-and-from the river and full access to resort facilities; onsite camping/accommodation and two-day packages are available.
     
When to go
  • May and June see the highest water levels, with up to Class IV+ rapids on High Adventure trips.
  • May and early June see the coolest weather and water temperatures.
  • During July and August, rapids become more dynamic, ranging from Class II to Class IV (trip dependent).
  • July and August see the warmest conditions, with water temperatures reaching 20 degrees Celsius.
  • September sees the lowest water levels, with plenty of rapids and warm temperatures.
     
Need to know
  • Family Rafting tours on the Madawaska River are suitable for guests aged two years and older (no weight minimum); Family Rafting tours on the Ottawa River require guests to be a minimum of 23 kilograms (50 pounds).
  • High Adventure Ottawa River rafting tours are suitable for active, adventurous guests who weigh a minimum of 43 kilograms (90 pounds).
  • No experience is necessary for Family Rafting Tours or Big Boat (12 person) High Adventure tours; rafting experience is recommended for the Sport Raft (seven person) and SportYak (two person) High Adventure tours.
  • Family Rafting tours on the Madawaska River are about two hours in duration; Family Rafting tours on the Ottawa River are about five hours in duration; High Adventure tours are about seven hours in duration.
  • Guests are responsible for river footwear (shoes or sport sandals) and should bring warm layers for cooler early-season days and swimwear for warm summer days.
     
Getting Here