A scenic stretch of the Bonnechere River known historically as the “Little Bonnechere” connects Bonnechere Provincial Park, on the shores of Renfrew County’s Round Lake, with Algonquin Park to the north. In the 1800’s the valley echoed with the sounds of tall pines being felled for the square timber trade. Later, in the middle of this century, the valley’s pine, hemlock, and other forests supported local sawmills. During these logging eras, and to the present day, the river and its wide flat valley formed an important transportation route for logs, supplies and people. In 1986, the Ontario government protected the riverbed and Crown land along the shores as a waterway park. The Bonnechere valley is part of the Ottawa-Bonnechere graben, a large block of land thrust downward along parallel faultlines. Forested uplands now tower 300 metres above the valley floor, providing fine views and vistas just a quick hike from the river’s edge. The river itself meanders through sand and gravel left behind by glacial meltwaters that followed the faultlines. Forests of red and silver maple, black ash, eastern hemlock and red and white pines now flourish along this pretty river valley. Park Facilities and Activities: The 23 kilometre long,1198 ha park is non-operating but currently provides easily-accessible fishing, swimming and flatwater paddling opportunities for an increasing number of visitors to the Round Lake area. The historic resources of the waterway are also used for cultural heritage education programs run out of nearby Bonnechere Provincial Park. There is a series of short, shallow rapids—culminating in Jack’s Chute—at the lower end of the waterway park. Canoes cannot run through the low water and cobble in the summer. Instead, paddlers walk, line or follow the shoreline through the rapids area. There is no formal portage. There are several access points and a small number of designated campsites. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Park Superintendent at Bonnechere Provincial Park for information if you wish to visit the park. Location: Two kilometres northeast of the village of Bonnechere, 40 km. southwest of Pembroke.
Facilities and Activities summary
(613) 757-2103 Size: 1216.67 ha Year established: 1989 Park Classification: Waterway