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Rideau River

Rideau River Provincial Park - main photo of the park

What you'll like:

  • Located on the historic Rideau Waterway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy family camping on nice level, shaded campsites with all of the amenities nearby
  • Great base for exploring Ottawa; only 40 minutes away or the small towns that line the Rideau.
  • Explore the waters of the Rideau by canoe or motorboat; perhaps fish for muskie or bass
Canadian Heritage River System
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Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Total Campsites - 184
  • Electrical Campsites - 77
  • Group Campsites - 7


Rideau River offers car camping suited to those who camp with just tents as well as those who travel with a tent trailer or RV.  Group camping is also available at the park and is well separated from the main campground.


Car Camping

Rideau River has almost 200 level campsites, located in a mature forest. One-quarter have electrical service and two barrier-free sites have electricity and water. Nine group campsites accommodate large groups. Two comfort stations with showers are centrally located and drinking water and vault toilets are throughout the campground.


Group Camping

Rideau River has seven group campsites that accommodate groups up to 125 people. Two sites are located near the beach and all are within walking distance of the beach. Water taps and vault toilets are available on site. Proximity to comfort stations varies depending on the site. Reservations can be made by calling the park directly at (613) 258-2740.

Highlights of Things to Do

Rideau River Provincial Park is on the doorstep of the Nation’s Capital. Within a 40 minute drive, campers have access to downtown Ottawa national museums, shopping and entertainment. Even closer to the park, within 20 minutes, are several golf courses and charming small towns, including Merrickville on the historic Rideau Canal.

The park is located on the Rideau Waterway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bring your boat or rent a canoe and launch from the park’s boat launch out onto Long Reach, the longest stretch of the Rideau that is uninterrupted by locks.

Watch history in action at Burritt’s Rapids or Long Reach lockstation, both a 20-minute drive, where lockmasters continue the tradition of hand-operating the locks to raise and lower boats traveling between Kingston and Ottawa.

Go for an early morning hike along the Shoreline Trail and look for wildlife along the riverbank such as frogs, turtles and Great Blue Herons.

Just the Facts

Take only pictures, leave only footprints: don't bring any plants, animals or other natural objects with you. Park regulations prohibit this. For more information on Leave No Trace practices, visit www.leavenotrace.ca.

Shoreline Trail – 1.5 km, linear, easy
Hike the Shoreline Trail and look for wildlife along the riverbank such as frogs, turtles and Great Blue Herons.


Paddling on the Rideau
The Rideau River is part of the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site. This waterway offers lots of opportunities for paddlers wanting to explore. Visit this website and click on paddling guide 14 for points of interest near the park, for example, a 7 km paddle up Kemptville Creek to the town of Kemptville.


The Main Beach, a sandy beach on the Rideau River, is located next to the campground. The swimming area is marked with buoys and has a gradual drop-off. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beaches. Amenities include picnic tables and a picnic shelter in the shady, grassy area. Flush toilets and change rooms are on site as well.


Power boats are allowed on the Rideau River. There are many fascinating points of interest to explore. Venture upstream, 20 km to Burritts Rapids lockstation or downstream, 20 km to Long Reach lockstation in Manotick. Take a trip through the locks for a real adventure! Marinas are located along the way.

Visit http://www.rideau-info.com/canal/paddling/index.html#guides for suggested points of interest and click on guides 13 or 14 for day trips from the park.


This section of the Rideau River is very popular for muskie anglers. Good opportunities also exist for bass, walleye and panfish. Ask at the Park Office about Tackleshare, a fishing rod and reel loaner program.


There are no dedicated bicycle trails at Rideau River but bicycles are permitted on campground roads.


Watch for waterfowl, Great Blue Herons and osprey along the Rideau River in the park. The Rideau Bird Sanctuary, west of Merrickville, provides excellent birding opportunities.


Modern camping facilities are available in the campground with comfort stations, showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities, water taps and garbage and recycling facilities.

Canoe rentals are available at the Park Office. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are available for load with a $25 refundable deposit. Free fishing rods and reels are also available to borrow as part of the Tackleshare program.

The Park Office stocks ice cream, firewood, ice, worms and Ontario Parks souvenirs.

Other amenities include a boat launch and picnic shelter.

Just the Facts

Comfort Station(s)

Two comfort stations complete with showers and flush toilets, are centrally located in the campground. The Main Beach also has flush toilets.

Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are found in the two campground comfort stations and at the Main Beach.

Barrier Free Access

The two campground and main beach comfort stations have barrier-free access. Rideau River also has two barrier-free campsites.

Day Use Area

Picnic tables are located at the Main Beach. There is a separate beach area with picnic tables available for rental by groups. Contact the park directly (613-258-2740) for more information or to reserve.


Laundry facilities are located in one comfort station.

Boat Launch

A boat launch provides access to the Rideau River.


Canoes can be rented from the Park Office and picked up at the boat launch. Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are also available for loan with a $25 refundable deposit. Fishing rod and reel are available free to loan from the Park Office as part of the Tackleshare program.

Park Store

The Park Office stocks ice cream, firewood, ice, canoe rentals, worms and park souvenirs.

Picnic Shelter

A picnic shelter is located at the main beach. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Park Location

Park features on this map are representative only and may not accurately depict regulated park boundaries. For official map representation of provincial parks, visit Ontario's Crown Land Use Policy Atlas.

Campground Maps (online)

Online Map

Park Maps (pdf)

Park Overview - pdf

Fire Ban


There is no fire ban at this time.

Boil Water


There is no boil water advisory at this time.

Beach Posting


There is no beach posting at this time.

Rideau River Provincial Park

Trip Advisor