Bon Echo paddlers

Ottawa – Ontario Highlands Route

Planning a cross-province adventure? Check out the Ontario Parks Driving Routes.

This beautiful route features small towns, quaint architecture, artisan shops, and a UNESCO World Heritage waterway.

This is combined with stunning natural landscapes, and a taste of Ontario’s rich canoe culture.

Ottawa-Ontario Highlands Map

Parks you’ll want to explore en route:

Rideau River Provincial Park

RideauRiver paddlers

Rideau River is an excellent basecamp for campers and RVers to explore the City of Ottawa (only 40 minutes away!). Explore the waters of the Rideau by canoe or motorboat; perhaps fish for muskie or bass.

Murphys Point Provincial Park

OWASCO Motorhomes set up on site with picnic table and awning set up.

Located on Big Rideau Lake (part of the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site), the natural beauty of the park makes it the perfect place to stop. The park also offers regularly scheduled tours into the Silver Queen Mine – an early 20th-century mica mine.

Charleston Lake Provincial Park

family group gathered around campfire toasting marshmallows.

Charleston Lake is an ideal family camping destination, offering excellent swimming, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking. The 2.6 km Sandstone Island Trail features incredible geology, overhanging cliffs, and a rock shelter that was used around 1,200 years ago by the Indigenous peoples of the area.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Trail with boardwalk

Frontenac offers outstanding fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and swimming, all within a short drive from Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. The park is highly regarded for its canoeing, with routes through 22 lakes and over 100 km of looped backpacking and hiking. Frontenac is a day-use park for RVers, as the park only offers backcountry campsites.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo paddlers

Visitors love the 100-metre-high Mazinaw Rock, which features over 260 Indigenous pictographs. The park’s great hiking trails range from 1-17 km in length. Take an Interpretive Boat Tour across Mazinaw Lake, or join a Natural Heritage Program.

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park

rv on autumn campsite

A favourite with RVers, this hidden treasure sits on a large lake. Explore by boat, stretch out on the beach, or rent a canoe or kayak. Lake St. Peter makes a great homebase for day tripping to nearby Algonquin or Silent Lake (free for day-use with your camping permit).

Bonnechere Provincial Park

Senior couple hiking on trail

Explore the quiet Bonnechere River, a great spot for introducing friends and family to paddling. The park rents kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards, which visitors can pick-up at the boat launch.

Fitzroy Provincial Park

Carp Trail, Fitzro

Fitzroy offers excellent family camping, hiking, and swimming along the Carp River and Ottawa River. The park is a great base for exploring the Ottawa Valley, and the nation’s capital.

For additional itinerary ideas, visit our partners at Motorhome Travel Canada for more travel inspiration.