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Ways to Discover the Rideau River

Do you like diving, swimming and fishing in the Rideau River? What about marvelling at the patience displayed by a hunting Great Blue Heron? Or watching muskrats, busy in the water after the spring thaw?

Consult this list of suggested activities to better appreciate the Rideau River and its rich biodiversity.

View of the beach at Mooneys Bay.
The beach at Mooneys Bay.
Provincial Parks
There are two provincial parks along the Rideau River: Murphy's Point Provincial Park and Rideau River Provincial Park. Both are open for camping, picnicking, walks on nature trails and swimming.

Interpretive Centres
Yellow-spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum.
Yellow-spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum.
Conservation Areas located along the Rideau River have beautiful picnic spots and interpretive centres.

You will be sure to see a variety of waterfowl along the Rideau River. Stop in at the Rideau Bird Sanctuary for migratory birds or take an interpretive walk offered by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.

Gardening and Nature
Three community organizations dedicated to nature and horticulture have opened the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and Interpretive Centre. Behind the centre is a model backyard garden that is designed to show how you can transform your garden into one that is wildlife-friendly.

Blue iris, Iris versicolor.
Blue iris,
Iris versicolor.
A man fishing on the River.
The Rideau River offers loads of fishing opportunities for bass, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, black crappie and others. Check with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for open seasons, licenses and regulations.

A lock on the Rideau Canal.
Boating for pleasure is a good way to discover the Rideau River!
The Rideau River is an interesting river to paddle or cruise because it passes through a variety of landscapes. Some marinas and lockstations along the way offer some services. Boat tours and boat rentals are also offered in most of the riverside towns.

For lock passage fees and hours of operation as well as the services offered at lockstations for visitors and powerboaters refer to Parks Canada.


The Flow of History
Whether you are boating or having a picnic on shore, take time to discover the history of the Ottawa Valley and the Rideau Canal Waterway by visiting the lockstations, the old houses of the lockkeepers and the heritage museums located along the River. To learn more about the services offered to lockstation visitors, see


A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Lynn Gillespie, Jean Lauriault, Andy Ormsby