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New Roofed Accommodations Are Just One More Reason To Add Rideau River Provincial Park To Your Ottawa Itinerary

Rideau River Provincial Park sits right between the cities of Kingston and Ottawa and offers a tranquil environment for city breaks and weekends.

Sunset over Rideau River Provincial Park
Sunset over the Rideau River – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Deep in the heart of Leeds and Grenville just 45 minutes from Ottawa and 90 minutes from Kingston rests a family-friendly outdoor playground just waiting to be explored.

Rideau River Provincial Park rests on the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau River and offers a convenient and easy-to-reach getaway from either city. This small but scenic park welcomes visitors to explore the hidden wonders of the capital region, and Ontario Parks has just launched a new roofed accommodation in the park to help visitors enjoy the surroundings in blissful comfort.

Rideau River Provincial Park Roofed Accommodations

A small cabin in the woods with windows lit under a blanket of stars
Ontario Parks Rustic Cabin – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

In the past few years, Ontario Parks has begun a massive revamp of their roofed accommodations at their parks throughout the province. And Rideau River Provincial Park was one of the most recent parks to pair new soft-sided accommodations with their popular rustic cabins. to The new Prospector Tents now give campers two new levels of luxury in the park.

The new roofed accommodations at Ontario Provincial Parks are a massive upgrade to the previous offerings and bring some great variety to the choices of those who would prefer a little “glamping in Ontario” over traditional camping.

Both the Ontario Parks rustic cabins and prospector tents are fully wheelchair accessible. Neither has its own washroom, but both are located close to comfort stations.

Ontario Parks Prospecter Tents

Two bunk beds and a kitchen table inside a soft-sided camping tent
Inside the Ontario Parks Prospector Tent – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The more rustic of the two options is the Ontario Parks prospector tents. These soft-sided tents sleep six comfortably on two double/single bunk beds. The tents include a table and seats and a storage cabinet and counter all inside the tent.

Outside of the tents, the prospector tents have a small patio with a gas bbq and three Muskoka-style chairs. There’s also a fire pit, picnic table, and parking for two vehicles.

The Prospecter tents at Ontario Parks don’t have electricity, so you’ll need to make sure that you pack your flashlight or a lantern.

Ontario Parks Rustic Cabins

A vintage gas lamp in a wooden cabin with bunk beds
Inside an Ontario Parks Rustic Cabin – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The Rustic Cabins at Ontario Parks are really only rustic in the name. At first glimpse, these all-wood cabins sleep 5 in a Queen-sized bed and a double/single bunk bed. Inside, the Ontario Parks rustic cabins feature a closed-in deck with four chairs and two small end tables.

In the main cabin, you’ll find the sleeping area as well as a kitchen table, a kitchenette with a microwave and a small refrigerator, and cabinets for storage. There’s also a mirror, a bedside table with a vintage lantern-style lamp, a ceiling fan, and wall lighting.

With all of these lamps, you’ve probably guessed that the rustic cabins include electricity. Not only that but there are ample plugs throughout. Some of them even include USB ports for charging your gear.

Outside of the cabin, you’ll find an outdoor porch that includes three Muskoka-style chairs and a gas bbq. There’s also a fire pit, picnic table, and parking for two vehicles.

The rustic cabins are located closer to the waterfront than the prospector tents as well, so if you love to wake up to the sound of the waves splashing the banks, this one is for you.

Things To Do At Rideau River Provincial Park

A picnic table sits near a rivers edge with a sunset in the background
Main Beach at Rideau River Provincial Park – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

On top of the great roofed accommodations at Rideau River, this park makes for a wonderful weekend getaway without having to travel too far from the city. Whether you’re travelling from Kingston, Ottawa, or area’s within the Ottawa Valley such as the charming small town of Perth or the under-the-radar town of Smiths Falls, Rideau River Provincial Park draws visitors year-round.


Rideau River Provincial Park boasts more than 200 campsites across its property, a staggering figure when you consider the park’s small size. On top of the roofed accommodations at Rideau River Park, there are also car camping and group camping sites.

The Rideau River Provincial Park campsites are spread throughout mature forests. About a quarter of the 200 sites have electrical service and there are two barrier-free campsites that include both electricity and water taps.

On top of the campgrounds, there are two comfort stations with showers and clean drinking water located within the park. There are also vault toilets throughout the campground.

Boating and Paddling

Being situated on the historic Rideau Canal, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that boating and paddling are two popular activities at Rideau River Provincial Park. The park has a dedicated boat launch located near the main beach that is capable of handling both human-powered and Motorcraft.

There are many great places to explore from the water such as Burrits Rapids Lockstation, located 20 km upstream and Long Reach Lockstation, located 20 km downstream from Rideau River PP. You can even get the full experience by visiting Smiths Falls and renting one of the LeBoat houseboats for an end-to-end Rideau River journey.

For paddlers, there are some great places to explore nearby. In fact, you can check out some of the Rideau’s paddling points of interest near the park such as the 7 km paddle up Kemptville Creek to the historic town of Kemptville.


A man fishes from a dock in the Rideau River
Trying my luck at fishing in Rideau River PP – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

The Rideau River near the park has some excellent fishing. It’s especially popular for those angling for bass, walleye, and muskie. If you forget your own fishing gear at home, don’t worry. Rideau Provincial Park has a tackle share program where guests can borrow fishing rods and tackle from the park office at no cost.


Rideau River Provincial Park might be small, but it does have one hiking trail for those looking to stretch their legs.

The Shoreline Trail is a 1.5 km easy hike that winds through the forest and along the banks of the Rideau River from the Group Camping area to the Main Beach. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see the many birds that call the park home as well as frogs, turtles, and Great Blue Herons.

If you’re looking for some more hiking, head over to nearby Kemptville. The town has a number of great trails including the Kinderwood Trail, the Ferguson Forest Trail, and the Link Trail to explore.


Rideau River Provincial Park has two beaches, a small East Beach located near the group campgrounds and the Main Beach which is located right at the start of the main camping area. The beach has soft sand, and a relaxed, family-friendly slope.

The swimming area is not monitored by lifeguards, so be on guard. The area of the beach is marked by buoys.

Along with the beach, there are also charcoal BBQs, picnic tables, and picnic spots spread across the grounds. The Main Beach is also where you’ll find one of the comfort stations with flush toilets, change rooms, and showers.

Discovery Program

For families visiting Rideau River Provincial Park, the Ontario Parks Discovery Program offers a great way to combine nature, education, and fun.

Pick up a Discovery Activity Book from the park office and, using the equipment and materials within the park, go on a journey among the plants, wildlife, and nature of the park. To pair up with the Discovery Program, Rideau River Provincial Park has regular group activities that combine fun, nature, and learning.

Shop The Historic Town of Kemptville

Just up the road from Rideau River Provincial Park sits the historic downtown Kemptville, Ontario. The town got its start back in 1819 with the birth of a sawmill and quickly grew to become the largest town in the region.

Today, Kemptville is still the largest town in Leeds and Grenville. The historic downtown of Kemptville retains the charm of the olden days with many century-old buildings still in place.

Enjoy Your Time at Rideau River Provincial Park

Rideau River Provincial Park makes for a wonderful weekend getaway in Ontario. Whether you’re looking for a little spice of adventure on the Rideau River or some quiet relaxation in one of the park’s new roofed accommodations, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a nicer spot to spend your time.

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Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Ontario Parks. All opinions remain our own.