Voyageur Provincial Park

 
Located along the banks of the Ottawa River the park is well known as a camper's park with over 400 campsites for tents, trailers and RV campers. Given its location (approximately half way between Montreal and Ottawa) it gets crowded on weekends during the summer so reservations are recommended during high season. The park has several beaches and offers excellent paddling for canoeists and sea kayakers.  
 

The park gets its name from the fur traders or Voyageurs who had to portage their heavy loads as well as thier canoes around the dangerous rapids (the river has since been damed to light our houses). There are a number of interesting historic sites in the area which relate to the colourful history of the fur trade.

Location: The park is located about 1 hour from Montreal on the road to Ottawa. From the Metropolitan in Montreal follow the 40 west. In Vaudreuil-Dorion take the split to Ottawa. Once you enter Ontario you take the first exit (exit no. 5) then head east towards the Ottawa River.

The park is only a couple of hundred metres from the exit. From the north pick up the 417 from Ottawa and take the last exit in Ontario (exit 5) and cross back over the highway east to the park. From the west follow the 401 into Quebec where it turns into the 20. At the 640 split head north and pick up the 40 (direction Ottawa) and follow the directions above from Montreal.

You can also reach the park from from the Laurentians region by picking up the 48 and crossing into Hawkesbury then heading south on the 17 or you can take the ferry from St Andre Est/Carillion to Pointe Fortune. Turn right as you exit the ferry and just follow the road to the highway and head towards Ottawa.

 


Front Country Camping:

 
Champlain

Total Number of Sites: 102
Serviced Sites:
38
Swimming:
Yes
Flush Toilets:
Yes
Showers:
Yes
Laundromat:
In Portage
Restaurant:
Snack bar at the main beach
Phone Reservations:
Yes
There is a small beach along side the campground and the main beach is about 5-10 minutes on foot. Best suited for Campers, some of the sites are on the water.

  Iroqouise

Total Number of Sites: 200
Swimming:
Yes
Flush Toilets:
Yes
Showers:
Yes
Laundromat:
In Portage
Restaurant:
Snack bar at the main beach
Phone Reservations: Yes
Forested area, with some loops set up as radio free zones. The parks secondary beach is locate in Iroqouise. There are a few sites with access to the water. This is where you'll find most of the 20 somethings. .

 
Portage

Total Number of Sites: 114
Serviced Sites: 50
Swimming:
Yes
Flush Toilets:
Yes
Showers:
Yes
Laundromat:
Yes
Restaurant:
Snack bar at the main beach
Phone Reservations:
Yes

The campground is in a forested area. The parks secondary beach is locate in Iroqouise, which is accessible on foot from Portage. There are a few sites with access to the water.

 
Getting ready for a paddle on a beautiful day in June
  Sea Kayaking This is our favorite way to take in the park. There are lots of bays and inlets to explore as well as several islands to paddle around. You'll find areas which are surrounded by tall reeds that will challenge your route finding skills. These marsh areas also attracked abundant wildlife. If you paddle the outer shore of the park watch for osprey and kingfishers.
 
You can launch beside the parks beaches, at one of the boat launches or from either end of the park if you want to paddle the outer shore (intermediate paddlers).

Park to Park: Intermediate. If your looking for an overnight trip paddle from the park up river towards Hawkesbury where you find a campground (fee) on the far shore in Quebec across from Chute a Blondeau. Set up camp, enjoy a campfire and head back in the morning. The trip requires you to cross the river, check the weather before setting out and be extremely cautious as there is heavy boat traffic particularly as you approach the far shore.

     
Hiking: Easy. There are a number of hiking trails in the park. From the secondary beach you'll find the trail entrance just on your left when your facing the water. The trail ducks into a cedar grove and then on into mixed forest where you'll catch glimpses of the far shore as you go - bring your camera and your binoculars. This section of the trail comes out at the boat launch below Portage Campgrounds. From here follow the old causeway across the end of the bay where the trail will turn sharply to the right. As you enter the woods you'll pass through a blowdown area which will quickly convince you of natures power. The forest opens up as you go providing the opportunity to observe wildlife if you're silent. A little further on you'll come out of the forest above a waterfowl blind (bring a lunch and binoculars and watch for any of the parks many avaian residents (across the bay you can see the secondary beach and the trail entrance).  
The blow down area along the trail.
 

After your detour to the blind, keep going in the same direction you were heading before and you'll pass through the group camping area. As you continue the woods close back in and you're back on the main trail. Shortly the trail splits again at this point with one fork following along side the road to the beach and the other continueing across the beach road. I hope you brought your binoculars as we suggested since across the road there is a boardwalk section through the thick marshes where you spot many different bird species. The trail provides excellent leaf viewing in the fall particulary in the area surrounding the amphi-theatre along the second leg. The trail ends (or begins if you wish) in the Champlain Campgrounds. You can hike the two sections, from one end to the other, ( the secondary beach to the Champlain Campgrounds) in about 40 minutes.

Note: The last time we took the trail there were many blow downs making areas almost impassable.

The Courier de Bois Trail - 3.2km, easy. This is a self guided nature walk with interpretive signs and boardwalk sections over the marshes. The trail takes you through examples of the parks varied habitat. A very pleasant walk at any time of year but particulary in the fall.

 
Canoeing: The park is a great place for some paddling (while there is no whitewater the world famous Rouge River is only about 35 minutes away). with lots of bays and inlets to explore. The park rents canoes which you can pick up at the main beach. If you're new to paddling you might want to stay in the bay or perhaps visit the secondary beach just to the west of the rental center. If you have more experience you can head out of the bay and paddle along the shoreline to either end of the park. You can lauch your own canoe beside the beaches or at one of the three boat launches in the park. Check the weather before heading out.
Preparing for a days outing on skies and snowshoes.
  Cross Country Skiing: The park has great groomed beginner and intermediate trails. Starting near the entrance you can ski for hours before retracing your tracks. Snow shoeing is permitted (off the ski trails of course) and provides a great way to access the further reaches of the park. Inquire with the parks staff about conditions.
 
 
Flora and Fauna: The park has a wide variety of habitat which attracts many different avian species. Osprey and kingfishers work the waters of the Ottawa while bobolinks, goldfinches and meadowlarks are seen and heard in the forests.  
A heavy wet snow in early November clings to the trees and bushes along the parks shore.
 
One of the area's spectacular sunsets is reflected in the calm evening waters of the Ottawa River.
  The shorelines attract sandpipers and herons while during the migration season your likely to see thousands of canadian geese paddling the bays before continuing thier long journeys. Deer are often seen in the parks forests and fields while muskrats and beaver can be observed along the shores and in the marshes.
Photographers: The park has varied habitat and lots of wildlife for nature photographers. As the weather turns colder in the fall fogs and mists hover above the waters allowing for some excellent compositions. Of particular interest are the sunsets over the park, which are often spectacular. They can be observed from the Carillon Dam by taking the park road to the edge of the park just by the old equestrian center, where the dam butts up to the parks edge. Follow the dam out on foot to get a great view of the sun setting over the park. Make sure you bring flashlights for your return trip.
Resources
    Voyageur Provincial Park is located in the eastern most section of Ontario on the border with Quebec.The park is about an hour from Montreal and perhaps a few minutes more from Ottawa. For more information consult the following list of resources.  
 

The Region

Prescott-Russell
Ontario East Tourism
Out-There's Ontario

Nearby

Out-There's Monteregie - Quebec
Out-There's Montreal - Quebec
Out-There's Province of Quebec

Cities, Towns and Villages Nearby

Closest Major Centers

Accomodations Nearby:

  • Motel l'Heritage - Best Western Motel, Hawkesbury, Ontario
  • Hotel Vinty - Hotel, Rigaud, Quebec 450-451-4726
  • Riversmead Bed & Breakfast - B&B, (450) 458-5053, Hudson, Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec
  • Camping Trans Canada - Private Campground, 5km from Pointe Fortune in Quebec
  • Sleepy Hollow - B&B, Rigaud, Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec
  • Willow Place Inn (The Willows) - Restaurant & Pub, Hudson, Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec

Restaurants Nearby

  • Bar Zool - Excellent dining at reasonable prices in the Village of Point Fortune, you can walk to the restaurant from the eastern edge of the park near the old equestrian center.
  • Cafe du Quai - Casual cuisine, great breakfast, try their club sandwich, located in the Village of Pointe Fortune, 450-451-5942. Can be reached on foot, see above. Closed in the winter.
  • Auberge Des Gallant - French Restaurant, Ste Marthe (Rigaud Mountain), Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec
  • Pierre de Rigaud - French Restaurant, Rigaud, Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec
  • Sucrerie de la Montagne- Cabane a Sucre, Rigaud (Rigaud Mountain), Suroit, Quebec
  • Willow Place Inn (The Willows) - Restaurant & Pub, Hudson, Suroit, Monteregie, Quebec

Map of the * Monteregie Region*

Weather: Montreal
Weather - Rigaud

Road Reports

Official Site: Voyageur Provincial Park - Reservations - From Ontario Parks
Park Maps - From Ontario Parks
Ontario East Tourism|
Ontario Tourism
Quebec Tourism

Note: Quebecers will be happy to learn that Voyageur allows dogs (unlike the Provincial Parks of Quebec) which must be on a leash and cleaned up after.

Like a lot of parks in Ontario, Quebec and other areas of Canada you'll find patches of poison ivy. Long pants are suggested in the forest. Check with the staff for more information.


Voyageur Provincial Park
P.O. Box 130
Chute-a-Blondeau, Ontario
K0B 1B0 / phone: 613-674-2825
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