DAYTRIPPER: Rafting at Foresters Falls

DAYTRIPPER: Rafting at Foresters Falls


This article was originally published in the Summer 2015 print edition of
Ottawa Magazine

Owl Rafting on the Ottawa River

To Play
Get far, far away from the sights, sounds, and pollution of the big city with a weekend at Owl Rafting, a resort on a quiet bay in the Ottawa River. Just a 1½-hour drive from Ottawa, Owl offers whitewater rafting for every level of thrill-seeker, from sedate family trips to serious whitewater adventures. Choose a big boat for stability or a small boat if you’re looking for a soaking. Owl is best enjoyed over two days: the first spent rafting, the second enjoying kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, volleyball, the beach, hot showers, and a sauna at Owl headquarters.

Rest a rustic retreat — Dwyer’s Farmhouse

To Rest
If you’ve purchased a two-day package, you can pitch a tent at Owl and enjoy a barbecue dinner and a hearty breakfast on-site. If you prefer something a little softer under your back and shoulders, you can rent a small on-site rustic cabin.
For those who choose a one-day rafting trip, there are plenty of interesting places to stay within a 30-minute drive of Owl HQ.

One is the Stuart Log Cabin, which comes complete with white-chinked walls and a family-style bedroom that sleeps four and offers a true country get-away-from-it-all experience on the shore of Mink Lake.  With an outdoor firepit and woodland walks just outside the front door, it offers a chance to reenact pioneer activities while enjoying the modern comforts of a 21st-century bathroom.

Or you can get your hands dirty by renting Dwyer’s Farmhouse. This century-old farmhouse has three bedrooms, sleeps six people, and offers the chance to feed the chickens, gather your breakfast eggs, and even offer a helping hand during haymaking in June and July.

Go spelunking inside Bonnechere Caves

To Eat
Founded in 2011, Whitewater Brewing Company recently opened a brew pub offering soup, rustic sandwiches, and gourmet pizzas with dough made from leftover beer grains. Wash it all down with a pint of Whitewater’s finest. What’s more, it’s just a stone’s throw from Owl Rafting, where the three founders first met.

To Distract
After a day of whitewater rafting, find thrills of the underground kind at nearby Bonnechere Caves.  Just a 30-minute drive from Owl, the caves were carved by nature through limestone deposited 500 million years ago and offer a fascinating peak at myriad different fossils. Take a flashlight to get the best close-up view.