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Impressions -Bonnechere Provincial Park

The meandering Bonnechere River, long known as a water highway for First Nations and early settlers, once carried furs and pine logs out of this Ottawa Valley region. Canoes now move leisurely along the river’s ever-changing path to Round Lake were there is a buoyed, sandy beach. A historic depot depicts the life of early forest rangers. 

Step in a canoe and paddle the scenic shores of the Bonnechere for some excellent wildlife viewing. If you are looking for a longer, more challenging paddling experience, speak to park staff about nearby attractions.

Pack a picnic lunch and head to the park’s sandy beach with warm, shallow waters and relax the day away. Or if you prefer to be more active, hike the McNaughton Walk or, using a copy of the “Walks of the Little Bonnechere” booklet, head outside the park hike some of the 10 trails highlighted.

Natural Heritage Education programs provide families with hands-on, entertaining ways to explore the park and learn more about the local history including First Nations, pioneers and logging as well as the park’s wildlife and natural features. Did you know that the Bonnechere River headwaters is at MacKaskill Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park - 50 km upstream, and was once used to transport virgin White Pine downstream which eventually ended up for use in Britain?

Hiking

McNaugton Trail – 2 km (40 – 60 minutes) – Out and back to loop - Easy
Take an easy stroll along the meandering Bonnechere River and learn about its rich natural and cultural history by exploring our Foot Prints in Time (FIT). FIT is based on the traditional local First Nations way of teaching and explaining our history. The trail takes you in stride with 13 giant foot prints, marked by posts with interpretive and educational text designed to be informative and engage you and your family along the hike. You will truly enjoy this adventure.

Walks of the Little Bonnechere River – 10 trails - varied lengths and difficulties
The Walks of the Little Bonnechere River is a compilation of 10 local trails and stopping places which will help you gain an understanding of the history of the river and its people. Each trail offers a variety of experiences and opportunities to explore natural and cultural history. Trail length and difficulty vary, providing an opportunity for all to enjoy. A booklet with maps, locations, pictures and descriptive text on these trails can be purchased at the park office at a reasonable cost. 

Canoeing

Visitors to Bonnechere typically enjoy leisurely paddles along the meandering banks of the Bonnechere River from the park to Jack’s Chute (~3km). Highlights include exploring the oxbows which are habitat for a variety of creatures big and small like turtles, fish, ducks and deer.
For a bit more adventure you can purchase a canoe route map for the Bonnechere River Provincial Park.
The park rents canoes and kayaks. 

Swimming

There is one beautiful sandy beach at Bonnechere that is recommended for swimming. The Main Beach is located in the day-use area near the Visitor Centre and Park Store and is located on the shores of Round Lake. The beach is marked with buoys and has shallow gradual drop-offs. Please note: there are no lifeguards posted at the beach and pets are not permitted in the swimming area.
Pets can swim at the boat launch. 

Fishing

The Bonnechere River and Round Lake provide opportunities for Large and Small Mouth Bass, pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, pike, pickerel and Lake Trout. 

Biking

Biking is an excellent way to get around the park and is encouraged by park staff. Biking is permitted along park roads. There are no designated bike trails. 

Natural Heritage Education

During the summer, park staff offer a variety of fun, interactive educational programs. Join a park naturalist as you explore Footprints in Time at the hiking trail and the Visitor Centre. Bring your young campers to the children’s programs and take the whole family to the evening campfires, slide shows and the many unique presentations and entertainment. 

Birding

Bonnechere provides homes for many birds throughout the year and in fact, there are about 297 species that have been sighted in the area. A birding checklist is available at the park for a reasonable cost.


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