Join us on the water! We are experts at boating, canoeing, swimming and fishing, because do it all, all the time! The lakes are a 4 season playground. There’s multiple public access points, so we never miss a chance to get wet.
The Bonnechere River
The Bonnechere River travels 145km from its source in Algonquin Park to the Ottawa River at Castleford. It connects lakes, communities and cultures. It weaves our history together. The river has served as a main travel way for people and a log driving route for timber. It has powered grist mills, electricity generating dams and multiple industries. The bountiful fish and wildlife of the Bonnechere have sustained populations for thousands of years and continue to do so today. The waters offer everything from exciting recreation to calming relaxation. We welcome all travellers to The Bonnechere River, the heart of our valley.
Public Beaches: Rotary Beach, 178 Jane Street, Eganville (behind the arena)
Free Public Boat Launch: Water Street, Eganville, small boats and canoes/kayaks only
Fourth Chute on the Bonnechere River
The Bonnechere is marked by 5 Chutes (waterfalls) of varying height. The falls created obstacles for floating lumber downriver, so the loggers created chutes to bypass them. Although the physical chutes are long gone, the name has stuck. At the Fourth Chute, the Bonnechere plunges over a small ridge then continues to the main falls, dropping aproximately 35 feet over large square blocks of limestone.
In spring, the falls rage over the limestone river banks and slam into the 120 year old concrete remnents of an old saw mill. As spring moves into summer, the water levels lower and tame the falls. More of the limestone blocks of the waterfall structure become visible, creating beautiful opportunities for photographs. No matter how often you visit, it’s never the same view twice.
The falls are easy to access, just 8km east of Eganville, with lots of parking, a view from the road, and a short walking trail. Save time to explore the Bonnechere Caves while you are at the 4th Chute and discover how the river helped create the cave.
Put In / Take Out: North side of bridge, opposite side of road from the Caves. Parking at south side of bridge.
Address: Bonnechere Caves, 1247 Fourth Chute Road
The Fifth Chute
The Fifth Chute is located upriver from the Fourth Chute, at the village of Eganville. The aproximate 40 foot drop is dammed with a power generating station owned by the Township of Bonnechere Valley. Have a look from the pedestrian bridge over the river that leads into Centennial Park. A much lower, but more photogenic river drop is located at McRae Lookout Park.
Travelling farther up the Bonnechere you will arrive at tiny Wilber Lake. Some locals refer to this lake as Mud Lake, because that was its orginal name, and because, well, its really muddy. The mud and the muck may not attract human swimmers but the fish, turtles and frogs love it. It’s a great spot for waterfowl especially during the spring and fall migrations. Trumpeter Swans regularly make stops on Wilber and Golden Lake as they pass through the area. Osprey fishing the lake are a very common sight in summer. Bald Eagles are common year round.
Free Public Boat Launch: Small fishing boats, canoe/kayaks can put in on Highway 60, between the Wilber Heights Road signs. There are no signs and no facilities at this unmaintained township launch. Park to the side of highway on the extra wide shoulder.
Fishing: Northern Pike, Large and Small Mouth Bass, various Panfish
Just a little farther up the Bonnechere River is Golden Lake. It is believed the lake was given its name for the flecks of pyrite or “Fool’s Gold” glinting in the sun from the lake bottom. The friendly business community surrounding this popular lake welcomes you with accomodations for every type of traveller and every budget. There are resorts, cottages, and campgrounds, all with access to the sparkling shores of Golden Lake. A perfect lake for swimming, boating, fishing, birding or just relaxing on a sandy beach.
The lake is just as lively in winter! When the ice comes in sledders can travel the B101A Sled Trail from the Sands on Golden Lake resort in the north across the lake to the sourthern shore. Ice huts pop up in lucky fishing spots all across the lake. It’s a whole different sport on ice and avid anglers are out there enjoying it no matter what the winter weather brings.
Public Beach: Deacon Beach, MTO Rest Area, open May 15 to October 15. 13303 Highway 60, Deacon
Free Public Boat Launches:
- Bonnechere Lodge, 391 Bonnechere Lodge Road on the south shore.
- The Deacon Boat Launch, 16 Kranz Road at junction of the Bonnechere River and the lake to the northwest
- 451 Island View Drive on the eastern section of the lake
Fishing: Northern Pike, Walleye, Perch, Splake, Rainbow Trout, Whitefish
Lake Clear is our largest, deepest lake in the Bonnechere River watershed. The amazing landscape has inspired artists for generations all the way back to A.Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven, who painted here regularly in the 1950’s and early 60’s. Enjoy the view of Big Rock, the subject of Jackson’s 1962 painting Lake Clear, from the public beach on Buelow Road.
The lake also inspires fishing fantasies! With depths up to 140′, soft, sandy pockets on a rocky bottom, swallow weed growth, and aquatic grasses, the lake offers anglers multiple opportunites to catch the big one! This is a popular lake to fish in summer and winter. You can try to get a local to tell where the best spots are, but its not likely they will tell you! Be prepared to explore the 9.5km long lake on your own. Click here for fishing regulations and here for lake info to help you get started.
Backcountry campers, day trippers, birders, swimmers, and all visitors are welcome on many of the islands dotting the lake. All together, there’s 18 islands, although some are only just big enough to support a few trees. A couple of these islands are privately owned but most are Crown Land and the rest are owned by the Lake Clear Conservancy Land Trust. Visitors are free to come and go as they like. Be sure to take all of your trash with you. Backcountry campers will need to reserve one of 7 sites. See the LCC site here to learn more about the islands and make a reservation.
Public Beach: Lake Clear Beach , 218 Buelow Road, Eganville, off of County Road #512
Public Boat Launches: There is a $10 fee to use the boat launch maintained by Opeongo Mountain Resort at 949 Lake Clear Road. Vehicle and trailer parking included.
Fishing: Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Lake Trout, Walleye, Perch
Welcome to beautiful Lake Dore! This lake is so easy to access, you’d be a fool to miss out! Just a few kilometers from Eganville and a short drive from Pembroke, surrounded on two sides by major roads, you can’t miss it. Melissa Bishop Park is just off Highway 41, with washrooms, a covered picnic area, ball diamonds, a playground and a sand beach. Just a few metres down the road from the park is one of three public boat launches. The lake has deep sections up to 60′ but overall the average depth is 25″ The south west is shallower with weeds, fish and birds. There are some shallows on the north side as well. On the southeast side there is rock, which drops off into deep water quickly. At aproximately 8km by 5km, its big enough to have lots of fun boating and small enough to explore by canoe and kayak. Watch for a couple locals that love to kite board. It’s fun to watch them fly across the water on a windy day.
The Ottawa Valley Naturalist Guide describes Lake Dore as a great location for bird lovers! Migrating waterfowl begin arriving at ice break up in April and can be seen until the end of May. Autumn welcomes them back again. All summer long there’s osprey, common loons and common terns among others. Shaw Woods is just up Snake River, the lake’s main output, with hiking trails, old growth forest and plenty of wildlife. If you are here for the fish, the campground operators will be happy to point you to their favourite spots.
Multiple trailer park campgrounds, cottages, year round homes and farms surround the lake. Stay for a weekend or a lifetime, we’d love to have you.
Public Beach: Melissa Bishop Park , 62c Township Park Road, Eganville. Just off of Highway 41
Free Public Boat Launches:
- Ball Park Boat Launch, 84 Township Park Road, in the north east section of lake
- 57 Biederman Road, on the north shore.
- Warren’s Bay, 134 Smith’s Bay Road, south shore.
Fishing: Bass, Pickeral, Pike