Driftwood provincial park is situated on the southern shore of the Ottawa River close to the provincial borders of Ontario and Quebec. It offers dramatic views of the Laurentian mountains across the river in Quebec where you can watch gorgeous sunsets. It is a popular camping, hiking and fishing destination, many of the campsites are waterfront sites.

Duration: 3 nights

Driftwood Provincial Park was a good 5 hour drive including short stoppages for food and fuel. Without any stoppages, it would have taken us about four and half hours.

How to get there?

Driftwood Provincial Park is about 462 kms via Highway 11 and Highway 17 and would take almost 5 hours from Toronto. The Trans Canada highway which is Highway 17 becomes very scenic after crossing Mattawa.

This trip was during the August Civic day long weekend. We took a Friday off so we would reach the park at a reasonable time since it involved a very long drive. Inspite of our best intentions, we did not start early and reached the park close to 6.30pm.

Soon after setting up tent and a quick dinner, we stepped out to explore the park a bit as we still had some time before sunset.

Most of the regular campsites are located pretty much on one stretch of road. The campsites on the single stretch of road all face the river and are all waterfront sites. Since the road also splits into two parallel roads at one point, there are a few campsites near those roads which do not have water access. The only Comfort station with shower facilities is located here though. All the hiking trails are located on the south side of the campground.

Staying at the Driftwood Provincial Park

Most of the regular campsites are located in the Ottawa Campground, with many of them being waterfront sites. 

For large trailers and RV's, there is the Brumm electrical campground. There are also a few pull through campsites available.

Two group campsites are available for larger groups. 

After spending some time taking in the views of the Ottawa river and the bay, we decided to retire for the day.

There was a bit of rain overnight, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad.

The next morning after breakfast, the plan was to start with the hiking trails. We reached the end of the campground close to the Ottawa River east and site number 56. There is short hike here, about 200 meters, to get to the Day use beach.

From the Ottawa Campground to the day use beach
From the day use beach to the Ottawa campground

The Day use beach is not very big, but a decent size with a boat launch area.

From here, the Oakland Highland Trail starts.

Trails in the Driftwood Provincial Park

The trails are divided into two sections, Oakland Highland Trails and Chevier Creek Trails.

Oakland Highland Trails 
Riverview - 1 km, Difficulty Level: Easy. Nice views of the Ottawa River and Laurentian Mountains
Beaver Pond - 2.3 km, Difficulty Level: Moderate

Chevier Highland Trails
There are 4 loops here ranging from 0.5 kms to 3.7 kms. The main ones are:
Loop 1 - 1.8 kms, Difficulty Level: Easy
Loop 2 - 3.7 kms, Difficulty Level: Moderate

The first part of the Oak Highland Trail, the Riverview trail is short and provide nice views of the Ottawa River and the Laurentian Mountains.

You can find driftwood at certain areas in the trail along the river.

At one point on the Riverview trail, it splits and starts the Beaver Pond trail. Be on the lookout for signs or ribbons such as in the images below to be sure you are still on the right trail.

When you exit the trail, you will be near the group campsites and the Brumm Campground.

Walking further towards group campsite #1, you will be near the start of the Chevier Creek Trail which is a short 1.3 kms trail that connects to Loop 1.

This short trail ends at a point where there is a resting area and you can start the Loop 1 trail.

You can choose the direction that you want to take from here.

This trail is quite nice with nice pine trees all along the trail.

Lookout for the red trail signs on this one.

After completing this trail, we took a break for the rest of the day.

After a late lunch, we headed to the day beach area to relax under the warm sun and a gentle breeze.

We returned to the site for dinner and then went back to the beach to watch the gorgeous sunset.

We returned to the site and soon after we hit the sack.

It was time to hit the water the next morning.

The park rents out canoes and kayaks for a whole day. There is no separate rental office, it is done at the main entrance office. We rented two kayaks and picked it up near our campground near campsite #1 of Ottawa River West and campsite #28 of Ottawa River East. There is also another place to pick up rental boats which is near the boat launch point in Day beach area.

There are a few small islands in the bay where you can stop by and explore.

We were quite exhausted after spending the whole day on the river but it was fun.

We returned to the camp site after returning the kayaks at the office. After sunset, we headed to the small beach in the Ottawa River East campground.

Nature can surprise you in some unexpected ways.

We were hoping this would be a dark sky area and give us some spectacular views of the sky but we did not get them on this night. There was a glow in the sky till atleast 11.30pm and after that we gave up. Even though there were a few scattered clouds, we managed to get this shot. You can barely make out the milky way.

The next morning, we decided to take it easy. We decided to skip the Loop 2 trail this time.

After wrapping up, we stopped at the main entrance office to dig into some Haagen Dazs ice creams before hitting the road.

For additional information, visit the links below:

Want to start camping? Checkout this post -