FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about rafting on the Ottawa River


Great question, and one we take very seriously. Probably the easiest way to answer it is with a simple fact – more people raft with Wilderness Tours than all our competitors combined. WT also employs more full time professionals than everyone else combined. The quality of our staff is incomparable. Add on great food as well as wonderful resort facilities and programs. That is why Algonquin College chose WT to run its very popular 2 year diploma program in Outdoor Adventure.

Reservations

With a large, beautiful resort, we offer both a family zone and an adult zone. You can stay in quieter areas. Please mention this at time of booking.

We do require advanced booking to ensure you get a spot. We can try to fit you in last minute but please call before coming. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-888-723-8669.

Yes, there is a 50% deposit due at the time of booking but that is refundable until 30 days before the trip date. Reservations made within 30 days require full payment at the time of reservation.

 

If you would like to set up a reservation with multiple people making payments please speak with our reservation staff.

Yes, each person must complete their own waiver using their own email address. Anyone under the age of 18 should be included on their parent or guardian’s waiver. It is very easy to complete the waivers online. We send you a link via email that you can send to everyone in your group.

No, you don’t need to give us their information. Just give them the reservation number and your customer number from the confirmation email. When they complete their waiver their name will be added to the list.

 

If someone has already made a payment on the reservation with their own credit card their name will appear; otherwise, only your name is on the list.

The River

No. We provide all the equipment which includes the helmet, life jacket, paddle and raft. We also do not provide put-in or take-out services for people with their own rafts.

Great question.  You should visit our What To Bring page for a full list and further information on this.

No, we provide that already.

You can bring it with you. However, our trip leaders reserve the right to refuse use of certain helmets because of safety reasons. We have a helmet for you if it doesn’t work out, not to worry.

No, we have very specific life jackets for this type of rafting that are extra buoyant. Not all life jackets will work in whitewater.

You will be fine in most rapids on the river. However, if you really want some, we have them in our River Shop.

We raft rain or shine. If the temperature is dipping down a bit that day, you might be interested in renting a wetsuit. You can do this once you are on site. Regarding thunderstorms–we still go out. We monitor weather closely and make adjustments as required. Guest safety is our first priority.

Yes, we take pictures and video on the river. You can pre-purchase a package with a discount or wait to see the pictures online on our website after the trip. You can purchase photos/videos online or over the phone after your trip or when you get home.

Yes. We do not take responsibility if your camera is damaged or lost. If you have your own chest harness you can use it so long as it fits over the provided safety equipment and doesn’t damage it.

 

No harness? You can rent one of our helmets with a GoPro mount on it. The mounts are glued to the helmet and have a leash just in case the mount snaps.

 

You can also rent a GoPro if you don’t want to use your own or don’t have one.

No. We don’t allow drones on the trip or on the resort due to the privacy and safety of other guests. On your trip you will be too busy paddling to operate a drone and there is nowhere in the raft to store it.

The trip leader carries a small dry bag to accommodate people who need to bring medication. You cannot bring backpacks or other items that would be loose in the raft or add too much weight in case you are dumped in the river. You can bring a small dry bag so long as it can be clipped to your life jacket. Don’t bring anything you cannot afford to lose.

They are secured in a lock box at the resort. We never recommend taking keys on the river as they will get very wet and are easily lost.

Whitewater Rafting

There is no height restriction. We do have age and weight restrictions.

 

On High Adventure Trips everyone must be 13 years or older and 90lbs or more. On Gentle Adventure Trips everyone must be 5 years or older and 50lbs or more.

The High Adventure Trip takes you down class 3-5 rapids (on a scale from 1-6). There is a greater probability that you will fall out on the High Adventure Trip than the Gentle Trip.

  • Classic High Adventure Rafting in a 12 person raft with a guide.
  • Sport Raft in a 6 person raft with a guide, aka “The Flip Trip.”
  • GYOR (Guide Your Own Raft) in 6-8 person rafts with guides coaching from their kayaks. Sportyaks are a 2-person inflatable kayak option on the GYOR Trip.

What sounds like alphabet soup is actually a tremendously popular raft trip and is short for Guide Your Own Raft. It is still a guided trip but guides paddle alongside you in kayaks while someone in your group steers the raft. Done in sporty 6-person rafts, this is an exciting trip down the beautiful Middle Channel.

No problem – that is why we are here for you. We ask that you posses good health and average swimming ability (so you do not panic if you go overboard). If in doubt, start with Gentle Adventure and work your way up.

You have a big puffy life jacket on but you may get a little uncomfortable if you find yourself in the water. Our guides are highly trained and client safety is a priority for us. We recommend you review some of our videos or take our Gentle Trip rather than the High Adventure.

Yes, everyone in the raft must paddle or the raft won’t go where you want it to. The guide cannot do all the paddling and the boats do not have motors.

Everyone gets a chance to paddle.

Always consult with your own doctor if you are not sure.

Yes, we have had many people who are blind, deaf or amputees raft with us. They may need to have someone with them to assist them at lunch stops and going to and from the river.

If you have 13 people on a 12 person Classic High Adventure Trip you can include them in your boat. That would be the only time someone does not paddle because they will sit in the middle of the raft in what we call the “princess” seat. More than 13 you will have to split into 2 boats.

 

With the 6 person Sport Raft you can fit 7. In that case, the additional person may sit up at the back beside the guide.

It is better to pre-book the camping in advance to ensure you get a spot but we will do our best to fit you in.  You can also purchase our Resort Rafting Package and stay the weekend or just book an Overnight or Latenight package at time of checkout!

No. The owner takes the welfare of the rafters very seriously and is worried that younger children may not enjoy the High Adventure Trip. Furthermore, it is difficult for them to keep up with the paddling required so it would be unfair to them and our other guests.

No. As noted above, the life jackets we use are specific to the whitewater in the region. Typical boating life jackets are not going to work. The life jacket selected for us has a minimum weight of 90lbs to work correctly.

Whitewater Kayaking

The Teen Resident Camp is primarily an introduction to kayaking from Sunday – Friday. The Keener Program is youth development through kayaking and is a 3-10 week program which produces world class junior kayakers.

That is definitely possible. We have what’s called a paddlers package where you can do just that, plus, you get meals too. Call us for more information on this.

Keep in mind that the adult clinics do not include supervision so any teen coming alone would have no supervision. They will also be in classes that will be all adults. If parents are comfortable with their teen being unsupervised and the teen is comfortable in a class with adults parents can sign a waiver and have them join the class. If teens are accompanied by a parent in the course they can also be considered but we would only recommend this option for those 16-17 years of age.

We have both private and semi-private instruction, please ask our reservation staff for pricing and availability.

Unfortunately not, the kayaking is an instructional course not a run down the river like the rafting. It takes a lot of training to do the tricks we show on the kayaking section of our website.

Beginner Novice is open to anyone who wants to try whitewater kayaking.

Intermediate Advanced classes guests must have a roll in both flat and white water and some experience with whitewater kayaking.

For beginner classes we provide the kayak as part of the package.

For Intermediate/Advanced classes if you don’t have your kayak with you or are getting back into the sport after some time off we offer a rental option.

Whitewater kayaking is a sport that requires prior training so it is not something we can offer as a day trip, the rafting does not require any previous experience.

Camping and Lodging

Yes in our Deluxe Cedar Cabins there is a toilet and sink, in the Cedar Suites there is a toilet, sink and shower but none of our regular Hillside Cedar Cabins have a washroom. However, you are only a short walk to our shower building which houses flush toilets, sinks and hot showers.

Yes in our Deluxe Cedar Cabins (offsite accommodation) there is a toilet and sink, in the Super Deluxe Cabins (onsite Accommodation) there is a toilet, sink and shower but none of our regular Cedar Cabins have a washroom. However, you are only a short walk to our shower building which houses flush toilets, sinks and hot showers.

Cabins are priced on a PER CABIN AND PER NIGHT BASIS. For example, a Cedar Cabin is $119/night on a weekend and if you have 4 people in your group, each would pay $29.75/night plus tax (13% HST). The same holds true for our 12 person units. Just divide the nightly rate by the number of persons staying in the unit. When the cabin is purchased, we require the full amount upfront. Anyone staying in a cabin must also be booked into a rafting/meal plan or non-rafters meal plan.

Yes, all of our cabins have sheets, blankets and pillows.

The Resort

Definitely not! We have a huge resort with volleyball courts, ball hockey court, flat topped kayaks, stand up paddleboards, dock with a slide, inner tubes for floating, hiking and biking trails…the list could go on.

We do have an onsite store where you can pick up snacks, drinks, souvenirs, forgotten items, water shoes and more.

Our food is fantastic, hearty and plentiful both on and off the river with a vegetarian alternative at every meal. Our style is soup/salad buffet plus hot items from our BBQ pit at every course. Please mention any special dietary needs when you book so we can let our restaurant know. We try our best to accommodate special diets.

No, you would need to bring your own camping equipment although we do usually have sleeping bags, tent poles and tent patches for sale in the on site store if you forgot something.

Yes, you can bring your own alcohol to your campsite or cabin but it cannot go anywhere else on the resort.

No, we don’t have the setup for individual campfires on the resort, we do maintain a large fire up on deck where the nightly entertainment takes place.

No, we don’t have the setup for individual cooking or anything with an open flame so it would be a safety hazard.

No, if you want seating at your campsite you would need to bring some folding camp chairs.

Events and Enterianment

We have some themed weekends and we have live entertainment and a DJ on Saturday night every weekend in May/June/Sept and every night during July/August.  Our sport courts have lighting and are open in the evening.

Actually, we have a full bar where you can let us get you whatever you want while you enjoy the sunshine on our licensed deck. If you really want to purchase alcohol, there is a store about 20 minutes away.

Other Things

For years, we have asked to sell part of our Land Trust for cottage lots and had regretfully declined. To satisfy that demand, we have partnered in Whitewater Village which is a fractional ownership community at the end of our property.

Absolutely, yes! WT’s main Resort Center is 650 acres with lots of opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking to run their own business under the WT umbrella. Ideas like paintball, zip lines, massage, mini-golf and driving range are a few ideas that come to mind. These are ideas that would work at WT but we don’t want to do them ourselves. If you have a proposal, please send it to joe@wildernesstours.com.

We have a variety of job postings each year.  Please send your application in and you will be considered. 

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