The Kichisipi or 'Great River' as it was referred to by the Algonquin People is today known as a recreational playground for canoeists, sea kayakers, boaters and fisherman.
Extending 1,271 km from its headwaters in northern Quebec to its terminus in the St. Lawrence River at Montreal, the Ottawa River has played a pivotol role in the history of Canada. It has been used as a travel route by; First Nations, early explorers, fur traders, and loggers. The river lies in the Ottawa-Bonnerchere Graben rift valley, formed over 175 million years ago, and today all but its most northern reaches form the provincial border between Ontario and Quebec.
Approximately 5km upstream of the Town of Mattawa is the Otto Holden dam, limiting access to boaters (a portage around the dam is marked on the Ontario shore), however downstream boaters have over 100km of navigable, charted water to explore before the next dam.
- Fabulous views of the Ottawa and the Laurentian Mountains on its far shore can be had throughout the Town of Mattawa, with some of the best views being had at Explorer's Point. It is easy to get out on the river and explore by houseboat, canoe, or sea kayak .