Located on the banks of the Ottawa River and featuring some fantastic family-friendly camping and recreational opportunities, Fitzroy Provincial Park is a must-see for those exploring the Ottawa Valley. First established as a provincial park in 1963, the park is made up of 490 acres (1.98 sqkm) of varying landscape that includes white pine and a stand of 300-year-old bur oaks that are located by the Carp River.
The location of the park at the junction between the Carp River and the mighty Ottawa River allows visitors to experience a water centric getaway. You can go swimming until your hearts content, relax on one of the two beaches within the park or try your luck at catching the big one in the Ottawa River. Besides the water-based recreational activities you can also have some fun in the sun by exploring one of the two marked hiking trails that are suitable for hikers of any experience level. For the young visitors to Fitzroy Provincial Park we recommend participating in the Discovery Program where you can explore the park, check out plants and animals, and discover how awesome nature is.
Fitzroy Provincial Park has two different campgrounds with more than 200 sites available that are suitable for RV camping. While there are no full hookup sites available there are select electrical sites that you can call home in both campgrounds. You will also have the option to stay at a site with direct beach access if you book early enough in advance. Peak season at Fitzroy Provincial Park runs from May until October.
Fitzroy Provincial Park is located in the eastern region of Ontario and is situated right on the border between Ontario and Quebec. The park has one entry and exit point that is serviced by Canon Smith Drive, which runs along the eastern side of the park.
One of the great things about visiting Fitzroy Provincial Park is the close proximity to Ottawa. In the capital of Canada you will find all the supplies and amenities you will need to enjoy your stay at the park, whether it be a short or long one. Besides Ottawa there are also other towns located nearby, including Arnprior (around 12 miles or 20kms away), Pakenham (around 15 miles or 24kms away) and Mississippi Mills (around 25 miles or 41kms). Ottawa is only 37 miles (60km) to the east of the park so we recommend checking it out if you haven't been before.
Accessing the park should be very straightforward as the roads in and around the park are relatively flat, very well maintained and there are no known no obstacles. The road into the campground (which is located south to the west once you enter the park) is kept in very good condition and it is also very wide to allow for ease of turning. During the winter the park does close so you will not have access to any of the park roads or campgrounds once off peak season arrives
There is plenty of parking available at Fitzroy Provincial Park
There are no public transport options that will take you to Fitzroy Provincial Park.
Pine Grove Campground is the largest of the two campgrounds at Fitzroy Provincial Park and is also the closest to the park store and office. The campground has a total of 135 sites that are known for being quite wide, flat and offering privacy from other neighboring campers.
Most of the sites at Pine Grove Campground feature electrical hookups but there are no full service sites available. Other amenities in the campground include multiple water collection points, showers, toilets, ADA accessible sites, overflow parking and a dump station. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground.
Since the campground is a popular destination due to its proximity to Ottawa we recommend that you book a reservation in advance before you begin your journey to the park. A few of the sites at Pine Grove will also feature water views of the Carp River. Camping at Pine Grove Campground is available from May until October.
Two Rivers Campground is the smallest of the two campgrounds at Fitzroy Provincial Park and is also the closest to the beaches and day-use area. The campground has a total of 100 sites that are known for being quite wide, flat and offering privacy from other neighboring campers.
Like at Pine Grove, most of the sites at Two Rivers Campground feature electrical hookups, but there are no full service sites available. Other amenities in the campground include multiple water collection points, showers, toilets, ADA accessible sites, overflow parking and dump station access (which is located near the park office). The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground.
Since the campground is a popular destination due to its proximity to Ottawa we recommend that you book a reservation in advance before you begin your journey to the park. A few of the sites at Two Rivers will also feature water views of the Ottawa River but they are usually in very high demand. Camping at Two Rivers Campground is available from May until October.
There is no better way to spend a hot summer day than by cooling off at the park by going for a swim in the pristine waters of Ottawa River. There are two sandy beaches at Fitzroy Provincial Park that are located to the north and north-west of the Two River Campground. These are the best swimming locations and they also double as the perfect places to soak up the summer rays. Be aware that if you are swimming in the river there are no lifeguards at the park so swim to your ability.
Once you have finished having fun in the water you have the chance to explore the Ottawa River on top of it. There is a small boat launch into the Ottawa River that is available for park guests that can accommodate small fishing boats, canoes and kayaks. This boat ramp is influenced by fluctuating water levels in the river so if you do plan on using it make sure that you are aware of the tides. If you don't have your own watercraft there are canoes available for rent from the park office.
During the summer months a fantastic Discovery Program is ran by the park staff for the little ones who are visiting Fitzroy Provincial Park. The program revolves around the use of a Discovery Activity Book (available at the park) and use the equipment and materials provided to explore the park, observe the cool animals and plants, and discover the wonders of nature. Participants in the program can even take the Discovery Ranger Pledge and receive your very own Discover Ranger Button. For more information on the program you can contact the park office or keep an eye out for weekly calendar on the park website.
Fishing lovers rejoice! Fitzroy Provincial Park has some excellent river fishing opportunities thanks to the Ottawa River that will hopefully lead you to catching the big one. The Ottawa River attracts a diverse range of fish species, which is great news for those casting a line. Some of the most common species caught include walleye, pike, bass and panfish. You also have a range of choice when it comes to where you can fish from. We recommend casting a line from the park dock, along the shoreline, or near Butternut Island where the Ottawa and Carp rivers meet.
If you love to hike than you will be happy to know that there are two hiking trails available for you to explore during your stay at Fitzroy Provincial Park. The trails are in the easy and moderate categories so people of all ages and abilities will be able to check at least one of the trails out. The Carp Trail is the easiest of the two and will take you around the banks of the Carp River, including through a mature forest. The Terraces Trail will give visitors an insight into the geological journey that the park has experienced over time. This includes viewing shale pillars that stand as examples to the erosive power of water, fields that are strewn with erratics and massive boulders left by ancient glaciers.
No matter the season you will be able to get some great birding done in Fitzroy Provincial Park if that is your thing. The park offers endless opportunities for birders to see species including killdeer, flickers, warblers and goldfinches. If you time your visit right you will also be able to experience the annual fall migration of geese and ducks that attracts birders from all over to see these beautiful creatures migrating. We recommend walking the two hiking trails in the park and taking some time to do some birding whilst doing so.