Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. When do you open and close your season?
A. We generally open the long weekend in May (3rd Saturday) and Close the 2nd weekend in September.
Q. What should we wear?
A. Cold days – sneakers/sport sandals, wool socks, wool or fleece sweater, nylon windbreaker; wetsuits are available for rent. Warm days – sneakers/sport sandals and a bathing suit. NO FLIPFLOPS OR CROCS!
Q. When is the best time to go rafting?
A. Anytime during the summer – the Ottawa River has excellent flows May to September. Weekdays are less crowded, as are the early weekends.
Q. What is the water temperature?
During May & early June, the water is cool & wetsuits are available. Later in the summer, the river warms up, to roughly 20 C (70 F).
Q. What is the water level?
A. Some rapids are better in lower water than high. The rapids are rated as class III to V, but at any water level, the Ottawa River provides great excitement!
Q. How long is the trip?
A. Rafting lasts about 6 hours; 4 – 5 hours of rafting followed by a 1-hour return trip aboard OWL’s unique Pontoon Boat Cruise. (Total trip distance of 12 km). Family Raft Trips are 4 hours; 2-3 hours of floating followed by the return trip.
Q. What happens when it rains?
A. We raft rain or shine, you are going to get wet in either case.
Q. How many people are there in a raft?
A. On the normal 1 day trips, the 12-person Rafts are used. As well, 2 day Deluxe packages can have either 7-person SportRafts & 2-person SportYaks. Family Float Rafts hold 8 people.
Q. I have a GoPro, can I wear it on the river?
A. OWL takes video footage and photos of your trip down the Ottawa River. These are available to view and purchase after your rafting trip. OWL has a small number of helmets with GoPro mounts. These are free to borrow and available on a first come first serve basis-no advanced holds. OWL does not take any responsibility for items lost on the river trip including GoPro’s lost using the OWL helmets.
Q. Does everyone paddle?
A. On Family Raft Trips, guides do all the work, guests just hang on & enjoy the ride. In 12 person rafts, everyone paddles, but not necessarily hard the whole time. When SportYakking or SportRafting you must paddle hard for most of the trip.
Q. Are we strapped in?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. Is rafting dangerous?
A. With OWL’s activities, an element of risk is inherent & beyond human control; this is often what attracts people to Whitewater Rafting. OWL spares no effort to ensure that you are aware of risks and hazards, but cannot assume responsibility for your safety or loss of personal equipment. You will be given the option to ride the raft or walk the short portage trail at every significant rapid.
Q. Do injuries occur?
A. Injuries are few and far between. Most common injuries are bumps, bruises, & scrapes. Each raft and Trip carries First Aid Kits, all guides are certified in First Aid and CPR.
Q. Are wetsuits available & should we reserve them now?
A. OWL offers jackets and overalls for a nominal rental cost. No advance booking is necessary, you can decide on the day of your trip. There are enough for everyone. This process moves much faster with cash as we only have one boutique credit processor.
Resort & Facilities Related:
Q. Where are you located?
A. We are a 1 1/2 hour drive west of Ottawa or a 4 1/2 hour drive north-east of Toronto. Foresters Falls is outside of Cobden, Ontario, located on the Trans-Canada between Renfrew and Pembroke. There are plenty of signs once in the area.
A. OWL has free parking throughout our resort and plenty of space for busses.
Q. Can we bring our RV?
A. OWL has plenty of space for RVs, however we do not have any hook-ups.
Q. Is there camping at OWL?
A. Yes, for guests that are rafting with us; we are not a public campground. The camping fee includes one night of camping plus a hearty breakfast. Guests must provide their own tents and bedding
Q. Are there indoor accommodations?
A. Yes, we rent out cabins, which sleep six in 2 double beds & 2 single bunks, guests must provide their own bedding. Cabin rates are listed on the raft trip web pages. Cabin rates are in addition to the overnight & breakfast cost.
Q. Do the Cabins have power?
A. Yes, the cabins do have an electrical outlet with lighting but no plumbing.
Q. Do you allow campfires?
A. Yes, but in designated areas – under our pavilion and in a woodsy area.
Q. Do you have a night curfew at OWL?
A. Yes, our quiet hour is 1:00 am on weekends, 11:00 pm mid-week.
Q. Are canoeing and kayaking available and when?
A. Yes, available the day of your trip after returning to the OWL Resort. There is no additional cost.
Q. Do you have showers?
A. Yes, hot showers are available, also a sauna, indoor toilets and sinks.
Q. Can we buy food at OWL?
A. BBQ steak dinners with salad bar are served every evening, must be prebooked with no refunds. Cost information is available on the raft trip webpages. Breakfast is available at a nominal cost (best to prebook). The breakfast buffet includes a main dish, bacon/sausage, toast, muffins, fruit, juice, tea & coffee and a cereal bar! Juice, milk, coffee & tea are available outside and pop is available in our boutique. If you are coming in late, the evening before your rafting, it is often best to grab some food on the road or to bring dinner with you.
Q. What do you have for entertainment?
A. We have nightly campfires & live entertainment on Saturdays. Weeknights there is a tastefully-chosen movie shown.
Q. What is your camping area like? Are pets allowed?
A. The main campground is a large open field located on the water. Also, we have a separate camping area for smaller groups. Facilities include beach front, sauna, hot showers, and indoor washrooms. And pets are not allowed. Exceptions can be made, however they may not be left alone at anytime.
Q. Can we drink at OWL?
A. Yes, but OWL is not licensed so you must BYOB. No alcohol is permitted on the morning of your trip.
Q. What time is check-in, check-out?
A. Check-in time is indicated on your reservation confirmation notice. Check-out: For indoor accommodation, 11:00 am, otherwise 2 hours after you return to OWL.
Q. What alternatives are offered for nonrafters?
A. Our beach package may be purchased for $30/person. Nearby are hiking, waterslides, golf, bungee & mountain biking.
Q. Is there transportation provided to OWL?
A. Voyageur/Greyhound can bring you as far as Cobden. Whitewater Taxi can pick you up from Cobden to OWL Rafting. 613-281-6430 booking ahead is recommended.
Q. Your rafts hold 12 & 7 guests, do we need to reserve the whole raft?
A. No, you just book for the amount of people who wish to raft, OWL will fill the rest of the raft with other guests.
Q. If our group reserves separately, can we be guaranteed to be in the same raft?
A. We can never guarantee you’ll all be together if you book separately, the best way is to elect one group leader that takes care of the whole payment which gives you the best odds of being in the same raft.
Q. Can we pay cash upon arrival?
A. No. We require your reservation to be paid in full prior to your trip. Without full payment, we cannot hold the spots for you. Guides must be reserved for the day, food ordered etc.
Q. Do you give refunds?
A. Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 30 days prior to trip date. The deposit is non-refundable within 30 days of trip. No refunds or transfers within 7 days of trip start.
Q. What is the User Fee?
A. The User Fee covers access to the river and liability insurance. This is a mandatory fee that is standard in the rafting industry.