As an alternative to the Ottawa River in the City of Ottawa, the Rideau River offers a few play features. Below Hogs Back Falls on the Rideau River is the Back Bacon Hole. This playspot is more rain dependent and, as such, is playable all year.
Hogs Back Falls is a popular recreational spot with families. There is a picnic area nearby, there is swimming upstream at Mooney's Bay, and there is plenty of green space for summer sports. The waterfall itself is beautiful and, depending on what line you take, is a class V rapid. That being said, the waterfalls are extremely dangerous and should never be run.
This is a picture of the Hogs Back Waterfalls.
About 200m downstream of the waterfalls, upstream from Carleton University, lies a series of 2 to 3 holes depending on the water level. The main hole has been given the name Back Bacon Hole because of it's depth at low water levels.Paddler Mark Dubois ferrying out to the Back Bacon Hole.
How to get there: Click on the map below to interact with it. Get to Hog's Back Road and, if you are heading east on it, make a left into the parking lot. Walk down the hill and put-in BELOW the waterfalls. You cannot see the hole from shore so go with someone that knows where it is. Never go out alone. Paddle over to the river left channel and the holes are located on the river left shore about two-thirds down the rapid.
There is a class III rapid above the hole that you have to run. The hole itself really varies with the water level. It also has eddy service. Overall, it is generally retentive and is great for all types of hole moves like cartwheels, splits, spins, loops (at higher levels), and side surfing.
Water Levels: Click here to access current Rideau River Water levels. Click on "Rideau River at Ottawa".
1) High water in the spring or after significant rainfall: the hole varies from a large crashing wave-hoel to a hole that is about 4 feet wide, retentive, deep, but you have to roll up fast to catch the eddy.Back Bacon early spring 2004. Paddler: Chris Davison Photo: Kevin CookClose up image of Back Bacon Hole in the spring.
2) Medium water (usually in the days following significant rain): this hole gets wider, more retentive, shallower, and the eddy is easier to catch.
3) Low water, the hole is a shallow, end-banging, helmet scraping spot.Throwing ends at Back Bacon