Canada: National Capital's Scenic Hog's Back Falls

History of the Rideau Canal and Hogs Back

What is popularly called Hogs Back Falls in the city of Ottawa, began as Three Rock Rapids. Originally it had only a drop of only 6 feet before the decision was made to create a canal on the Rideau River.

Engineers created a dam at the site of the original rapids and built up the dam to a new height of more than 40 feet and pooled the water of the Rideau to form Mooneys Bay and divide the flow of the river into the Rideau canal and allowed the rest of the Rideau to flow in a controlled manner over the Hogs Back to continue on its way down to join the Ottawa River.

The Hog's Back controls the flow of the Rideau. When water levels are high, more of the dam is opened and the water cascades over the Hogs Back and all the reflective pools disappear! In these autumn photographs only one section is open, but as you can see, it is magnificent!

A Great Way to Spend a Day Outdoors in Ottawa

The Hog's Back is named for a ridge of rock below the falls that is reminiscent of the back of a hog. The falls move massive amounts of water most of the year and are a sight to behold close at hand.The Falls are also called Prince of Wales Falls, but Hogs Back is the more popular name.

As stated, the falls were created on the site of original rapids. Engineers wanted to create boat locks for travel from Kingston, Ontario to the Ottawa River via the locks in summer. The Rideau River divides above Hog's Back into the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal. The Rideau Canal is another great attraction to visit.

Hogs Back Park is where the magnificent made-made waterfall is located Besides the falls, the park has beautiful natural scenery. The Rideau River can be followed on it's original route downstream into the park. Fishermen love spending a day relaxing along the shoreline. It is a beautiful destination that is free to visit for the budget minded and a great place to just enjoy an entire day.

It is amazing that this beautiful location is right in the city of Ottawa!

Autumn is the off season for tourists at the park, however, the park is spectacular clothed in it's autumn finery of yellows and reds.

Waterfowl can be seen enjoying the small tranquil pools formed along the ledges close to the falls.

The park consists of wide open parkland, bicycle paths, walking paths and the magnificent Hogs Back Falls. There is a bit of everything for everyone to appreciate. The park is dog friendly as long as pets are leashed. Remembe to bring along bags to scoop behind your fur kid!

Look at an Ancient Seabed

Located on the far side of the falls is an ancient outcrop of rock that once was the seabed of an ancient ocean. You will want to touch this obviously weathered stone and think of how long ago it was under an ocean. There you will see shallow basins that speak of wear by countless waves on an ancient seafloor.

Fall leaves
Fall leaves | Source
The power of water
The power of water | Source

Take a tour of Hogs Back and its park lands

Road and walking bridge over Hogs Back
Road and walking bridge over Hogs Back | Source
The rock formation that gives the falls its name: Hog's Back
The rock formation that gives the falls its name: Hog's Back | Source
Source
The other side of Hog's Back
The other side of Hog's Back | Source
Mooney's Bay ... Hogs Back on the left and the tunnel to the locks to the right of Hogs Back in this view
Mooney's Bay ... Hogs Back on the left and the tunnel to the locks to the right of Hogs Back in this view | Source
Leading to the Rideau Canal via the boat locks, note the city and the traffic over the bridge
Leading to the Rideau Canal via the boat locks, note the city and the traffic over the bridge | Source
One of the locks in beautiful parkland setting
One of the locks in beautiful parkland setting | Source
back to the Hogs Back Falls
back to the Hogs Back Falls | Source
further downstream on the Falls side
further downstream on the Falls side | Source
Raw power of cascading water
Raw power of cascading water | Source
Ancient seabed risen
Ancient seabed risen | Source
Quiet moment in the shallows when dam is partially closed
Quiet moment in the shallows when dam is partially closed | Source
Hogs Back Park is dog friendly
Hogs Back Park is dog friendly | Source
Another view of ledges on the park side of Hogs Back
Another view of ledges on the park side of Hogs Back | Source
Fishermen just beyond the Hogs Back ridge as the Rideau River resumes
Fishermen just beyond the Hogs Back ridge as the Rideau River resumes | Source
Further down thr river the view from paths in the park
Further down thr river the view from paths in the park | Source
Hogs Back as seen further into the park grounds
Hogs Back as seen further into the park grounds | Source
Wide open spaces and bicycle paths
Wide open spaces and bicycle paths | Source
Buddies exploring the park together
Buddies exploring the park together | Source
A final glimpse of the Rideau River as it flows, now quietly, towards the Ottawa River
A final glimpse of the Rideau River as it flows, now quietly, towards the Ottawa River | Source
A markerHogs Back Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -
Hog's Back Rd, Ottawa, ON, Canada
[get directions]

I can't resist; I have to share a few more photos!

more colours!
more colours!
View of some of Hogs Back Park
View of some of Hogs Back Park
Hogs Back Park
Hogs Back Park
further down from Hogs Back Falls
further down from Hogs Back Falls
along the paths
along the paths

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Comments 23 comments

surf traveler profile image

surf traveler 6 years ago

I lived 5 years in Ottawa in my youth. I loved your photo's of the tree's in Autumn. The beauty of Ottawa in the fall is one of my strongest memories of my time there. Enjoyed the hub, rated up.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Those trees are spectacular, I agree. Once I took those photographs, I knew I had to share them...

It is great you have lived in Ottawa, so you know how beautiful the Autumn colours are. There are a few more pictures I will add, but I wanted to get these up for this weekend.

Thank you, for your comments!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Very beautiful. I'll have to visit one day.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Suziecat, Ottawa is a very beautiful city to visit and best of all, more laid back than Toronto, which is more congested with traffic.

The Hogs Back Falls are right in the city and the bus goes right past it; as one of the photos show the bus going over the bridge on the "lock's" side!

Thank you for your comments!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

This is so beautiful photos! I wich I could see it in reality! But your hub has given this place to me anyway! Autumn is truly a wonderful season. It is the same feeling every fall, you can not get enough of nature change!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thoughtforce, Yes autumn is my favorite season... It is like all the trees are flowering because the colors are so bright! I am glad you enjoyed the photos; it is wonderful to share them!

Thank you for your comments!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Wow! How beautiful. When I visited Ottawa back in 1998 I was taken on a boat cruise on the Rideau Canal but I didn't realise that such a lovely park existed there too!

Thanks for a lovely visit.

Love and peace

Tony


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Tonymac, I am pleased you enjoyed the photo tour! It is great you already have done a cruise on the Rideau Canal so you have an idea of this river system that runs through Ottawa!

Thank you for your comments and I enjoyed having you visit my Hub!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a gorgeous park is Hogs Back in Ottowa and your pictures have beautifully portrayed a great deal of its beauty at this time of year. Wish I could hike there tomorrow! I'll be there in spirit! Thanks!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Yes, I am there in spirit as well...I love to look at the pictures myself! It gives a break from the day-to-day!

Thank you for dropping by so I could share the pictures with you!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

This sounds like a wonderful place! I love your pictures that capture the colors so beautifully. Thank you for sharing this lovely place with everyone. The whole area looks so beautiful.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you oceansunsets for the compliment on the pictures! The trees are so lovely in autumn and some years are better than others for the best displays; this year I saw some wonderful colors and I wish I could have captured them all!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

I truly enjoyed this virtual and visual tour! I just love the colors that you captured in your photos!

Thanks for sharing!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Jill, I am glad you love the colors...I thought the lighting that day brought out the beauty in those trees perfectly...now I can enjoy and share the mood all year long!

Thanks for visiting my virtual tour!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Lovely pictures and a nice history. It's interesting that you have a "hogsback" in Ottawa. We have one in Omemee as well. Some of the pictures I took this fall would be a nice hub. (but how do you get that copywrite on your pictures).

Thank you for taking the time to share this bit of beauty and history with us


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I'd love to see the "Hogsback" from Omemee! For the copywrite:

You need a graphics program to add the text to your picture. There are freeware ones on the net and many of them quite good.A simple one is from Paint.net which is fairly easy to learn. Hope that helps!(note if you have Microsoft Paint...that does the job as well)

Thanks for stopping by and enjoying the Canadian Hogsback!


glowingrocks profile image

glowingrocks 5 years ago from New York

Great hub.Thanks for sharing the sites with us.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

glowingrocks...Glad you liked this Hub. It is fun to share places of interest, so others can enjoy them through the pictures or visit them, should they be in the area!


sue 5 years ago

It is one of the beautiful sceneries in Ottawa that I loved.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Sue, I agree, Hogsback is worth the visit! Thanks for commenting! Cheers!


Emilie.(Switzerland) 4 years ago

Very nice Hog's Back Park,I would love to visited for second time.Very nice place!! Clean badthroom,Conssecion Food excellente,because there are not much to eat around from here.Very kind people they work there.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Emilie... Thank you for the great comments on Hogsback park!I haven't visited the concession and last time I was there , they were remodelling...so I will have to visit again based on your recommendation! The park is beautiful and well worth a visit when in Ottawa!


Alison (Itali) 4 years ago

I was sitting enjoing my delicious Churrasco and i sow a lady from concession food take a hose to wash bathroom floors.I dont know it this was her job or not but she made it look very nice and clean for the tourists.

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