Travelling through the heart of the Ottawa Valley can be a rewarding experience for any tourist. Extremely fresh air, beautiful rolling hills, superb hunting and fishing opportunities, and bargain accommodation prices are just a few of the reasons why domestic tourists flock to the Valley on weekends throughout the year. For international tourists, the sheer beauty and cleanliness of the freshwater lakes in the region is enough to entice them to stay for weeks. Since Canada has a temperate climate, the tourism industry adapts according to the temperature outside. The warmest months of the year span from June to September. During a recent trip to the Ottawa Valley, I was lucky enough to catch a few weeks of warm weather on one of the nicest freshwater bodies of water that I have ever seen – otherwise known as Golden Lake.
Located approximately 25 km southeast of Pembroke and about two hours from Ottawa, Golden Lake is situated far enough from surrounding cities for visitors to feel the authentic country living that makes the Ottawa Valley region such a prime tourist destination. The lake itself has a surface area of roughly 35 km2 and an average depth of 11 m. Therefore, there is plenty of water for water sports. According to the locals, jet skiing has become increasingly popular in recent years, but it still ranks far below fishing in terms of popularity. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to fish during my trip, I did find enough time to ask a few residents who live on the lake what types of fish species are typically caught. As it turns out, tourists will always be guessing what’s on their line because there are so many different types including: northern pike, bass, muskellunge, pickerel, white fish, cat fish and perch.
If fishing isn’t your thing then there is ample opportunity to photograph some of the wildlife on the water. During my stay, I saw everything from large groups of mallard ducks to a massive blue heron with its elongated wing span. Taking a step into the clear water of Golden Lake was an experience in itself. Massive schools of tiny bait fish surrounded me from all directions. It made perfect sense why there were so many different species of bird prey only a few meters from the shoreline.