by Stephen Johnson
Hot, humid summer weather was the perfect excuse for our family to visit Mont Cascades Waterpark. Since the park’s website notes that it’s possible to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks on-site, we packed up fruits, veggies and cold water along with our towels.
When we got there, the temperature was already 30 degrees, so I was happy to see there were plenty of shaded areas and picnic tables where we could safely leave our bags. We had already changed into our swimsuits, so our son David was ready—and gung ho—to hit the waterslides.
Sometimes I can be an overprotective father and forget my son is no longer three. His appetite for new adventures is great and I am trying to encourage him. We started off on a few rides that were fun but he was looking for more thrills and spotted a couple of raft rides that met his need for speed. Only problem? My wife Sandy or I would need to accompany him. (YIKES!) Thankfully, Sandy volunteered and off they went on a two-person raft down a ride aptly named Rapids River. I bravely took the photos as they came flying and splashing down at the end. David loved it and Sandy enjoyed it as well.
Witnessing David and Sandy in one piece and laughing, I stiffened my backbone and joined them for a ride called Mammoth River. All three of us piled onto the inner tube and went hurtling down the slide. We hooted and hollered and … honestly? I felt like I was seven all over again.
The rafting made us hungry, so we sought out the shade and grabbed for our snacks; but carrot sticks and apples just didn’t cut it after that kind of adrenalin rush. Seeking something a little more substantial, we headed for the small-onsite restaurant for a pizza and burger, and I’ve got to tell you: getting there was a pleasure. The stairs leading up to the eatery are kept cool by small water sprinklers, and they were certainly appreciated on such a scorching day.
After refueling, we were ready for more waterslide fun. David was captivated by the Splash Forest, where a huge bucket would slowly fill up and then dump water. There was a large bear (not a real one) on top of the bucket that seemed to menacingly dare anyone to stand underneath. Of course, David wanted to try it out but—naturally—with parental accompaniment. I was the lucky ‘rent for this “jolt” … so there we stood, waiting for our special delivery. When it landed, we were thoroughly soaked. I had to let Sandy in on the fun, so I voluntarily volunteered her for the next turn with David. Nice, eh? We wound up looking like a family that had been through a monsoon, but we enjoyed every second of it.
We finished the day by exploring some of the relaxing pools. There were a number of slides we did not try out, but I would love to make a return visit. The water park is perfect for all ages and levels. Staff members were friendly and bilingual.
The park is located about twenty minutes north of Ottawa off Highway 307. It is useful to review directions via the park’s website before leaving. For details, see www.montcascades.ca.