Prescott and Russell
Referred to as ‘Ottawa’s Backyard’, The United Counties of Prescott and Russell is an amalgamation of two counties east of the national capital. Agrarian countryside unfolds as you wind down picturesque rural roads that connect some of Ontario’s oldest and most storied towns and villages.
Prescott and Russell is close enough to the city to be super convenient for a short getaway, but the serene landscape, welcoming locals, country shops and bilingual culture make you feel like you’re a world away.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Prescott and Russell, scroll down or visit their tourism website.
Where is Prescott and Russell?
The United Counties of Prescott and Russell are located in eastern Ontario, between Montreal and Ottawa, alongside the Quebec border created by the Ottawa River.
Heading east out of Ottawa, both Highways 417E and 174E lead into Prescott-Russell. From Highway 401 in the south, Highways 138 and 34 are the most direct routes to the counties. The Long-Sault Bridge connects Hawkesbury with Grenville across the border in Quebec.
Things to do in Prescott and Russell
Each season brings a different set of activities and discoveries in Prescott and Russell.
In the summer, families and thrill seekers flock to Calypso in the town of Limoges, the largest theme waterpark in Canada. Well maintained and connected cycling trails make bicycle touring another huge draw to this region in the warmer months. After a long day of thrills, who doesn’t want to relax at a gorgeous brewery?
Île du Chenail (Chenail Island) in the Ottawa River is without a doubt a must-see. Once the thriving first town centre of Hawkesbury, it was evacuated in the 1960s after much of the island was submerged due to the construction of a hydroelectric power station nearby. What’s left of the island is now a beautiful public park. Le Chenail Cultural Center tells the full story, including the Maison de I’lle, a heritage home still left standing on the island.
Local harvest markets and locally made goods and treats are celebrated in the fall. Cheese lovers, treat your taste buds fresh curds at the St-Albert Cheese Co-op. Each soft, creamy morsel delivers a smooth and slightly elastic texture that makes a delightful squeaky sound when fresh.
Visit the Vankleek Hill Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings to meet producers, artists and artisans from across the region. And while you're there, the Vankleek Hill Vineyard for a tour and tasting.
The Snowmobile Club of Eastern Ontario manages an impressive network of over 400 km of trails across Prescott and Russell through snow-covered forests and fields. If you’re an avid snowmobiler or just want to test it out, this is the place to ride.
Prescott and Russell neighbourhoods and districts
Six distinct municipalities make up the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.
Its two villages, L’Orignal and Vankleek Hill, are rich in history and activities surrounded by scenic rolling farmland bordering the Ottawa River.
This is the ideal place to kick back and relax after visiting the nation’s capital.
This area includes the quaint villages of St. Eugene, Ste-Anne-de-Prescott and Chute-à-Blondeau.
The Municipality of Casselman
A charming community with a rich history.
Prescott and Russell’s largest municipality is home to 17 small towns that serve as hubs for the surrounding agricultural community.
The Townships of Alfred and Plantagenet
These are stretches on the banks of the Ottawa River offering a wide range of activities.
Things to know about visiting Prescott and Russell
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Prescott and Russell, you'll appreciate what the locals recommend around the area.
The Festival de la Bine (Bean Festival) and strongman competition is a quirky and completely entertaining event in Plantagenet.
Where to watch the sunset
Where to take a romantic stroll
Last updated: December 15, 2022