Whether you’re visiting in the summer for a hike of the famous Eagles Nest Trail or heading for Calabogie Peaks in the winter to ski, there are always things to do in Calabogie, Ontario.
For some, the spring thaw or the summer sunshine are what draw them to the region. For others, the fall colours of the rolling Ottawa Valley or the stillness of winter are what they want to experience.
To help you plan what to do in Calabogie during your visit, here are some of the top things to do in the Calabogie area in all seasons.
Experience Calabogie Nature On A Hike
A top thing to do – if not the top thing to do in Calabogie – is to head outside and hit the trails for a hike. There are hundreds of kilometres of walking trails that snake their way through the rolling valley and allow you to reconnect with the outdoors.
Since there are so many different hiking paths and trails to choose from, we’ve written a separate guide on Calabogie hiking trails so you can plan and pick the hike that works best for you.
To get you started, it’s best to know what to expect when hiking in the Calabogie area since each season offers its own unique experience.
In spring, nature awakens from a long slumber. With it comes the mud and bugs later in the season. Bring spray for the bugs and/or wear a bug hat and you’ll be just fine.
The Eagles Nest is one of the better spring trails with a well-maintained parking area. The sun exposure on the lookout means that the ice and snow tends to thaw quickly.
In summer, a popular hiking loop is the Wabun Lake/Sugar Mountain trail. This scenic trail also allows you to go for a quick dip to cool off. A hat, sunscreen, and water are important additions if you go hiking during this season.
In fall, the colours are incredible in the Ottawa Valley. The Wabun Lake trail, Manitou Mountain trail, and the Eagles Nest hike all offer great lookouts for admiring mother nature’s ever changing colour palette during Thanksgiving weekend. The temperatures can be chillier so dress in layers and remember to bring water.
Finally, in the winter, you can snowshoe many of the local trails or head to Madawaska Nordic Ski for a dedicated snowshoe area. Snowshoeing is a great way to get the heart rate up and to admire the stillness and beauty of the forest.
In the Calabogie area, many of the hiking trails are shared by ATVs and dirt bikes (especially in the warmer months). Simply be prepared to share the trail and give a friendly wave to riders as they pass!
Get Out On The Water
Whether you enjoy paddling, boating, or fishing, there are lots of ways to have fun on the water as you explore the numerous waterways and lakes of the region.
Calabogie Lake and the Madawaska River make for a fantastic starting point. There are also a number of surrounding lakes such as Wabun Lake, Norway Lake, and Black Donald Lake that are equally beautiful.
There’s nothing like a morning paddle or sunset cast of the reel that makes you appreciate the waterways that give the area life.
It’s no surprise that the summer season is the popular season for these kinds of water activities. Here’s how you can easily get out on the water while you visit Calabogie.
Rent A SUP/Canoe/Kayak
A great way to experience the water is to go for a paddle. Calabogie Lake is the perfect setting for paddle sports such as stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, or kayaking.
If you don’t bring your own watercraft to Calabogie, you can easily rent a SUP, canoe, or kayak (and even a tandem kayak) from Mad River Paddle Company! You can even take lessons if you are new to paddle sports.
Started by locals in Calabogie and Burnstown, they’ll deliver boats and gear to wherever you like. A popular meet-up point is Barnet’s Park which is a convenient two minute walk from Somewhere Inn Calabogie.
Aside from rentals and lessons, they also offer a few guided tours of the local lakes and rivers. With options for all ages and paddling abilities, this is a great way to experience the lakes or the Madawaska River if you prefer having a guide.
Some of their day paddles even incorporate lunch with either a stop in Burnstown at Neat Cafe or a catered lunch from the Kitchen at White Lake.
Address for Barnet Park: 5179 Calabogie Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
Another way to experience the pristine waterways in and around Calabogie is through fishing. Fishing is a popular sport on the Madawaska River system that connects Centennial Lake, Calabogie Lake, and Black Donald Lake.
This vast water system is home to plenty of pickerel, bass, trout, and even muskellunge. Instead of getting out on the water, you can also fish from Barnet Park, Burnstown Beach, and various public entry points to the Madawaska River north of Calabogie.
In the winter, Calabogie Lake is very popular for ice fishing. People usually bring out their own day tents but some ice fishers also build an entire hut and tow it out every year.
If you are visiting Calabogie in the winter, going out with a local guide is a great way to experience this age-old tradition.
If you prefer to take out a motorboat on the water, you have different options in the Calabogie area. While there’s no marina for boat rentals on Calabogie Lake, there is a public boat launch at Barnet’s Park. This will get you out to explore every inch of the beautiful lake.
There are many other lakes in the area which are great for boating – especially if you are looking to rent.
White Lake is about a 25 minute drive from town and is great for fishing. You might choose to launch there if you have your own boat or check out the White Lake Marina for boat rentals.
Soak Up The Sun At The Calabogie Beach
Speaking of water, another great way to get outside – especially in the summertime – is to hit up a local beach. There are some great beach options to choose from in the Calabogie area.
Barnet Park is located just a two minute walk from Somewhere Inn. Here, you’ll be treated to a large green space, mature trees right at the waterfront, a gazebo, and multiple sandy beaches. This makes the beach a great choice for enjoying Calabogie Lake. There’s also parking available should you need it.
Another beach in the area is Burnstown Beach. Located up the highway on the northside of Burnstown, this sandy beach also offers parking and a small dock. There are a number of trees which block the beach from the road – making it extra serene. It makes for a great place to watch the sunrise if you like getting up early to welcome the day.
Many of these beaches/little parks make for a great picnic area to enjoy local eats by the water.
Speaking of picnics, Cherry Point Picnic Area is just up the road from the Calabogie town centre towards Burnstown. Here, you get to enjoy a tranquil spot along the Madawaska River.
Address for Cherry Point Picnic Area: 4099 Calabogie Rd, Cobden, ON K0J 1H0
Pay A Visit To Calabogie Brewing Co.
No matter the season, Calabogie Brewing Company is always ready to welcome you to Calabogie. Their extensive, locally-brewed beer selection is the best in the area and the welcoming staff is ready to help you taste your way through them all!
Located right in the heart of town overlooking the Madawaska River rapids as they leave the lake, the brewery is a vibrant place set amongst nature. You can enjoy their outdoor picnic tables and Muskoka chairs in the summertime or you can belly up to their large wooden tables indoors in the other seasons.
They’ve got a small menu of great snacks and eats in case you get hungry. If you’re in a hurry, they also have an onsite shop to grab a few cans of the good stuff. Try their Watermelon Gose – it’s always a hit and usually sells out fast!
You can learn more about Calabogie Brewing Company here.
Address: 12612 Lanark Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
There are other great places to grab a drink in/around Calabogie. Have a look at our list of some of the best bars and pubs in the area.
Satisfy Your Adrenaline At The Calabogie Motorsports Park
Calabogie Motorsports Park is one of Ontario’s best-known race tracks. Located just a short drive from the heart of the town centre – and only 13 minutes from Somewhere Inn – this winding track is open year-round and enjoyed in all seasons.
In the warmer months, you can rent a car – like a Mustang GT – and drive yourself with a racing coach or ride as a passenger with a professional driver for all the adrenaline and none of the hassle. If you have your own car, you can even bring it along and hop on the track for a few laps.
In winter, they offer winter driving lessons which are actually extremely useful if you are hesitant about driving in Canadian winters. If you’re not into driving yourself, you can visit one of the races that the Motorsports Park usually hosts on weekends in the summer. This way you can join in on the action from the comfort of the stands.
A visit to the Calabogie Motorsports Park is the perfect stop if you’re looking for an adrenaline kick. You can learn more about Calabogie Motorsports Park here.
Address: 462 Wilson Farm Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
Ride the Calabogie Trails
This side of the Rockies, Calabogie is known as one of the best places for ATV and dirt biking. Getting out on the vast system of trails is a great way to see this part of the Ottawa Valley from a perspective you just can’t get any other way.
In the spring, summer, and fall, the trails of the Calabogie area – thousands of square kilometres worth – are maintained by an amazing community of local riders. If you want to discover the trails yourself, you can check out this top resource for what to know and how to prepare when heading out. It’s important to note that all dirt bikes can ride ATV trails but not all ATVs can ride the dirt bike trails.
In the winter, the ATV/dirt bike trails convert to snowmobile trails. Some are quite technical and narrow, others are suitable for beginners. One of the most beloved trails is the K&P which takes you all the way from Kingston to the Upper Ottawa Valley. Conveniently enough, the K&P cuts directly through Calabogie village. Keep in mind that you will need an OFSC Trail pass valid for the riding season if you plan on snowmobiling.
If you’re visiting Calabogie and just want to experience nature and the thrill of riding the Calabogie ATV trails without the hassle of planning and the worry of navigation, you can book a guided tour. For this, look no further than Tom Irwin Adventures.
Considered one of the best tour operators in the area, Tom’s ATV tours vary from wide, maintained logging roads that are great for first timers to single track trails made for experts.
Riding the mountainous area of Calabogie means that you can experience tons of climbing and enjoy great view points along the way. Tours usually include a catered lunch – and you never have to worry about having the right gear since Tom rents you all the proper safety gear: boots, helmets, and the machines themselves. He also offers snowmobile tours in the winter season through what can seem like a winter wonderland!
Address for Tom Irwin: 636 Mill St. Calabogie Ontario
Browse Local Shops
For shopping local and handmade goods or sampling tastes from the region, there are a number of local shops in the area you can visit. Downtown Renfrew is a short 25 minute scenic drive through the valley. Here, you’ll find a number of small, boutique shops along the main street.
Just north of the heart of Calabogie you’ll find Calabogie Rustic Farm & Market. This chic, farmhouse-style shop is open all year round and specializes in local, organic produce and handmade wooden goods.
It’s an easy way to support local since many of their products are from their on-site farm and others are from local partners in the Ottawa Valley.
Their great selection of meats, cheeses, baked goods, honeys, and dips is everything you need for the perfect outdoor picnic at one of the picnic areas close by. Great options would be Barnet Park or Cherry Point up the river.
Address: 5258 Murphy Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
Discover Local Summer Farmers’ Markets
Speaking of shopping local, visiting Farmers’ markets is a lovely way to get outside, get acquainted with authentic small-town culture, meet friendly locals, and purchase unique goods that you can’t find anywhere else.
The Calabogie area offers two summer farmers’ markets that you can visit. The Calabogie Summer Market – located right in the heart of Calabogie at the Community Centre – runs every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm (June 1st to the end of September).
From farmers and bakers to gardeners and local artists who work with various materials, there’s something for everyone at the summer market. They even have “Festive Days” which feature demonstrations of classic skills like sheep shearing, weaving, spinning, and carving.
You can learn more about the Calabogie Summer Market here. It’s only a two minute drive – or a 20 minute walk from Somewhere Inn!
Address: 574 Mill St, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
The other great farmers’ market in the area is the Burnstown Farmers’ Market. Located in Burnstown just down the river from Calabogie, this farmers’ market runs from June to early October on Fridays from 2 – 6 pm.
The Burnstown Farmers’ Market is committed to hosting 50% local farmers and 50% vendors giving you the chance to shop and support local business from around the Valley.
From sweet treats like artisan chocolate to fresh and pickled vegetables as well as performances by musicians you should stop by this market if you’re in town.
You can learn more about the Burnstown Farmers Market here.
Address: 1716 Calabogie Road (across the street from Neat Cafe)
Indulge In Local Tastes
If the idea of shopping locally didn’t already have you hooked, you can always “taste” your way through Calabogie and the surrounding area.
Aside from the farmers markets and small shops, there are a number of great eateries, breweries, and cafes that specialize in sharing the tastes of the area.
Neat Cafe is known for wood-fired pizza, coffee, and live music.
Laurent’s in Burnstown or the Valley Scoop in Renfrew are top spots for some delicious ice cream.
Calabogie Brewing Company is a great place for tasty eats and craft beer. Their seasonal beers are always popular choices.
Oh-el-la is the coolest cafe in the area. In the winter, they’ll keep you warm and cozy with an outdoor fire.
Attend A Concert At Neat Cafe
If you’re a fan of music, you can catch a live show at Neat Cafe while you are visiting. Located in Burnstown, this place is one of the top music venues between Toronto and Ottawa.
Over the years, this unique cafe, eatery, and live music venue has been able to book names like Tokyo Police Club, July Talk and the Trews! You can grab tickets for shows in advance – and you can even combine a concert ticket for this intimate venue with their famous wood-fired pizza.
Of course, if you can’t make a live show, you can always stop by Neat Cafe for a coffee or a pizza and enjoy their outdoor space amongst the trees. At Neat Cafe you always have a nice mix of locals and visitors which makes it one of the best places to check out in any season!
You can learn more about who’s on stage next at Neat Cafe on their website.
Address: 1715 Calabogie Rd, Burnstown, ON K0J 1G0
Become A Road (Cycle) Warrior
Another great way to experience the rolling hills and amazing scenery of the Ottawa Valley is on a bike. You can do this in two ways: mountain biking or road biking.
Calabogie and the surrounding area is known as a top-level road cycling route. There are awesome routes from Calabogie to Smith Falls – along 511 heading south. This route will give you a scenic mix of gentle roller coaster paved roads and plenty of lakes and trees along the way!
If you want to mountain bike in Calabogie, you can try out the trails at Madawaska Nordic Ski. These old logging roads are good for shared experiences between hikers and mountain bikers. Many of the other trails are shared with dirt bikes and ATVs.
If you do plan on mountain biking in the area, you should have some experience as the trails can vary from flat and smooth to hilly and rugged! Currently there’s no place to rent a mountain bike and/or gear in Calabogie so you’ll have to bring your own.
Explore Cute Towns Nearby On A Half Day Trip
Once you’ve explored all the best things to do in or around Calabogie, you might be itching to visit other towns across the Ottawa Valley.
There are a number of cute towns that make for the perfect half day trip. Historic Almonte is situated along the Mississippi River and features coloured downtown shops and a riverside pub – the Barley Mow – that is always a good choice for lunch with views.
Perth is another small town that is worth the drive with limestone buildings fitted along the main street and a number of local shops and waterside patios.
Hit the Links With a Round of Calabogie Golf
If a swing of the club is what you’re after when you visit Calabogie, you’ll have a few nice options for golfing.
Calabogie Peaks offers an approachable 9-hole course – known as Ironwoods Golf Course – with amazing views of Calabogie Lake. You can even stop into Boathouse Bar and Grill for a waterfront drink after you hit the links.
The other top choice for Calabogie golfing is Calabogie Highlands. Located on the south shore of the lake, they’ve got 27 holes which you can take on at an affordable price.
The terrain here is beautiful and showcases some mixed elevations, mature trees, and – of course – those stunning lake views.
Explore the Bonnechere Caves
To beat the heat in the summer season, you can head underground into the Bonnechere Caves. Located in Eganville about 40 minutes driving from Somewhere Inn, this immense cave system is one of Ontario’s finest natural attractions.
This geological wonder runs along the Bonnechere River and can be visited without reservation. During the cave tour, you head underground to walk through cavernous passageways in the stone. Along the way, you’ll be taught about rocks, fossils, and all sorts of other neat things.
There’s even an underground waterfall which is not to be missed.
The caves are open in the warmer months so be sure to check their website for opening dates and hours. Also don’t forget to pack a light sweater!
Address: 1247 Fourth Chute Rd, Eganville, ON K0J 1T0
White Water Raft Through The Valley
Did you know that this part of Ontario has some world-class white water rafting? For an adrenaline-filled adventure day, you can book a guided excursion to raft the mighty Ottawa River. In fact, there are a few different operators you can book your wild experience with.
Wilderness Tours operates in the summer and fall season. Located a 50 minute drive north from Calabogie, these experienced guides take you out on the river for three to four hour rafting excursions.
There are tour options for all skill levels – no matter whether you’re tackling the white water for the first time or are an experienced paddler.
You can learn more at the Wilderness Tours website.
Address: 1260 Grants Settlement Rd, Foresters Falls, ON, Canada
You can also check out the pros at Owl Rafting. Also located about 55 minutes north of Calabogie, Owl rafting runs summer and fall season excursions on the Ottawa River. Similar to Wilderness Tours, they cater to all skill levels.
You can even book day packages that include a BBQ meal on a Pontoon boat as you head back to the starting point after your wet n’ epic adventure! You can learn more about Owl Rafting on their website.
Address: 40 Owl Ln, Foresters Falls, ON K0J 1V0
Tip: If you’re in the River Valley area, you can stop by Whitewater Brewing Company for a post-rafting beverage!
Visit Local Farms
For a bit of seasonal fun in the fall, a visit to local farms is a great way to connect with locals and get out to appreciate the land. The harvest season is a big deal in Ontario – and this sentiment rings true in the Ottawa Valley!
If you’re after a day of apple picking and those classic fall photos, MacLaren Orchard near Renfrew is the place to go. It’s located just a 20 minute drive from Calabogie.
On the way, you can pass through Burnstown for an ice cream and come home with freshly-picked apples from the region. Check out the MacLaren Orchards website here.
Address: 3376 Burnstown Rd, Renfrew, ON K7V 3Z4
For a different kind of fall fun, you can plan a visit to Geobarn Farm. Located a 35 minute drive from Somewhere Inn, Geobarn Farm has something for everyone including a festive corn maze, a pumpkin patch, and tractor rides fit for the whole family.
Address: 2634 Rosetta Rd, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Of course, there are some activities that are unique to winter here in Calabogie. Here are some things to do in Calabogie in winter that weren’t already mentioned above.
Hit The Slopes At Calabogie Peaks
As the tallest mountain in the Ottawa Valley, Calabogie Peaks needs little introduction as the place to go for skiing or snowboarding.
Located just a short five minute drive from Somewhere Inn, Calabogie Peaks offers over 700ft of vertical and two casual lifts to access the varied terrain. It’s not the Rocky Mountains – but that’s all part of the charm. And honestly, Calabogie Peaks offers some of the most reasonably priced lift tickets in Ontario. Can’t beat that!
They make snow as soon as it gets cold enough and their fun-loving staff do a great job of extending the season for all to enjoy. As for runs, there are options for all abilities. Trust us, the greens are just as fun and interesting as the blacks! The views from the top are stunning and really allow you to appreciate the beautiful area we call home.
At the base, Calabogie Peaks offers ski rentals, tune-ups, and a large chalet with outdoor patio that overlooks the mountain. Their upscale restaurant – Canthooks – is a great place for tasty Swiss and German-inspired dishes. Black Donald Pub – their seasonal onsite pub – is the place to go for your Apres ski.
If you’re not into skiing, Calabogie Peaks also offers a number of other activities like snowshoeing, skating, and more. You can learn more about visiting Calabogie Peaks here.
Address: 30 Barrett Chute Road Calabogie Ontario K0J 1H0
Cross-Country Ski in Calabogie
You can always try cross-country skiing if downhill skiing isn’t for you. While there is unfortunately no place to rent cross-country skiing gear in Calabogie, you can always rent from MEC before leaving the city.
There are two notable places in Calabogie for cross-country skiing. The K&P trail – mentioned in our guide on local hiking trails – is quite popular for people to cross-country ski on. You’ll share the trail with snowmobilers but it’s a multi-use trail and everyone is usually a good sport about sharing.
The other trail system to check out is Madawaska Nordic Ski. Located a six minute drive from Somewhere Inn Calabogie (and very close to Calabogie Peaks), this multi-season trail system turns into 18 km of groomed cross-country ski trails.
The trails undulate through the dense forest making for an enjoyable classic or skate-style nordic ski. If you’re new to the trails, there’s a trail map and parking available at the trailhead.
Address: 131 Crestview Dr, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
Hang Out At Somewhere Inn Calabogie
You don’t have to venture far to have a nice time in Calabogie. We always have something going on at our small, newly-renovated motel.
In the early spring and fall we tap our maple trees and would love to show you how it’s done.
Our nightly bonfires tucked amongst a natural setting in the summer and fall include s’mores, drinks, and a friendly, inclusive social atmosphere you can be a part of. Let us take care of the fire (and you) as you sit back and enjoy the crackle of the flame while you sip your drink from our on-site bottle shop.
Hand-curated by experts, our onsite bottle shop is available for you to try local and Ontario beers, wines, and other spirits. We are happy to help you choose the perfect beverage for your stay.
In winter, our bonfires turn into the perfect way to apres after a long day at Calabogie Peaks. There’s nothing like celebrating a great day of adventuring with a drink and good company surrounded by nature.
Now you have our guide on all the best things to do in Calabogie in all seasons! There’s always something going on and always something to do in Calabogie, Ontario.
If you’re ever strapped for ideas, you can ask us for pointers here at Somewhere Inn – we’re always happy to help!
See you outside,
Somewhere Inn Calabogie