Whether you’re visiting to hike the famous Eagles Nest Trail or heading for Calabogie Peaks to ski, there are always things to do in Calabogie, Ontario in the winter.
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 during the cold weather season.
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 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 snowmobiles. Simply be prepared to share the trail and give a friendly wave to riders as they pass!
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. Cross-country ski rentals are available through some local operators. Text our front desk if you need help organizing some rentals.
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
Rent a fat bike
A great way to experience Calabogie is to rent a fat bike and hit the trails. Fat bikes have grippy and extra wide tires that make them better able to handle snow, ice and mud. Their “fat” tires make them very stable, so even beginners can tackle more technical terrain.
You can easily rent fat bikes from Mad River Paddle Company and you can even take lessons if you are new to the sport. Started by locals in Calabogie and Burnstown, they’ll deliver 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 for the local trail system with options for all ages and abilities.
Address for Barnet Park: 5179 Calabogie Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
Go Ice Fishing
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. 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.
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.
Snowmobile the Calabogie Trails
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 winter 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.
Some snowmobile trails 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 snowmobile 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 snowmobile 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.
Address for Tom Irwin: 636 Mill St. Calabogie Ontario
Skate On The Lake
One of the best ways to make the most of a cold winter day is to put on your skates and cruise across a frozen lake. Is there anything more Canadian?
Ice skating at Barnet Park on Calabogie Lake is open to the public and is maintained by a group of local volunteers. The parking lot near the skating area is lit at night so skating at night is even possible.
There are no places to rent skates in the area so make sure you pack your own from home.
Address for Barnet Park: 5179 Calabogie Rd, Calabogie, ON K0J 1H0
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
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.
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.
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.
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 winter, our bonfires turn into the perfect way to apres after a long day at Calabogie Peaks (or anything else you did that day). There’s nothing like celebrating a great day of adventuring (or relaxing) with a drink and good company surrounded by nature.
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.
Now you have our guide on all the best things to do in Calabogie in cold weather months! 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