My husband and I have traveled across most of Canada, from East to West visiting every Province. We have also managed to spend some time in the Yukon and Nunavut. The mountains are majestic, the prairies are peaceful and the ocean takes your breath away.
But there is nowhere that can compare to home which, for me, is Calabogie.
Referred to as “maybe the funnest small town in Canada” by CBC’s comedy series, Still Standing, Calabogie more than lives up to the reference. From indoor activities like restaurant hopping, to outdoor adventure in watersports, backwoods play, and skiing Ontario’s highest vertical drop at Calabogie Peaks, there is fun aplenty to be had here.
For me, I can’t imagine a life without water and Calabogie is full of it. Calabogie Lake, Centennial Lake, the Madawaska River, White Lake are all minutes from town. There are also hundreds of little lakes that lie within the area that you can bike to, snowmobile to, ride a four-wheeler to or hike to. Those little lakes, the quiet ones, the ones that are off the beaten path, are why I love where I live.
I have an appetite for adventure and Calabogie has a little bit of everything I love.
In the fall, I love hiking up Calabogie Peaks to view the fall colours and rock climbing below Eagle’s Nest. In the winter, I ice climb the frozen waterfalls that fall along the Manitou Mountain Trail; cross country ski the Madawaska Nordic Trails or snowboard at Calabogie Peaks. In the Spring, I dust off my kayak and head down the Madawaska River. In the summer, I swim, wakeboard, ride my ATV or camp at one of the many lakes.
This area was made for being active.
With an appetite for adventure comes an appetite for delicious food. While we prefer to cook our own, it’s always fun to take a break and enjoy a dinner out. Canthooks Restaurant, The Valley Food and Drink Co. and Redneck Bistro are all right in Calabogie and if you drive down the road to Burnstown you will come across two very popular cafes, The Blackbird Café and the Neat Coffee Shop, which has live music weekly.
And of course, who could resist the lure of another brewery to explore? At Calabogie Brewing, you can sample one of their flavourful brews with playful names like Leann, a heather ale, or the Nitro Brown Cow milk stout, or (and this name must have a story behind it!) Bleep Bloop IPA.
As a mother to two daughters who will be growing up in an era of social media and smart phones, I hope that by living on our dirt road surrounded by water, they will be able to have a childhood similar to mine, throwing rocks in the water and watching the ducks swim by while the sound of loons and frogs lull them to sleep at night.
I love my hometown, Calabogie.
Looking for some ideas for what to see and do in Calabogie? Read about day trip ideas in our story, Spontaneous Day Trips Near Ottawa or where to find the best sunsets in Best Spots for Summer Sunsets, with a few more ideas thrown in just for fun!