From the rushing waters of the Petawawa, Madawaska and Ottawa rivers to the unspoiled woodlands of Algonquin Park, the Ottawa Valley is a sultry enchantress, enticing us with adventure. Renowned as a world-class whitewater destination and for the challenges found in its rugged hills and lush dales, the Valley pushes us to do more, live more, be more.
It’s time to rediscover the Ottawa Valley, dive deep to explore its secrets, and remind yourself why everyone is proud to call this land home.
To Our Community
It really is the people of the Valley that make it so special. Wander through our friendly communities and remind yourself of all the ways the region brings unparalleled adventure, and how Valley folk are kind and generous, ready to give you the shirt off their backs.
…thank you for always being there
Rediscover Your Communities: Rediscover why the communities throughout the Ottawa Valley are so special. Wander through local farmers’ markets to meet the growers and makers and show your thanks for providing us with the freshest of foods. Pick up some freshly ground coffee from Madawaska Coffee Co. or Engine House Coffee and chat over a cup of joe. Local shop keepers, such as Pick It Fence in Renfrew or Pembroke, The Vintage Crate in Arnprior or The Country Cupboard in Petawawa, can provide everything you need from today’s top fashions to unique home décor. While Gearheads, MAD Outdoors and Barry’s Bay Outfitters will have your local gear and time to give you the inside scoop on where to go and what to do to explore the Ottawa Valley.
To Our Scenery
Feel free to let your imagination wander here; after all, the Ottawa Valley is where artists are forged amongst craggy cliffs and turbulent waterways. The Group of Seven were among the many artists who saw the wonder of the Valley and wandered its soil to honour their inspiration. If you happen across an artist at work on a quiet, tree-lined street, or out in the wild, step quietly so as not to disturb their muse.
…thank you for inspiring us.
Rediscover Our Artists: Wilno and the surrounding hills of the Bonnechere and Madawaska Valleys are full of colour year-round thanks to a collection of multi-media artists who find inspiration in their everyday surroundings. Wander the Wilno Craft Gallery or Valley Artisans Co-op Gallery to find that perfect piece of art or visit any of the private studios that make up the Madawaska Valley Studio Tour or Wild Women Artists. Indulge your own creativity with a painting course and capture the beauty of the region on your own canvas.
To Our Skies
We live on an incredible planet and some of the most natural places in Ontario can be found in the Ottawa Valley. Bordering the endless forests of Algonquin Park and the rushing waters of the Ottawa River, the Valley’s rolling hills and lush farmlands are home to more than 400 species of wildlife, including moose, deer, otter and lynx. This is where the wild things live, and where we go to renew our connection with Mother Nature.
…thank you for giving us the space we need.
Rediscover Our Wild Places: Spend a day, weekend, or full week in our wild spaces. Pitch a tent at Bonnechere Provincial Park, pop-up the trailer at Black Donald Tent & Trailer Park or rent a cabin at Deacon Escarpment Cabins. Take in our majestic viewpoints to catch a breath, visit endless lakes to cast a line and land the big one for dinner, or dig beneath the surface at the Beryl Pit mine to try your hand at rockhounding.
To Our Lakes and Rivers
For millions of years the powerful and majestic Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers shaped the landscape of the Ottawa Valley, and their influence on the culture and people here continues to this day. Whether it’s discovering the thrill of whitewater, diving into the water at a local beach, or taking a sedate dip of the paddle in on one of the Valley’s lakes and rivers, the call of the water has always been strong here.
…thank you for motivating us to explore.
Rediscover Our Waterways: Take to the water with a paddling class from Liquid Skills or the Ottawa Kayak School or gasp with exhilaration while hurtling over frothing rapids on the Ottawa River with OWL Rafting or Wilderness Tours. Pick a new paddle route to explore by canoe, kayak or SUP or find your beach and dip your toes into any of the 900 lakes scattered across the Valley. Create ripples on the water during quiet moments on Lake Clear and see if you can spot Big Rock, the subject of numerous paintings by the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson.
To Our Forests
A forest is one of those rare places you can both lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. In the Ottawa Valley our forests are legendary – leafy and mysterious regions that entice you to explore for both playful or mindful moments. Challenge yourself on winding trails, then lose yourself in your surroundings. Listen to the rustle of leaves, the music of birdsong, and the collective exhalation of the world around you – this is the Valley.
…thank you for the fresh air we breathe.
Rediscover our Forests: Look out over the vast forests of the Ottawa Valley and wonder at how small we really are. Wander amongst old-growth giants at Shaw Woods or Gillies Grove. Explore the network of trails around Spectacle Lakes and Bear & Burnetts Mountains. Hike the Gun Mountain Loop Trail at Thomas P. Murray Recreation Area to Tom’s Lookout and breathe deeply of the clean, pure air, courtesy of Mother Nature.
From the Wanderer inside all of us XOXO
What do you appreciate most about the Ottawa Valley? Share your love and post a picture to Instagram with #OVLoveLetter honouring your favourite place in the Ottawa Valley for a chance to win a GoPro Hero 8 or a local prize pack.