Come Wander
Lake Clear Ottawa Valley

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

Barry's-Bay-Farmers-Market

Rediscover Your Communities: Rediscover why the communities throughout the Ottawa Valley are so special. Wander downtown Pembroke, known as the Heart of the Ottawa Valley and tour local history visually through more than 30 outdoor murals. Treat yourself to a piece of Paris with a crepe from The Nook Creperie or enjoy a bit of southwest flare at Janna & Kerry’s Over Easy Bar & Grill.  Say hello to the local shopkeepers who will have just what you’re looking for at Pick-It Fence in Renfrew or Dot Boutique in Pembroke. Find local and Canadian-made goodness at Local in PembrokeGearheads, 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 among 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.

Tom's-Lookout

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. Pay a visit to an art studio to witness a masterpiece in creation. Learn about the craft of natural skin care products with a visit to Sigrid’s Naturals or the art of blacksmithing at Madawaska Metal Works.While the Madawaska Valley Studio Tour may not be happening this fall, many of the artist’s studios are open by chance or by appointment. 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.

Bonnechere-River

Rediscover Our Wild Places: Spend a day, weekend, or full week in our wild spaces. Get cozy under the stars at Driftwood Provincial Park or stay in a yurt at the Covered Bridge Park. Wake up to the sound of loons from your private cabin at Spectacle Lake Lodge before you head out on the lake to catch lunch. Take in the scenery as you explore the network of trails on nearby Bear & Burnetts Mountains. 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.

Ottawa-River

Rediscover Our Waterways: Pick a new paddle route to explore by canoe, kayak or SUP. Discover the network of islands on the Ottawa River by launching your vessel of choice at Petawawa Point or guide your canoe or kayak through the rapids of the Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park. Don’t forget your rod and tackle! Our lakes and rivers offer plenty of opportunities to land that fresh catch of the day.

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.

Shaw-Woods

Rediscover our Forests: Look out over the vast forests of the Ottawa Valley and wonder at how small we really are. Spend the day exploring the Manitou Mountain Trail in Calabogie or discovering the multitude of trails along the Upper Bonnechere River. For the two-wheeled explorer, the Forest Lea and BORCA mountain biking trail systems offer a variety of loops and routes to choose from. Breathe deeply of the clean, pure air, courtesy of Mother Nature.

With love,

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.

Stories

Shiver-Worthy Spooky Spots

There’s something lingering in the air throughout October, leading up to the culmination of all things spooky on its final day – Halloween.   October starts with the summer’s lush canopy of green bidding a final farewell through a stunning display of vibrant colours. When the leaves die off and settle as a multi-coloured blanket on the forest floor, and the fog rolls in over the lakes and […]

Haunted Walks and Hair-Raising Ghost Tours

Have you ever wandered through an older building and felt the hair raise on the back of your neck, and not been sure why? It may be you are sensing something that others aren’t, some spooky aftereffect from a historical wrongdoing or the ghostly pinings of a disgruntled spirit. Many small communities in Ontario’s Highlands […]

The Artist’s Way

Who says art can only be found in big galleries or urban showrooms? To find fantastic local and Canadian art you need to head to the places that inspire artists to create, and Ontario’s Highlands is among the most beautiful places in Ontario (in our humble opinion). Beyond the inspiration found in the rugged hills […]

Big Attractions in Ontario

Are you the type to pull over when you see a comically large roadside attraction, or a picture-perfect spot to snap a few shots? Amateur photographers and Instagrammers alike can agree that a giant ice cream cone, a massive mural adorning the side of a building, or a full-size replica of a jet plane are […]

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

With Love, to the Ottawa Valley

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 […]

With Love, to Lennox & Addington

Known for its pristine wilderness, incredible views and rugged natural spaces, the majestic beauty of Lennox & Addington speaks to the wanderer inside us all. From the craggy peak of Mazinaw Rock at Bon Echo Provincial Park to the starry skies overhead, there is wonder waiting to be discovered here, a vivid reminder of how our […]

Your Guide to COVID-19 Safe Travel in Ontario’s Highlands

We are happy to see that fall is in full swing here in Ontario’s Highlands, and even happier now that we have seen the lifting of many restrictions here in Ontario. After months of staying home we are eager to get out and stretch out legs and imaginations in a region made for discovery. This […]

Dark Skies, Starry Nights

Have you ever wondered about the mysterious realm outside our planet? Maybe you’ve wanted to roam the galaxy, travel among the stars, and get a new perspective on the universe. For now, stargazing is as close to it as us ‘average humans’ can get! Luckily there are still places to getaway, where the view of […]

Get in Step

April Verch, fiddler, singer-songwriter and step dancer extraordinaire teaches the basics of stepdancing.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Discover Hidden Gems

Feed your curiosity and explore the diverse geology of Ontario’s Highlands at these Recreational Geology locations.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Art in the Summer

Celebrate creativity at art festivals across Ontario’s Highlands this summer.

3 Cheers for Mom

Discover ways to give a mom a Mother’s Day to remember, with gift ideas that go above and beyond.

Batter up!

Get a behind the scenes look into the world of baseball at Sam Bat.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Find out where to appease your creative side on this Creative Cruiser road trip.

The Creative Cruiser

I’m a Creative Cruiser. I wander with a desire to feed my curiosity, to follow my passions, and to grow from my discoveries.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Hidden Gems

Seven charming museums in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Visit the Petawawa Heritage Village, where you can step back in time and explore the lives of those who wandered long ago.

Where Am I?

Discover a rich history and an even richer geology at the Beryl Pit in the Ottawa Valley.

Where Am I?

Discover breathtaking beauty blasted from the Earth at Marmora Mine in Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Discover the story of the earth at the Bonnechere Caves in Eganville, Ontario.

Locals Know Best: Art & Culture

Discover the best spots to learn about the vibrant culture and hidden gems in Ontario’s Highlands through the locals themselves.