This guide takes you through some of the best spots in the Ottawa Valley to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Starting in the Whitewater Region, you’ll make stops to embark on a rafting adventure down the Ottawa River, visit the unique Bonnechere Cave system in Eganville, experience ATVing through the Algonquin Trail System, hike through lush forest to spot local wildlife and spend time leisurely paddling through glassy Calabogie Lake.Whitewater Region
Approximately an 80-minute drive from Ottawa, you’ll hit the edge of the Whitewater Region in the Ottawa Valley. Stretching from the townships of Renfrew to Cobden, this area is home to the rushing rapids of the Ottawa River, giving it its name. If you’re in need of supplies for the trip, Renfrew is a great stop outside the bustle of the city of Ottawa where you can grab groceries, gas, and anything else you’ll be needing on your RV adventure.
After leaving Renfrew and driving further into the valley, you’ll arrive at the Whitewater Cottage & RV Resort, one of several beautiful locations for hooking up the RV for the night. This campground boasts an inviting lodge, on-site store, 30-amp hookups, laundry facilities, showers, washrooms, a beach, hiking trails, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. As you head towards the beach, you’ll notice Whitewater’s traditional Mongolian yurts, a unique feature of the property. The resort is also home to the riverside location for the Whitewater Brewing Co.; the Ottawa Valley’s own brewery. Be sure to stop in to get a meal and a taste of a local brew.
As the region includes several towns and campgrounds, there is no shortage of places to stop for an authentic Ottawa Valley experience. As you continue NorthWest along highway 417, you’ll see a structure that looks strikingly similar to Noah’s Ark on the outskirts of Cobden. This is the entrance to the famed Logos Land RV Resort and Waterpark.
Located along the shores of Astrolabe Lake, this resort includes features fit for the adventures RVers such as a ziplining, water slides, paddle boats, a water trampoline, hiking trails and a golf course. Whether you’re traveling with friends, a partner, or your family, Logos Land has activities for every age group. The RV sites in the resort include both 30 and 50 amp service and are easily accessible. There is a dump station on site, as well as both shower and bathroom facilities.
Wilderness Tours Rafting Resort
If you want to make your Whitewater Region visit one to remember, you’ll head out to the Wilderness Tours Rafting Resort for an authentic Ottawa River rapids experience. Tagged as the “Best Spot on the Ottawa River”, Wilderness Tours offers extensive experiences for every age and skill level. We spent a day-trip out the river Whitewater Rafting, and spent the day laughing and paddling through the rapids.
The section of river system occupied by Wilderness Tours offers a truly unique natural layout similar to that of a ski resort, where several different rapids split off into different raftable routes, offering varying levels of intensity before converging again at the Wilderness Tours Resort beach. This layout creates opportunities for adventurers of different age and comfort levels to experience authentic whitewater sports in weaker rapids or stronger ones. When you’re booking your adventure with Wilderness Tours, you have several options from whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking, lazy river tubing, canoeing, paddle boarding, fishing, mountain biking, and enjoying a day in the resort. Each experience is rated from “family intensity” to “high intensity”, so it’s easy to choose what’s right for you.
The whitewater experiences are offered as single or multi-day trips and since the resort is fully outfitted with full hookup RV sites and camping facilities, you’re free to choose your level of adventure. After your river experience, you’ll paddle back up to the beach where you get a great view of all of the facilities the resort has to offer. From sports and volleyball courts, bean bag toss, live music and a large cafeteria style eating area, Wilderness Tours has you covered as a one-stop destination.
After your action-packed adventures in the whitewater region, you’ll head into Eganville to slow down and relax a bit. Known as the Ordovician Fossil Capital of Canada, this township sits along the Bonnechere River and encourages a more relaxed and laid-back experience. Wander through the township to visit local shops and unique spots and stop at the Rio Tap & Grill for a meal on the outdoor patio with a scenic view of the river and the Eganville Centennial Park. For a truly unique experience, head out on a guided tour of the Bonnechere Caves, and hear the exciting story of Tom Woodward while taking in a geological gem. We spent a few hours on site wandering through the caves, learning about the history of the area and discovery of the caves, and taking in the riverside scenery. The caves are an experience worth stopping for.
There are several beautiful lake and riverside campsites to take advantage of in the area, such as Serenity Bay Resort, Lake Dore RV Resort, Cedar Beach Camping Resort, and the unique inclusive and spiritual Raven’s Knoll. When planning your trip, there is no shortage of options for places to spend the night.
After a laid-back day in Eganville, you’ll drive 35 minutes to reach Petawawa. This military town is home to the Garrison Petawawa army base, and sits right along the Ottawa River. Several local beaches offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, with options to affordable rent kayaks, canoes and paddle boards during the summer months.
For an adventure that takes you into the lush forests and showcases a side of the valley away from the river, you’ll head out onto the vast Algonquin Trail System to get into action ATVing. There are multiple rental shops around the valley. One we recommend is Pete’s Sales and Service in Pembroke, which is about a 10 minute drive from Petawawa. Urban Sport located in the town of Calabogie is another option if you want to tack this activity onto the next stop on the trip.
After a day spent ripping along the trails, you’ll head back towards the riverside to stay the night at the Black Bear Beach Campground. This campground sits along a sandy beach with a scenic peninsula jutting out into the Ottawa River. You’ll have lots of opportunities to play beach volleyball, rent kayaks and paddle boards, go for a swim, or relax on the sand. You might even spot a military training flight on a chinook helicopter overhead! The campground includes both serviced and unserviced sites at affordable rates, with washroom, laundry and shower facilities as well as dump station access right outside the campground.
For the final stop on the itinerary, you’ll drive back towards Ottawa and make your way to the small lakeside town of Calabogie. Here you’ll find several resorts and campgrounds all along the beautiful Calabogie lake, lined with lush greenery and filled with boats and swimmers. If you’re looking to head out on the water in a kayak or on a stand up paddle board, you can stop by the Mad River Paddle Co. sitting right alongside the lake. This cute teal building offers rentals for single or multi-day uses, with a water drop in right across the street into the lake. |
Once you’re in the water, you can paddle 30 minutes right up to the beach at the Calabogie Lakeside Camping and RV Resort, offering easy waterfront access to your RV hookup for the night. The resort includes a front office and store with snacks, propane and ice cream, as well as a washroom and shower building, and propane fill station. If you’re wanting to explore more of the local scenery, use your time here as an opportunity to go for a sunset paddle on the lake, hike the nearby Griffith Uplands or Manitou Mountain Trail, or head out fishing. When you wake up needing a fix for your morning coffee, the Oh-el–la Cafe is a bright and trendy cafe offering tasty options.