From the pristine wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park to the roaring whitewater of the Ottawa River, the Ottawa Valley is made for day trips, outdoor adventures and endless wandering. Only a short drive from Ottawa, the region is a four-season destination that boasts a pretty spectacular collection of winter experiences. 

Crank up the heat and tunes, and put those winter tires to work as you cruise from Renfrew to Petawawa to Pembroke. Get ready to take the Ottawa Valley by storm, whether that means snowmobiling through the glistening snow, gliding across the trails with a pair of snowshoes or ice fishing on the lake for some fresh pike. 

Things to do in the Ottawa Valley: Hit the snowmobile trails

With over 2,550 kilometres of groomed Trans Ontario Provincial (TOP) trails and local routes, there’s no shortage of snowmobile trails in the Ottawa Valley, making it the perfect destination for a snowmobiling adventure in the depths of winter. Explore the back country as you wind through snow-covered forests, picturesque towns, along abandoned logging roads and past old mine sites. 

If you’re a true snowmobile enthusiast (or you merely prefer having both feet on the ground), head to the town of Eganville and watch snowmobiles drift across the ice oval track during the Bonnechere Cup. Held each February, this year’s edition of the Bonnechere Cup will be held February 14 – 162020.

Things to do in the Ottawa Valley: Ski and snowboard the slopes

From tree-lined slopes, challenging vertical drops and gentle, family-friendly runs, the Ottawa Valley is surrounded by snow-covered hills that’ll satisfy any skier or snowboarders’ urge to hit the slopes. Situated at the base of Dickson Mountain on the shores of Calabogie Lake, Calabogie Peaks boasts some of the best-groomed slopes for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts of all levels. Mount Pakenham, on the other hand, has the perfect terrain for new downhill enthusiasts and families with young children. No matter which of these ski hills near Ottawa you opt for, you won’t have to drive very far to access great runs.

Things to do in the Ottawa Valley: Go ice fishing on the Ottawa River

Add ice fishing to your list of outdoor winter adventures in the Ottawa Valley. With more than 900 lakes and four world-class river systems, the region is packed with opportunities to get out on the frozen water and await a nibble on your line, only a short drive from Ottawa. There are many species of fish actively swimming under the ice on the Ottawa River, but the most common you’ll find include crappie, pike, walleye and sauger. And you don’t need to be an expert to partake in the fun – Irish Creek Outfitters offers daily gear and ice hut rentals, so you can spend the day catching that perfect fish.

In need of a satisfying meal after that outdoor winter adventure? Opt for one of these restaurants in the Ottawa Valley when hunger comes calling.

Special thanks to the staff at the Quality Inn & Suites in Petawawa, ON for their suggestions.

Choice Hotels in Ottawa Valley