Category Archives: Experiencing the Valley

Seeing Is Believing: The 2015 Fall Colours

As a hiker, it’s been a source of great pride to see so many of you taking an interest in coming out here to Calabogie and walking the trails these past couple of weeks. Combined with the impressive crowds during our Thanksgiving weekend Fall Colours Chairlift Rides and the number of hiking maps downloaded from our website, people have taken advantage of the weather to witness nature in perhaps its finest display.

When I tell people I’m a hiker, the first reaction is that I must be a hardcore, stocked-to-the-gills-with-official-Nike-gear kind of hiker. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I hike in jeans, strap a water bottle to my hip, bring a few quick and easy items in a backpack (couple of granola bars, a change of shirt, a towel, and a cell phone in case of emergencies), grab my walking stick and I’m off. I like to clarify this because while you can be a dedicated, athletic hiker (or a cross country runner, as was the case in my youth), the beauty of this activity is that it’s the definition of casual. Which is exactly what we saw from tweets shared with us over the past couple of weekends.

Now with my three-month old son to enrich my life, I secure him across my chest and bring him along to experience the trails with me in the hope it will become a tradition as he slowly develops the ability to walk with me. Years ago, it was the solitude and time away from crowds, deadlines, even responsibilities. A hike was my time to myself with nothing but my thoughts and some squirrels to keep me company. Times have changed and as a dad I know understand it’s also about getting away from the distractions we take for granted: pulling the kids away from the TV and spending some quality time outside, sharing an hour with someone special for a little hand holding under the canopy, snapping some amazing panoramas with your grandparents… the possibilities are endless.

It’s also about the accomplishment when you reach the trail’s destination, be it the top of the mountain or the gorgeous vista of Eagle’s Nest. It’s quality time in a place no video game, painting, or poem can reproduce and it’s why you have to see it to believe it.

Thanks for stopping by this weekend and I look forward to see everyone back on the trails next Autumn… and on the slopes this Winter.

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Falling In Love With Autumn

As a growing hiking enthusiast, this may be the best time of year to charge up the camera batteries, strap on a backpack, and grab your walking stick for a journey into the woods. Not only because the cooler temperatures have basically eliminated the bugs (which were quite nasty this year, though the trails about The Peaks were actually quite hospitable to those of us who prefer not to become bug food), but to experience the fall colours firsthand.
It’s something we take for granted and not only because it signals the end of one season and the slow approach of another. It’s a natural event unique to our part of the world, a kind of gentle fireworks display marking the approach of something bigger to come. Timing is key to the perfect experience because this is not something spread out across many weeks and it all depends on weather conditions from weeks before. If it gets too cold too early, the leaves shift into duller colours and quickly fall before we can finish tying our shoes. Too warm and the leaves remain green until a sudden frost hits the air and we’re literally looking at half the time to absorb this occasion. Plus some areas change faster than others for no reason whatsoever. Mother Nature makes us work for it, that’s for sure, but when the time comes and you’re in the right place at the right time, it’s magical. I love it!

The beauty of sitting in the midst of the Ontario Highlands is the wide open expanses of fall colours spread across rolling hills. Take the view from Eagle’s Nest, for example, a local favourite. It’s an impressive view at any time of year, but it becomes a magnificent array of yellows, oranges, and browns as far as the eye can see. Only the view from a plane or the space station can beat it.

While I haven’t been able to get outside as often as I would have liked these past few months, the reason is also why I’m especially looking forward to getting onto trails like the Manitou Mountain Trail and Skywalk with my three-month old son. His vision is acute enough that he enjoys looking out the window when it’s all green trees and blue skies, so imagine what he’ll see with the perfect blend of Autumn. It’s a similar mindset fellow blogger, Michelle Kobzik, had last week when she took her five-month old to the top of Dickson Mountain.
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If hiking is not your thing or simply out of your realm of possibility, we can help with that. Our annual Fall Colours Chairlift Rides are taking place this Thanksgiving weekend between 11am and 4pm. Catch a ride to the top of the mountain for only $10 per person (or $30 for a group of four) and walk your way down along Ole K&P or stay a while at the Top Hut and relax before catching a ride back down. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention joining us for lunch or sticking around for a Thanksgiving dinner at our Canthooks restaurant. It’s a time to give thanks for friends and family; why not take time to appreciate the world around us too?

Experiencing the Valley (September 2015 Edition)

September means two things for families: back to school and county fairs. We’re not going to talk about the former because it’s more fun to talk about the latter, plus a few other great events and activities taking place in the Ottawa Valley this month. Today, we’re going to give you a preview for six must-see attractions just a hop, skip and a jump away from The Peaks.

2015 ICF Freestyle Canoe World Championships
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Where: Beachburg, ON (@ Wilderness Tours)
When: August 30 to September 5
Website: http://worldfreestylekayakchampionships.com/
For the third time in a row, Wilderness Tours in Beachburg hosts the ICF Freestyle Canoe World Championships with competitors from around the world pitting themselves against the Ottawa River and each other to prove who is the best with the paddles.

Expo Shawville Fair
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Where: Shawville, ON
When: September 3 to 7
Website: http://www.shawvillefair.ca/index.html
There’s only so much room to mention country fairs, but this one should definitely be on your radar because a headline performer is David Wilcox, a blues legend who played here at Calabogie at last year’s Blues & Ribfest. Add to that the demolition derby, a midway and petting zoo, this fair features all the classics.

Grand National Mud Drag Races
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Where: Beachburg, ON
When: September 5 & 6
Website: http://ranchlakepull.com/
If the demolition derby at the Shawville Fair peaked your interest, this should be a must-see on your September-to-do list. Including a snowmobile race, it’s a full weekend of flying mud and roaring engines. Bringing a change of shirt.

Renfrew Fair
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Where: Renfrew, ON
When: September 9 to 13
Website: http://www.renfrewfair.com/
Only 30 minutes away from Calabogie, the Renfrew Fair has been entertaining adults and kids since 1853 with no signs of slowing down. A true farming expo with livestock and agriculture displays and competitions, plus amusement park rides and races, this fair shows what it truly means to live the country life.

Taste of the Valley
Where: Renfrew, ON
When: September 19
Website: http://www.ottawavalley.travel/Events_and_Festivals/Farmers_Markets/Taste_of_the_Valley_-_Renfrew***7409.html
A massive sampling of everything Renfrew County has to offer, the Taste of the Valley also displays locally made products and crafts. Bring your appetite for good food and fine goods.

NEAT In The Woods
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Where: Burnstown, ON
When: September 25 to 27
Website: http://www.neatinthewoods.com/
Only a 20-minute drive away from The Peaks, this brand new music festival includes a full afternoon/evening of live music on Saturday and a collection of fun events the rest of the weekend, including a 300 piece game of musical chairs, a bike race, scavenger hunt, and sac race.

Extra-Curricular Fun @ Blues & Ribfest

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As I write this, we’re a little more than 48 hours away from the start of our 5th Annual Class Axe Guitars Calabogie Blues & Ribfest (phew, that’s a mouthful) and the whole resort is bustling like elves at Christmas. Do you have your tickets yet? Today, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the other activities taking place on site this weekend to keep you entertained between watching great performances and licking rib sauce off your fingers.

Periscope
If you haven’t heard about Periscope yet, it’s a free live video streaming app that’s taking the social media world by storm. And seeing as I’m the social media guy for Calabogie Peaks, it’s only fair that I play around with a new toy this weekend. We’ll be showcasing various live performances from some of our artists this weekend and you can sign up for Periscope or catch the updates direct from our Twitter feed.

Parasailing
Think you can watch the stage from high above Calabogie Lake? It’s a possibility with the return of Sky-Mazing Parasailing and they’re taking bookings for Blues & Ribfest weekend. Reserve your ride now at 705-457-8359, plus if you book your parasail ride by Thursday, August 13th, you’ll be entered for a draw to win your ride for free.
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Chair Lift Rides
Another great way to see the action from up high but without bringing your bathing suit, we’ll be running the chair lift again during Blues & Ribfest weekend from Noon to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Take in the sights as you rise to the top of Dickson Mountain, maybe even take in a hike to Eagle’s Nest and stretch those legs after dining on some ribs.

Ribber Voting

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This is the Blues & RIBFEST and that means a weekend of non-stop ribs, BBQ chicken, and more, but it’s also a contest between our three ribbers: Route 55, Horn Dawgs, and Gator BBQ. This year, you can vote for your favourite ribber by text message, so keep your eyes peeled for the signs on how you can vote for the ribber that filled your belly better than any other.

Rib Valet
Speaking of ribs, we introduced our rib valet service last year and it was a huge success. Now it’s back for another year. Pull on up to the front gate and put in your order to bring home fresh off the grill ribs from any of our three ribbers.

Fireworks!
Last, but not least, there’s the fireworks popping over the mountain. Next to Canada Day, you’ll never find a bigger fireworks display in Calabogie than you will on Saturday night after our headliner, Keb’ Mo’ wraps up on stage. Whether you’re on our VIP access only deck or kicking back at your camper, it’s a great way to enjoy another year at the Calabogie Blues & Ribfest.

Valentine’s Day

CalabogieAdventures_banner_v2Valentine’s Day is that one day of the year people either choose to love or hate. Considering it’s a day dedicated to love, I’d say we all try to love it, regardless if we are in a relationship or not.

For Couples:
Any guy can walk into a flower shop and order roses. Actually, they make it so easy now that you don’t even have to leave the couch to order those flowers for your loved one. Just a credit card and phone is all you need.
And ladies, gifts can be overrated. Unless your partner really had his heart set on a new watch, cologne or a fishing rod, he probably already has them. Save your money on the materialistic stuff and aim for something unique.
Instead, try planning a day that can create memories. Mike and I like to combine an outdoor activity with food. Because who doesn’t like fresh air and a warm meal? Some years it’s ice climbing and Chinese take-out, skating and beavertails, or skiing and steaks.
This year Valentine’s Day lands on a Saturday, which creates the perfect opportunity to take your loved one skiing at Calabogie Peaks followed by a delicious dinner at Canthooks Restaurant. You may pay a little more than you would for flowers but you can’t put a price tag on memories and love.

For Singles:
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about celebrating your love for “a partner,” it can be a day for celebrating your love for a friend. Find a good friend and take them out skiing. If you want to make the day really entertaining find a friend that has never skied before and offer to help teach them. Some of my best ski days have been spent on the bunny hill.
If you are single and looking, the ski hill has been known to bring people together. I have many friends who are in relationships thanks to Calabogie Peaks. Sometimes all it takes is perfect timing and a chair lift to bring two people together.
Regardless of your relationship status, Calabogie Peaks is a great place to spend Valentine’s day whether it’s with your partner, friend, or family. Valentine’s Day should be a celebration of love for everyone because we all deserve to have a valentine.
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Raised in the Ottawa Valley and a permanent resident of the Calabogie area,  Michelle Eady is passionate about the outdoors and the environment. She is an Early Childhood Educator for the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board and alsos enjoy writing and taking pictures so when you combine the two, you get her blog: www.mish1100.wordpress.com
Keep imagination alive and play outside!

Fall Into Ontario’s Highlands

own local adventurer, Michelle Eady (some of you may remember her as the author of our Calabogie Adventures series from last winter) is looking forward to exploring the Highlands and snapping some incredible pics of the most beautiful natural colours this planet has ever seen. Are we biased? Yes, with pride. Combine that with experiencing the view from up high on our ski chairlifts and you create a unique experience for the whole family, the eager explorer or the nature photographer of the house.
Follow the link to Michelle’s blog, Living on Life, to share in the anticipation. You can also go to our official website for dates and prices on this year’s Fall Colours Chairlift Rides.

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Fall In Love With the Peaks This Autumn

As you read this post, summer is coming to a close. The calendar may say otherwise but we all know once it hits Labour Day and the kids go back to school (sorry, kids), the summer season goes out with a bang. Cue one of the most beautiful seasons of them all: Autumn.

Whether it’s a motorcycle ride through the Ontario Highlands or an escape from the city during one of the quieter weeks of the year, there’s still plenty of reasons to check out Calabogie Peaks and squeeze in another escape, retreat, vacation or try us out during your next business trip. For your convenience, have a read through these two blog posts made over the past weekend about this very subject.

Wheels.ca (an online supplement for the Toronto Star) took the Highlands challenge and made a stop at our Canthooks Restaurant for a bit along the way. You can read it here.

The boys at Real Man Travels took to the road and stayed the night with us during our recent Class Axe Guitars Calabogie Blues & Ribfest 2014 festival and we’re pleased to announce none of them passed out from over-ribbing. You can read their post here.
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Fall Colour Scenic Chairlift Rides
If enjoying the magnificence of the Autumn countryside is on your must-do list, we’re please to announce the return of our annual Fall Colours Scenic Chairlift Rides. Running weekends from September 27th to October 13th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, experience the beauty of nature from a bird’s eye view. Only $10 per person or $30 for the family (maximum of 5, but only another $5 per extra person).

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Tips & Tricks To Survive The Calabogie Blues & Ribfest Weekend

BluesRibfest2014_guitarlogo-341x1024Music festivals have become a staple of summer must-see events and our 4th Annual Class Axe Guitars Calabogie Blues & Ribfest is no exception. Hours of live music, smokin’ hot food, chilled beverages, sunshine and good times all make for a jam-packed weekend of fun and excitement but there are some tips to help you enjoy the fun all through the weekend. Whether you’re camping on site with us from Friday to Sunday or simply spending a day enjoying the show, here’s some suggestions to make sure the fun isn’t interrupted.

The Bare Essentials

Regardless of how long you’ll be on site, it’s always handy to pack a few fundamentals to deal with the environment.

  • Sunscreen and a hat – Sitting outside in the sun all day is just asking for trouble, so that’s why these two items are listed first on the list (especially if you’re bringing the kids with you).
  • Rain gear – Sure, we’d love to have nothing but sun all weekend long, but that’s not our call. Should the rain start to fall, you’ll be glad you came prepared.
  • Bug spray – As much as we might not like it, the bugs lived here first and the tantalizing aroma of BBQ ribs is sure to attract them from across the valley.
  • Blankets or small camping chairs – Why not make yourself as comfortable as possible? Many camping chairs come with cup holders and pouches to keep all your extra goodies handy at all times.
  • Refillable plastic containers – As an outdoor festival, there are no glass containers allowed. If you’re planning on keeping bottles of water handy at all times, go plastic and reuse as often as possible.
  • If you’re camping, you’ll want to haul a little more than that but the benefit is that you’ll automatically have more room to bring more gear.
  • Tent and tarp – Listed first for all the right reasons and the tarp comes in handy should rain fall overnight.
  • Toiletries – Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and anything else you’ll need to stay fresh and clean throughout the weekend. They’re not just for single people, you know.
  • Coolers – As outside food and beverages are not allowed within the concert area, you’ll want to keep your own handy while gathered around your campsite mingling with friends both old and new. No one wants to drink a warm beer while grooving to the blues!
  • Small propane cooking stove – As open flames are not permitted, should you want to cook up some of your own grub at your campsite, this is the way to go.
  • A flag/ribbon to mark your site – Have a little fun with this one and put up something with your family crest, a pirate flag or a funky design of your own creation.

What NOT To Bring

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Every list of what to bring must be balanced with another list of things not permitted on the grounds. To ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy the festival and avoid unwanted incidents, please comply with the following conditions.

  • No pets allowed – While they’re great companions, they’re not for everyone.
  • Balloons
  • Generators – If you’re bringing your RV, there are electrical hook-ups available (spaces limited).
  • Glass bottles – As mentioned before, no glass containers are permitted on the property.
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Bicycles, scooters, ATVs, etc – All vehicles are to be keep off the grounds at all times (barring RVs, of course) for safety and maintenance of the grounds.
  • Any weapons, illegal substances and fireworks – We have a zero tolerance policy. If you bring any of these onto the grounds, you will be removed by security.

For more details on these and other aspects of the festival, check out www.calabogieblues.com. We’ll see you this weekend!

Experiencing the Valley (July 13th to 27th)

One of the beautiful things about the Peaks is how close we are to so many festivals, activities, and events taking place across the Ottawa Valley. If you’re going to be staying with us over the next couple of weeks, here are a few places you may want to check out.

The LogJam Country Music Festival
Where: Wilderness Tours
When: July 18-19
Website: http://www.logjamfest.com/
Music festivals have become a staple for many people the world over and they’re not always reserved for cities. Just like our own Calabogie Country Music Festival, the adventurous people at Wilderness Tours have put together their own gathering of country musicians in an outdoor setting that compliments both the music and the crowd. Located just off Highway 17 along the watery border of the Ontario/Quebec border, the LogJam Country Music Festival brings together performers such as Jason Blaine, Jordan McIntosh, Ambush, Blackwell and more.

The Festival of Family
Where: Downtown Renfrew
When: July 19
Only a 30-minute drive away from the Peaks’ front door, this one-day festival is a family-friendly gathering of amazing talent, street dancing, garage and bake sales. Plus there’s guided tours in the newly-opened Renfrew NHL Museum and street hockey action with special guests scheduled to attend.

G’Day, We’re From the Valley, Eh!
Where: The Stone Fence Theatre, Eganville
When: July 15, 17, 22, 24, 30, 31; August 6, 7, 13, 14
Website: http://www.stonefence.ca/
What if someone from the Valley put together a show that was one part Corner Gas and one part musical? You’d get the Stone Fence Theatre’s original production of “G’Day, We’re From the Valley, Eh!” Whether you’re from the area and can laugh from your own first-hand experiences or want to learn about what life’s like in the Valley with amusing songs and hilarious performances, this may be the perfect fit for a night out enjoying local theatre.
 
 HR_CalabogieWakeSurf_3884-ZF-9563-42640-1-062-200x300Canadian Wake Surf Nationals
Where: Right here at Calabogie Peaks
When: July 25-27
Website: http://canadianwakesurfnationals.com/
If music festivals, theatre and buskers aren’t your thing, maybe witnessing some of the country’s best wake surfers ripping and flipping across Calabogie Lake is your style. The best part of this event is that it takes place on our own beach, no more than a 5-minute walk away. Along with a beer tent, BBQ and plenty of room to watch from land or on your own boat, it’s completely free for spectators.
To learn more about these and other events going on in the Ottawa Valley, check out http://www.ottawavalley.travel/Events_and_Festivals.html

Lighting the Pilot For Students

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Calabogie Peaks Resort offered a new educational program for high school students. The Hospitality & Tourism class at Fellowes High School participated in a pilot project in conjunction with Specialized High Skills Major being offered around the province.
One might ask what is Specialized High Skills Major? Specialist High Skills Majors let students focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. This is achieved through; industry specific courses, certifications, career exploration and reach ahead activities.

With Calabogie Peaks being the top tourist destination in the Ottawa Valley, we felt it a natural fit to create this partnership by offering students an insight into the industry. Fellowes students participated in a morning full of workshops followed by a relaxing afternoon of exploring what our resort has to offer.
This is an expansion off of our current school programs. We offer an outdoor education program where students can partake in skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. This allows students to be physically active in an outdoor environment, specifically in the winter months where people are generally less active.

The new program not only will get these students physically active but it will also be academically stimulating. Through a series of mini sessions, students are able to interact with professionals, while getting a first hand glimpse of what a career in their industry would be like. It is what is referred to as a Reach Ahead Experience.
Sessions included:

  • an insider tour of the resort
  • the business side of social media
  • customer service
  • food & beverage hands on experience

The new school program will be offered throughout the fall, winter and spring for the 2014/15 school year. This will allow students to see the differences and transitions between the various seasons.

Contact us at or Call 800 669 4861 x 1705 to speak with a school sales representative directly or email schools@calabogie.com.