Ottawa to Calabogie

Calabogie lake is an increasingly popular destination for Ottawan’s in search of some Rest & Relaxation. There are also lots of Ottawa Valley historical sites to discover en route, and what better way to do so than by bike? Well exactly. Here’s the route I recommend.

I followed Richmond Road on the way out of town. It was an important stretch in the early development of Ottawa and its surrounding communities. It’s usually a very busy road, but not so bad early weekend mornings.

There are many heritage buildings along the way, such as the Aylen-Heney house at 150 Richmond Road, built in the 1830’s to house labourers of Peter Aylen, the leader of a rioutous gang of Irish immigrants called the Shiners.

Aylen House

The former Maplelawn Estate is located at 529 Richmond Road.


Here’s another one a bit further down from Maplelawn. I love the iron detailing on the top of the stone fence.

Great fence

This is The Olde Forge built in the early 1830’s where Richmond crosses Carling.

Olde Forge

This old house was built by William Bell in the 1820’s. Its location is in stark contrast to its immediate surroundings, where Richmond passes over the Queensway across from the Bayshore Shopping Centre.

Bell Family Homestead

I continued along Robertson Road to where the Trans Canada Trail crosses overhead on an old converted rail line. So, under the train bridge and up a short path to the right I went, and voila! – I was on the trail. Now train tracks like to go straight and stay flat as much as possible, and this line was no exception, all the way to Carleton Place.

The straight and narrow

There is lots to see along this easy going stretch including wetlands, farmland, housing developments, Stittsville, and this bunch of huge solar panel structures sitting in a farmers field.

Huge solar panels

My route through Carleton Place was a charming meander, making me want to return someday and discover it in more detail. For example, check out the fabulous cornice moulding on this sucker!

CORNICE moulding!

Then, poof!, the road became a winding gravel road which made me think of this song – just replace West Virginia with Calabogie and Shenandoah with Madawaska when you sing it out loud in the shower.

Country Road

I stopped and ate lunch by the dam in the tiny village of Clayton before continuing along Tatlock Road.

I’ll admit to being nervous as I approached Highway 511, mostly because it says Highway before the 511, but also because the shoulder on the side of this two lane road appeared very narrow or non-existant when I checked it out on Google Maps Street View. However riding along this stretch felt very safe. The road was in good shape and all the motorized vehicles gave me lots of room, including the huge pick-up trucks hauling big boats.

So I made it to Calabogie safe, sound, and happy. However I do need to invest in a good bike seat.

At the cottage I came across this great 1960’s tourist road map brochure. I love the graphics. Coincidently the route corresponds alot to this Bikely route I used to help me plan my route.

Author: ottawavelo


5 thoughts on “Ottawa to Calabogie”

  1. Brian, very impressive ride and as always, the photos and route descriptions are interesting to read. I am actually enjoying visiting your posts. Cheers, John

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