The Ottawa Valley is noted for its scenic drives and one of the most scenic, most interesting drives is located here in Greater Madawaska.
Calabogie Road: Calabogie-Griffith-Dacre-Mount St Patrick.
This 140 km scenic drive is a lovely drive at any time of year but it is particularly beautiful in the Fall when the autumn colours are at their peak. The drive begins on Hwy. 17, mid-way between Arnprior and Renfrew, and follows Calabogie Rd. to Burnstown, Calabogie and on to Griffith, Dacre and Mount St. Patrick before returning to Calabogie and then back to Hwy 17. In addition to the natural beauty of the area, along the way you’ll find a number of points of interest worth a stop.
Beginning at Hwy. 17, Calabogie Rd. (#508) winds its way alongside the beautiful Madawaska River to Burnstown, a charming and picturesque hamlet dating back to the 1800’s well known for its art and artisans. Don’t miss the views from the Burnstown bridge high above the Madawaska River.
The drive from Burnstown to Calabogie is very pretty as it winds its way along the Madawaska River. Consider stopping at the Cherry Point picnic area 3 km north of Calabogie for outstanding views of the river. A.Y. Jackson, one of Canada’s famous Group of Seven, was known to have painted here.
As you pass through Calabogie and alongside Calabogie Lake a stop at Barnet Park to enjoy the panoramic lake views is worthwhile. Your drive then takes you past Calabogie Peaks Resort and into the rugged mountains and forest of the Calabogie wilderness.
9 km’s later Calabogie road ends and becomes Centennial Lake Road (#65). Just before that look for Hydro Dam Rd. An interesting side trip is the 6 km drive to the bridge over the Madawaska River at the base of the Mountain Chute Hydro Dam. Here you’ll find a lovely view of the Madawaska River with the 180ft. high, 1300 ft. wide hydro dam as a back drop. It’s a sobering thought knowing the Mountain Chute Dam standing high above you is holding back the 200 ft deep Black Donald Lake.
Returning to the main highway and continuing on Centennial Lake Rd (#65) you pass Black Donald Lake and Centennial Lake before once again coming alongside the Madawaska River. The highway winds through old forest and past rock cuts along the way. Centennial Lake Road ends at Matawatchan Rd. (# 71). Turn right and follow the river road 10 km to Griffith.
At Griffith turn right on Hwy 41 and drive 22 km North then stay right onto Hwy.132 to Dacre. At Dacre, turn right on Flat Rd. following it 8 km to its end at Kennelly Mountain Rd.
At this intersection you should consider a short side trip to the Holy Well. Turn left and take Mount St Patrick Rd. 2 km into Mount St. Patrick. Just beyond the church, on your left, take Holy Well Rd. to the Holy Well. The religious history of the Holy Well and its importance to the local area is documented in the small building surrounding the well and makes for a very interesting read.
Retracing your steps back to the Flat Rd. intersection, continue 1km on Kennelly Mountain Rd. to Ferguson Lake Rd. Follow Ferguson Lake Rd. 9 km ending at Calabogie Rd. Turn left and follow Calabogie Rd. back into Calabogie and on to Burnstown and your starting point at Hwy. 17.
Enjoy your outing!
Note: A shorter variation on this drive (total distance 85 km) can be had by using Kennelley Mountain Rd. as a connector between Calabogie Rd. and Mount St. Patrick. (Kennelly Mountain Rd. is a seasonal road, not maintained in winter, located approx. 20 km south/west of Calabogie off Calabogie Rd.)
|Calabogie & Area Map||5.88MB|
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