Ottawa

Old May 31st, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Ottawa

Hi, I will be in Ottawa this July for a week (convention). We will have free time, including a day or more completely free. I've read the threads on what to see and do in the city and I'm pretty straight on that, but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a few "day trips" to some sights within a few hours' drive.

Also, we have a week or so to spend in that area afterwards, and I was wondeing if anyone had any suggestions where we might head to after we leave Ottawa.

We'e not interested in big cities as we've been to Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, etc. I guess what we are looking for is great scenery and some interesting small towns. Anywhere on the water is always good. We've seen a lot of the sights along the St. Lawrence River, so I was thinking about heading north from Ottawa.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!


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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:46 PM
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If you want some nature, try Gatineau Park right across the river from Ottawa. It's big and has lots to see and do.

For a small town, about an hour west (southwest) along Hwy 7 of Ottawa is Perth. It's a quaint little town with a nice historic downtown area filled with lots of shops.

You can take the steam train from Hull (across the river from Ottawa) to Wakefield and spend a few hours there - it's another "quaint little town".

You can head out to Eganville to see the Bonnechere Cave. It's not a really big cave, but it's a nice drive through several little towns catering to the weekend tourists.

For places to stay afterwards, how about Algonquin Park? Or along Lake Superior?
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Old May 31st, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Thanks, toestoed. Your suggestions sound great and I will look into them.

Any other suggestions appreciated.
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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 03:59 AM
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I've been looking at the map of Ontario and was wondering about the North Bay area.

I was thinking of going there then continuing on through Sudbury and then making our way to South Baymouth and ferrying over to Tobermory, continuing through Toronto and home to Pittsburgh.

How's the scenery? Any suggestions/recommendations? Crazy??

Thank you.

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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Wakefield and Perth are good suggestions for day-trips outside Ottawa. To these I would add Merrickville, an historic town on the Rideau, which can be easily combined with a trip to Perth. Almonte, Packenham and Arnprior, up the Ottawa Valley are also worth visiting.

As to your thoughts of heading through North Bay and Sudbury to Manitoulin Island, it's a lot of driving and much of the route is not terribly scenic. I can't say that any of the towns along the way (until you reach Tobermory) are particularly attractive either.

Unless you've already done it, my suggestion for returning home would be to head to Kingston along Hwy 15 stopping at places such as Westport, Newboro and Jones Falls. From Kingston take Mwy 33 to Picton amd spend some time exploring Prince Edward County. Then continue along the shore of Lake Ontario on Hwy 2. There are many quite attractive towns all the way to Port Hope. You then have to take Hwy 401 or 407 (toll) to get through Toronto.

If you want (relative) wilderness, take Hwy 60 from Renfrew through Algonquin Park, and then make your way south from Huntsville.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 09:04 AM
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I've done the Hwy 2 drive from Toronto to Kingston and it was very scenic. Lots of farmhouses and small towns.
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Old Jun 1st, 2007, 12:04 PM
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My husband and I travel in Ontario at least 2 or 3 times per year, enjoy scenery and small towns also, so I can share what we like.

For scenery/light outdoor adventure/nature - I would suggest Algonquin Park after leaving Ottawa. It is one of the premier spots in Ontario for people with those interests. Huge wilderness area, traversed by a good highway. Very scenic - forest covered hills, granite outcroppings, many small to medium lakes. Lots of very good nature walks and wildlife viewing opportunities. Excellent visitors centre. A few rustic resorts inside the park, many accommodations outside the park (some in or near Whitney, but more to the west - Oxtongue Lake, Dwight and Huntsville).

North Bay I've only done as a lunch stop - Lake Nipissing is popular with fisher-people, but the "Chief Commanda" offers various cruises, some to quite remote sections of the lake which would be quite scenic.

I wouldn't go out of my way to visit Sudbury, although there is some nice scenery outside of town. For instance Killarney Provincial Park (but somewhat out of the way).

Most of the above areas are located within a geological formation called the Pre-Cambrian Shield (or Canadian Shield). Some sections are hilly (old eroded mountains), other sections feature lots of granite outcroppings and rugged "northern" scenery.

Tobermory is a tourist-oriented and scenic little town and nearby Bruce National Park has spectacular hiking along the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Georgian Bay.

The Muskoka Lakes (you'll see several big lakes on the map, one called Lake Muskoka) are very popular "cottage-country" destinations and there are a number of waterfront resorts spread around them. Check out http://www.resortsofontario.com/home.php

Agree that Gatineau Park & Wakefield make a nice day-trip out of Ottawa. Merrickville to the southwest is also popular.

There are lots more possibilities, too many to list. Note that the best accommodations, especially waterfront in popular areas, tend to book up well in advance for July, especially weekends.
 
Old Jun 1st, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Great information! Thank you laverendrye, toedtoes and mtjt for taking the time respond.

Back to the map with some new perspectives.

Laverendrye, if I recall correctly, you gave me some very good information for my trip to Eastern Quebec last year. I just loved the Gaspe Peninsula.

Sheila
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