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Five reasons to visit Renfrew County this winter

It only takes a 20 minute drive from Kanata to start seeing Eastern Ontario through new eyes.

The lake near Jocko's Beach Resort in Renfrew County.
The lake near Jocko's Beach Resort in Renfrew County.

The Ottawa Valley is just far enough off the beaten path to offer those who wander its villages, recreational trails and restaurants the opportunity to create lasting memories.

Read the Renfrew County Winter Guide to learn more about the treasures that await visitors in 2017.

Here are some of the highlights:

Outdoor adventures

Ski or snowboard down the region’s highest vertical, carve through powder-filled glades or go tubing through picturesque woodlands at one of Renfrew County’s ski hills.

Looking for something completely different? With a “fat bike” – mountain bikes with super-large tires – you can now cycle the Ottawa Valley’s trails all winter long. 


Renfrew County’s craft breweries pay tribute to the region’s logging heritage and draw inspiration from the rapids of the Ottawa River with pints of pine-infused IPAs, English-style ales and a host of seasonal specials.

One-of-a-kind retail

Reconnect with your sense of curiosity and browse the county’s many independent retailers, each selling unique products and handicrafts that you can’t find anywhere else.

Take a look back in time

Watch an independent movie or Hollywood hit at one of Renfrew County’s historic film houses. Alternatively, learn more about the region’s past by visiting the Barry’s Bay Railway Station. Constructed to accommodate the region’s booming 19th century lumber industry, the first locomotive roared through in 1894. Today, the station operates as a cultural centre for the Township of Madawaska Valley and houses a visitor information centre, art gallery as well as artifacts and photos relating to the village’s railway history.

Winter serenity

Cross-country skiers come to Renfrew County to experience the sport the way it was meant to be: In silence, except for the sound of your skis gliding across the snow, and surrounded by mature trees.

The Ottawa Valley is home to dozens of cross-country ski trails, as well as volunteers who can help newcomers to the sport.

Ice fishing provides another unique way to embrace winter in the countryside. A day of solo ice fishing can bring peaceful solitude, while an afternoon inside a hut brings friends and families closer together.

Read the Renfrew County Winter Guide to learn more about exploring the path less travelled in the true Ottawa Valley.