Many of the good rides around Ottawa start from Calabogie. You can get there quickly by taking Highway 17 West to regional road 508. However, that involves spending 30-40 minutes on Highway 17, which is not very interesting riding. Here is a route that takes longer but is more enjoyable:
First, you need to go to Almonte (officially “Mississippi Mills” since the amalgamation of various municipalities in Ontario), entering town on the main road (formerly called “regional road 49”; not sure if that’s still its number, but it’s the road that is the Almonte exit from 417). To get there, either:
- Take Highway 17 West out of Ottawa, and watch for the Almonte turn off, then exit and head South; or
- Take Highway 17 West to Kanata, and exit on the Eagleson Road / March Road exit. Take March Road North. Stay on this road forever. It curves around toward the west, then toward the south, and eventually becomes the road into Almonte. This variation is marked in Orange highlighter on the above map.
Now that you’re entering Almonte on the main road, stay on this road right through town. (Unless you want to pause at the beautiful falls in town.) In town, the road you are on starts out called “Ottawa Road” and then changes its name to “Almonte Road”. There is a convenient gas station on your right just as you leave town.
- Keep going straight. You will eventually pass through a little village called “Middleville”.
- Keep going straight. You will come to a T-intersection, at Hopetown, with Highway 511. You are about 25 Km from Almonte. Turn right, North, onto 511, and follow it 36 Km into Calabogie. Stay on 511 as it curls through town, and you will end up at a T-intersection with Highway 508, and a gas station & convenience store that is the start for many great rides.
This store used to be called Munfords and included a nice little restaurant, where many riders would have breakfast before their ride. The new store is a convenience store only, and no longer includes a restaurant. There are several other restaurants in town – I’ve found The Redneck Bistro to be good. It’s on 511, in town before the T-intersection, on the left if coming from Almonte.
If you’re looking for the race track — Calabogie Motorsports Park — it’s off 511 before you get into the town of Calabogie. Heading North on 511, you turn right onto Wilson Farm Road. On the above map, the race track is marked with a red circle, just below the name “Calabogie”, and Wilson Farm Road is the extension, on the other side of 511, of the marked road to Barryvale.
As an alternative to #4 above:
- Instead of going all the way to the end of Almonte Rd (the T-Intersection at Hopetown), turn off at Regional Road 9, the marked road to Clayton and Tatlock. That’s marked in green on the above map. This is a less-traveled and twistier road than the part of 511 that you’ll miss — the trip will take a few minutes longer but is a more enjoyable ride. Here is the ride from Almonte to Calabogie, via Clayton-Tatlock:
From my place in Kanata, it’s 99.8 Km to the formerly-Munford’s convenience store by this route.
Gas up, then head for Centennial Lake Road for the best ride in the region.