Eagles Nest is a fan favourite with its impressive rocky cliffs overlooking the Ottawa Valley.
“This was the best hike yet. When I’m an Aunt I’m going to do the same things, lots of adventures.” ~ my 8 year old niece.
Ugh. I just beamed! To share that love and respect for the outdoors with my niece and nephew warms the heart to no end. We went over cliff safety, trail smarts, identified plants, and local indigenous history. Another perk? Picnic style brunch on the cliffs while watching eagles soar below and nearby yoga class.
The Low Down
- Distance from Ottawa: 109 kms (roughly 1hr ) west of Ottawa.
- Address: Enter Calabogie Ski Resort into google maps and follow directions below.
- Coordinates: N 45 ° 16.231 W 076° 48.673 UTM 18T E 357921 N 5014597
- Best route: From Ottawa take hwy 417 west, following hwy 17 west at the split going towards Arnprior. Once past Arnprior, keep an eye out for Calabogie Rd (Route 508) on left. Continue on Route 508 past Burnstown towards Calabogie Ski Hill. The trail head is 2.2kms past the Calabogie Ski Resort on the left (parking on the right)
- Pro Tip: Bring a picnic style brunch to enjoy at the cliffs. In order to avoid crowds, aim to start hiking prior to 9am, although the trails are never really too busy.
- Suggested stops: Post hike, try Neat Coffee in Burnstown to fuel up and then enjoy the beach at Burnstown Beach. If you’re ridiculously hungry, stop at the Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior on the way home for a hearty meal and quick/friendly service. Oh and ummm…the bakery there is i n c r e d i b l e.
- More information: Visit the Calabogie Peaks Resort website and check out the printable trail maps.
Eagles Nest is a crowd pleasure for obvious reasons. #thatviewthough Soooo, no surprise that I go there often no matter the season. Sometimes it’s to share the great outdoors with my nursing school friends, or the few that I can convince to wake up at 3am for a sunrise hike. This last time though it was with my 8 year niece and it was her favourite hike to date.
Calabogie Peaks Resort and Manitou Mountain
The Eagles Nest trail is an easy and enjoyable 1.5km hike. You end up following the log road until you pass a pond on the left, afterwards watch for signage and a trail leading up to Eagles Nest on the right.
The Manitou Mountain trail is a moderate 9km hike with two lookouts over the Ottawa valley besides Eagles Nest itself. The mountain is a great spot of hill training, no matter the season! I may or may not have slid down it in the winter months as well. 😉
The trails are fairly easy ranging from fields to forest and was well marked with interpretive signs along the way.
- Highlights: Lookouts, rock cliffs, eagles soaring below, pond life, easy trails. Cell reception throughout the trail.
- Entrance fee: Free.
- Dogs: Dogs permitted.
- Washrooms: Follow back country rules and etiquette.
- Season: Open year round.
The trails get busy with families, tourists, and people training after 9am on the weekends. Another reason why I try to hit the trails around 7am most times. By busy I mean that you saw people, but the reality is that we had the lookout to ourselves for an hour.
We even managed to run into a yoga class, which I though was a great idea. Imagine yoga to those views?
Eagles Nest Lookout
There are a few lookouts on the Manitou Mountain trail but if you’re looking for a dramatic backdrop – Eagles Nest is the clear winner. Each lookout has it’s own unique perspective on the valley.
It’s also one of the most Instagram worthy spots around Ottawa, so if you want great Insta or some place for a mini photo shoot…this is the hike for you.
Watching the eagles soar below while resting on the cliff overlooking the valley is bliss. So incredibly soothing and peaceful. No wonder there was a yoga class going on, it’s the perfect spot to ground yourself and soak in everything nature has to offer.
Another fun perk was the pond along the log road. There were plenty of frogs in the pond as my niece can attest to! We spent almost as much time there as we did on the cliffs.
If you take the longer trails chances are you’ll run into a few different birds (like wild turkeys) and deer in the fall/winter months.
We All Scream For Ice Cream
Before heading home we made a quick stop in Ottawa. The Merry Dairy. I blame my air plant queen friend Terra Velta for this one, we went the day before and had butter tart ice cream that blew. my. mind. So I decided to stop again, this time enjoying the super strong cinnamon ice cream while my niece enjoyed a kids cone with all-of-the-sprinkles-please.
Wrapping it up
Usually I like heading to this area in the winter for a hike up the mountain to catch the sun rise. It’s a great way to get a workout and meditation in before starting your workday. Yes, that means waking at 3 or 4am and driving over an hour, to hike for 40mins, just to watch the sun rise. A little crazy? Nah, it’s the sanest thing in the life – to ground yourself in nature.