Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing meet quaint villages and historic sites in Ottawa’s Rideau Goulbourn ward.
Head south to the Village of Manotick. Founded in 1859, the village takes its name from the Ojibway word for ‘island in the river’–an apt description because much of Manotick is in fact an island in the Rideau River. Manotick is widely known for its historic Watsons Mill, a fully operational 1860s water powered grist and flour mill built by the founders of the village. Today the Mill continues to grind flower while helping visitors journey through years past. A popular spot for photography, capture the beautiful mill on camera or simply take in the wonderful view of this heritage building during your visit!
Of course, Manotick’s Main Street is anything but run-of-the-mill, with 125 shops, restaurants, cafés and services. Hungry? Khao Yum serves delicious Thai menu, Babbos is the local go-to for Italian, Pearl House serves Chinese, and for yummy donuts, head to Mimi’s Donuts & Dairy Barn. Stop into the popular Gingerbread Man store and pick up some of their scrumptious cookies and famous butter tarts.
Head west from Manotick to the Village of Richmond, first settled by the British Army in 1818. Many of the early homes in Richmond are built of local stone. When you’re hungry, head to Danbys Roadhouse, one of their daily house made specials is sure to satisfy. Wine lovers will want to order ahead and pick up at Jabulani Vineyard and Winery, which offers diverse vintages from its cold climate vines.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, hit the trails in Marlborough Forest on skis, snowshoes or snowmobile. Or head to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s Baxter Conservation Area in Kars for winter hiking and snowshoeing. Speaking of snowmobiles, Ottawa’s rural southwest includes a vast network of trails managed by Beautiful Eastern Association of Snowmobile Trails.