With flat landings, good rock and a peaceful setting, Calabogie is a small, but quality bouldering area. There are over 200 established problems, mostly in the easy to moderate range, and a handful of projects.
Otter Pond Boulders
This is the most popular and ‘main’ area at Calabogie, having the largest concentration of boulders and the most quality problems. The boulders mostly sit on a relatively flat strip of land between the main cliff and Otter Pond.
These boulders are spread throughout Calabogie, beneath the three major cliffs of the area. Most of these problems have seen little traffic, so expect more of an adventure.
These boulders are on the ‘other side’ of Calabogie, on the south side of Dillons Mountain. They have a pretty significant approach (45 minutes, mostly uphill), and it is highly recommended to use the GPS coordinates in the guide to find them.
This pdf file has been designed to be viewed on a smart phone, rather than being printed.
The boulders are located on crown land, and there are no known access issues. Please respect the area and other people you encounter to ensure this remains the case. Leave no trace!
You can expect a lot of bugs in late spring and summer. Like, a lot. The best conditions can be had in early spring and fall.
The boulders are located just outside of the small town of Calabogie, an hour west of Ottawa. From Ottawa, take the 417/17 west through Arnprior. Take the well marked left turn onto County Road 508 (Calabogie Road) and drive through the town of Calabogie. The main parking pullout is located at the bottom of a hill on the right, just across from the well signed Manitou Mountain Trail, 2.5 km (1.6 mi) past Barrett Chute Rd (the turn off for the ski hill).
Do NOT take either of the signed trails! The Eagles Nest Lookout trail at the top of the hill will take you to, you guessed it, the Eagles Nest lookout. The Manitou Mountain Trail at the bottom of the hill will take you to the route climbing and the upper boulders (Cliffline and New Squamish). The easiest way to the main boulders is to walk another 100m down the road from the lower parking pullout to an unsigned, but well worn, trail that starts at a small bridge that spans the ditch. This trail will take you to the Gateway boulder in about 15 minutes.
The rock is good quality granite. The boulders are talus from the Cliff above. Many have thankfully fallen far enough to the escape the main talus field, and have come to rest on the relatively flat ground beside the pond.
The cliff above the boulders host a number of sport and trad climbs. The Eagles Nest lookout is a popular hiking destination and Calabogie Lake offers swimming, fishing, and picnic tables for your post-climbing cookout.