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Don't let the rain dampen your fun

By Pembroke Daily Observer

Rafting on the Grand River is just one of the possibilities of fun things to do this summer. POSTMEDIA

Rafting on the Grand River is just one of the possibilities of fun things to do this summer. POSTMEDIA

If you had to choose one word to describe this year’s summer, chances are you would choose the word “wet.”

A recent cartoon put it perfectly: “To think it only rained twice this summer! Once for 45 days and again for 35 days.” That sounds about right….

The summer to date has definitely been a soggy one. For many it has made it difficult to get excited about being outside and doing the things we normally associate with summer; hot lazy days on the beach, family camping trips or outdoor adventures followed by local brews and sizzling barbecues on the deck. Luckily, there is no need to lament the dog days of summer. Rain or not, there is never a shortage of activities for you to do in the Ottawa Valley.

It is always dry and a comfortable 10 degrees in the Bonnechere Caves. An Ottawa Valley institution, the Caves offers an incredible opportunity to wander paths underground and learn the stories of our earth from knowledgeable tour guides. Wear low heels; pack a picnic lunch, your camera, and your sense of adventure.

Looking for indoor adventure? Both Renfrew and Eganville have escape rooms that are fun for folks 12 years and up. Gather up a team and test your mettle as you use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

Renfrew County is home to over 20 museums, each with their own unique collection and programming. The Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River is celebrating 150 years of Canadian Clocks with a special tour. The Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village in Pembroke is currently hosting a remarkable exhibit on “The Life and Legacy of Sir Arthur Currie”. Whichever museum you decide to visit, be sure to ask for a copy of the 2017 Renfrew County Museums Network Passport. Visit three or more museums in the Ottawa Valley and receive an instant gift and a chance to win a grand prize.

For those who are not afraid of getting a little wet, whitewater rafting might be just the experience needed to make this summer one to remember. Rain or shine, the Valley’s whitewater rafting operators are taking adventurous souls out for an adrenaline filled day on the water. In their 42 years in business, Wilderness Tours has never once cancelled a trip because of the weather! Once out on the water, rafters are going to get wet anyway...what’s a little bit of rain when you’re bouncing over the mighty rapids of the Ottawa River? Embrace the wet and celebrate the river. After all, the Ottawa Valley is the Whitewater Capital of Canada!

Whitewater rafting down the Ottawa River is great fun for anyone 50lbs and up. For the smaller members of the family, Madawaska Kanu Centre’s family rafting trips down the Madawaska River are just the ticket. Suitable for those aged 2 years and older, these 2 hour trips are a great introduction to whitewater adventure.

If you are looking for other ideas or recommendations of things to do this summer, be sure to visit one of the 12 Visitor Information Centres (VICs) located throughout Renfrew County. VIC staff underwent a tourism focused customer service workshop and three-day familiarization tour prior to the summer tourism season. Hosted by the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA), and sponsored by Discount Car and Truck Rentals, the FAM Tour allowed VIC staff to experience firsthand a number of the region’s tourism offerings. Despite the rain, they participated in whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hiking the Eagle’s Nest Lookout in Calabogie, touring Elements Luxury Tented Camp and Nature Spa, SUPing at Petawawa Point, testing out the Construction Yard Bike Park in Petawawa, [un]successfully solving the riddles of Escaping Renfrew, checking out the blueberry bushes at Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch and learning all about the local food and forage programming behind Calabogie Peaks Resort’s new menu. It was an incredible three days and helped prepare the region’s tourism ambassadors for the summer tourism season.

So don’t let a little rain get you down this summer. The Ottawa Valley has tons of opportunities for you to experience indoors or outdoors, or even underground! After all, bad weather always looks much worse through a window.

The Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA) is the official destination marketing organization for the Upper Ottawa Valley and proudly represents more than 230 tourism businesses, comprised of attractions and events, accommodation, dining and retail establishments, rafting companies and outfitters, artists and galleries, as well as media and industry suppliers. The OVTA is proudly supported by the County of Renfrew, Renfrew County municipalities and the City of Pembroke.