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Roots and Rivers
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Ottawa RiverMore than 8,000 years ago, paleo-Indian traders paddled the Ottawa River by canoe, part of the...
Bonnechere ValleyWhere else can you spelunk in underground caves, paddle the Bonnechere's gentle flatwater,...
Opeongo RoadAs sawmills and settlements opened up the interior of the Ottawa Valley in the 1850's, the...
Madawaska ValleyFamous Canadian Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson toured the Madawaska River, captivated by its...
Pontiac CountyFrom ancient pictographs on Oiseau Rock to the picturesque cottage ambience of Norway Bay, secrets...
The Mighty Madawaska

Famous Canadian Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson toured the Madawaska River, captivated by its varied moods and picturesque backwaters. Meanwhile, after the discovery of graphite, a village and mine called Black Donald thrived before being submerged. Whoever would have thought scuba divers and underwater photographers would be so enchanted by its mysterious streets and shafts? From such watery depths to the summit of Mount St. Patrick or the Calabogie Peaks, the Madawaska Valley’s ancient, rounded mountain ranges and sparkling river waterways invite your exploration. Hike it! Paddle it! Paint it! Whichever way you choose, you’ll be eager to return.

A capital city, 150 years late. Legend holds that Fitzroy Harbour's founder dreamed of making this sleepy village Canada's capital. Amalgamation made that dream -- myth or not -- come true; writes Kevin Ritchie of The Ottawa Citizen. In the 1800s, the founder, Charles Shirreff, lobbied the British Crown to fund a canal system connecting the Ottawa River to the Great Lakes through Georgian Bay. Magestic white pine can be found throughout this area, beside the Ottawa River.
 

Arnprior is many things, but what keeps visitors coming back year after year is its great location for four-season fun and relaxation. Located just next door to the new City of Ottawa and at the confluence of the Ottawa and Madawaska Rivers, this town is easy to get to - and even easier to enjoy! Come and experience our natural Beauty and famous Ottawa Valley Hospitality.

Welcome to the little town of White Lake, where the view of the lake is for everyone. Stop and enjoy café's fine dining, parks and tree-lined streets.

Heart of Burnstown Named in honour of Scotland's beloved poet Robert Burns, this historic logging village of Burnstown is just 20 minutes northwest of the new City of Ottawa. Located on the shores of the pristine Madawaska River, many of Burnstowns' buildings date back to the original settlement and are still in use today! Come visit the shops for unique, one of a kind finds. Truly an unforgettable shopping experience!

For a scenic view of the Madawaska Valley and Calabogie Lake, climb to the top of Dickson Mountain at Calabogie Peaks. To capture the glorious fall colours, take a chairlift ride up the mountain. You can find it all in Greater Madawska Township. 1200 square kilometres of sparkling waters and pristine forest, country charm with all the comforts of home. Easy access by Highways 417, 508, 511 or 41. Visit Calabogie where your options are unlimited. ATVing, antique hunting, biking, bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, diving, exploring, fishing, gallery visits, golf, hiking, hunting, kayaking, rafting, riding, RVing, sailing, skating, skiing, snowshoeing, spa pampering, studio tours, swimming, water skiing, gracious living and fine dining. The book " The Upper Ottawa Valley, a glimpse of history" by Clyde C. Kennedy (Published by Renfrew County Council in 1970) states on pg. 230 "Calabogie and Calabogie Lake may be derived from "calladh bogaidh", which is Gaelic for "marshy shore", but no place called Calabogie occurs in Ireland according to the best gazetteers.
 

Alexander Young Jackson (1882 – 1974)
 
Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson is one of Canada’s best known and loved artists.
 
During his long illustrious career he crisscrossed Canada numerous times, painting a new vision of our country. Many of his paintings are familiar, widely recognized iconic images contributing to a unique Canadian artistic identity.
 
A.Y. Jackson was born in Montreal. He studied art in France and moved to Toronto in 1913 where he lived in the Studio Building for almost forty years. There he became widely recognized as a leading and outspoken member of the famous Group of Seven. He travelled extensively, painting every corner of Canada from coast to coast to coast. His paintings are represented in galleries and private and corporate collections around the world.
 
In 1952, Jackson moved to Manotick, a small town just south of Ottawa. For the next 16 years he painted throughout the Ottawa Valley. During this latter part of his career, the wilderness and farming country of the Madawaska Hills in the Upper Ottawa Valley became a favourite painting country. Almost every spring and fall he embarked on sketching trips with his friends, Ottawa artists Maurice Haycock and Ralph W. Burton. Their repeated painting trips throughout the area attest to the unlimited artistic beauty to be found here.
 
Some fifty years later, two contemporary Lake Clear artists have traced Jackson’s travels using actual paintings, titles, notes and personal experience to locate the painting sites of some of his sketches. Kathy M. Haycock is the daughter of Maurice Haycock. John Almstedt painted with Ralph Burton in the 1970s.
 
The A.Y. Jackson Trail documents the travels and painting sites of this very famous Canadian artist in the 1950s and 1960s. It follows old Highway 17 west of Ottawa to Renfrew, then winds along back roads to Dacre, Calabogie, Eganville, Brudenell, Killaloe, Rockingham, Quadville, Barry’s Bay, Paugh Lake, Madawaska and Whitney to Algonquin Park.
 
While following the back roads along The A.Y. Jackson Trail, keep an eye out for the majestic scenery along the way between the sites that are marked on the map. Remember that Jackson looked at every lake, filed, farm, hill, forest edge, river and creek with an artist’s appreciation of the composition, colour, form and rhythm before him. He stopped and painted a great many sketches in the area, most are still waiting to be rediscovered.
 
Everyone who follows The A.Y. Jackson Trail will have a different unique and rich personal experience. Students, artists, residents and visitors alike may admire the landscape with a fresh perspective. Whether you engage in photography, painting, drawing or writing, you can immerse yourself in the muse that inspired A.Y. Jackson, his painting companions, and the artists who have followed.
 

1. Beaver House, Opeongo River.
Algonquin Park, 1967.

1. On the Opeongo Lake Road, Algonquin Park.
GPS: 453745 N x 782107 W

2. Country Road, Killaloe, 1961

2. On the Mountain View Road near Lisk Road
 near Old Killaloe
 
GPS: 453139 N x 772555 W

3. Lake Clear, 1961

3. Country Road 512 along Lake Clear, take Buelow Road to walking path along beach
 
GPS: 452741 N x 771258 W

4. Old House at Calabogie
(The McConnell House), 1959

4. On Highway 508 at Springtown

GPS: 452056 N x 763923 W

 
Jackson made a great artists contribution to the region. He recognized the incredible beauty in the Madawaska Hills and through his many paintings he brought it to the attention of the world. Now others can discover and appreciate the astonishing diversity and splendor of some actual painting sites and the surrounding landscape that so attracted him.
 
 
A.Y. Jackson Trail information prepared with the assistance of:
Ottawa Valley Tourist Association
Valley Arts Council
Ottawa River Institute
South of 60 Arts Centre
Township of Madawaska Valley
K M Haycock, T H Flegal
C and B Peltzer
P and I Cunningham
A.    Blake, J Almstedt
 
A.Y. Jackson paintings reproduced courtesy of the Estate of the late Dr. Namoni Jackson Groves. Photo credits: Kathy M. Haycock.