Petawawa Travel Guide

Explore the natural beauty, local culture, and outdoor adventures of Petawawa, Ontario with our comprehensive travel guide. Find the best places to visit, stay, and eat, and learn about the must-try dishes and local customs.

Introduction to Petawawa

Petawawa is a small town located in the Ottawa Valley in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is known for its beautiful natural scenery, outdoor adventures, and rich local culture. The town’s name comes from a First Nations word meaning “where one hears noise like that of thunder”.

Petawawa is a popular destination for those looking for a quiet and peaceful getaway in the heart of nature. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the best places to visit, stay, and eat in Petawawa, as well as provide helpful tips for getting around and experiencing local culture.

List of Places to Visit in Petawawa

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence - This museum boasts an impressive collection of aircraft and artifacts from Canada’s military aviation history.
  2. Petawawa Heritage Village - A living history museum that offers a glimpse into the daily life and traditions of early settlers in the Ottawa Valley.
  3. Petawawa Research Forest - A research forest operated by the Canadian Forest Service that offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the local ecosystem.

Natural Attractions of Petawawa: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Algonquin Provincial Park - One of the most popular parks in Ontario, Algonquin offers visitors the opportunity to hike, fish, camp, and explore the beautiful wilderness of the Canadian Shield.
  2. Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park - A popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and hiking, with stunning views of the Ottawa River.
  3. Petawawa Point - A beautiful beach along the Ottawa River, popular for swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Petawawa

  1. Corridor Trail - A multi-use trail that spans 58 kilometers, connecting Petawawa to Pembroke. It is suitable for hiking, biking, and snowmobiling.
  2. Riverside Trail - A scenic trail that follows the Ottawa River, offering stunning views of the water and nearby wildlife.
  3. Centennial Lake Road Trail - A scenic trail through the forest, passing by several lakes and offering great opportunities for bird watching.

Best Things to Do in Petawawa: Activities and Tours

  1. Whitewater Rafting - Experience the thrill of navigating rapids on the Ottawa River, with several guided tours available.
  2. Fishing - Petawawa and the surrounding region offer some of the best fishing opportunities in Ontario, with a variety of species including trout, bass, and pike.
  3. ATV Tours - Explore the backcountry of the Ottawa Valley on an ATV tour, with several local operators offering guided tours.

Week-Long Itinerary for Petawawa

Day 1 - Explore the Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence and learn about Canada’s military aviation history. In the afternoon, visit the Petawawa Heritage Village and experience early settler life in the Ottawa Valley.

Day 2 - Spend the day hiking in Algonquin Provincial Park, with several trails ranging in difficulty and length.

Day 3 - Take a guided ATV tour through the forest to explore the backcountry of the Ottawa Valley.

Day 4 - Spend the morning fishing on one of the many lakes or rivers in the region. In the afternoon, take a whitewater rafting tour down the Ottawa River.

Day 5 - Visit Petawawa Point and Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park for a day of swimming, kayaking, and picnicking.

Day 6 - Take a scenic bike ride along the Riverside Trail, with stunning views of the Ottawa River.

Day 7 - Visit the Petawawa Research Forest and learn about the local ecosystem and forestry practices.

Food and Drink Scene of Petawawa

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Poutine - A classic Canadian dish made with french fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
  2. Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream - A beloved Ontario ice cream brand, with several flavors available at local shops.
  3. Beaver Tails - A fried dough pastry topped with cinnamon sugar, perfect for a sweet treat.

Local Beverages

  1. Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company - A local craft brewery offering a variety of beers, including seasonal and limited edition brews.
  2. Ottawa Valley Coffee - A local coffee roaster offering fair trade, organic coffee blends.

Where to Stay in Petawawa: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. Petawawa River Inn and Suites - A comfortable and affordable hotel located in the heart of Petawawa, with several amenities including a fitness center and on-site restaurant.
  2. The Balmoral Hotel - A historic hotel located in nearby Pembroke, offering traditional Canadian charm and modern amenities.
  3. Chippewa Park Campground - A popular camping spot located on the shores of the Ottawa River.

What to Buy in Petawawa: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Maple Syrup - A classic Canadian souvenir, with several local producers offering high quality maple syrup.
  2. First Nations Crafts - Petawawa is located near several First Nations reserves, with several local artists offering handcrafted jewelry and pottery.
  3. Local Beer and Wine - Bring home a bottle of local beer or wine, a great way to remember your trip to Petawawa.

Local Culture and Customs of Petawawa

Petawawa has a rich local culture, with several First Nations reserves located nearby. Visitors should respect the local customs and traditions, and take the time to learn about the history and culture of the region.

Best Time to Visit Petawawa

The best time to visit Petawawa is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and the natural scenery is at its most beautiful. Fall is also a great time to visit, with the changing colors of the leaves creating a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Petawawa


  • Take the time to learn about the local history and culture.
  • Respect the natural environment and wildlife.
  • Try the local cuisine and beverages.


  • Leave garbage or litter in the natural environment.
  • Ignore local customs and traditions.
  • Disrupt the local ecosystem or wildlife.

Safety and Health

Safety in Petawawa

Petawawa is a safe and peaceful town, with low rates of crime. Visitors should still take precautions to ensure their safety, such as locking their vehicles and securing their valuables.

Health in Petawawa

Petawawa has several medical clinics and pharmacies located nearby, as well as a hospital in nearby Pembroke. Visitors should ensure they have adequate medical insurance coverage before traveling.

Getting to Petawawa: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Petawawa

The closest airport to Petawawa is Ottawa International Airport, located approximately 150 kilometers away. There are several shuttle and taxi services available for transportation to Petawawa.

Bus Stations Near Petawawa

The closest bus station to Petawawa is located in Pembroke, approximately 15 kilometers away.

Other Options

Renting a car is a convenient and affordable option for getting to Petawawa, with several rental agencies located at Ottawa International Airport.

How to Get Around in Petawawa

A car is the most convenient way to get around Petawawa and the surrounding region. There are also several local taxi services available for transportation within the town.

Where to Go Next from Petawawa: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Ottawa - The capital city of Canada, located approximately 150 kilometers away and offering several cultural attractions and activities.
  2. Montreal - A vibrant and multicultural city located approximately 400 kilometers away, known for its food, art, and nightlife.
  3. Toronto - Canada’s largest city, located approximately 450 kilometers away, with several cultural attractions and outdoor activities.


Petawawa is a hidden gem in Ontario, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Ottawa Valley and the rich local culture of the region. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, local cuisine, or peaceful relaxation, Petawawa has something to offer everyone.