Eagle’s Nest has been on my local bucket list for years. I mean, just look at these views. Yes, my primary motivation for going was definitely the photo-opp on a rock jutting out over the edge of the cliff. My thinking is that whatever motivates you to get out and explore, you’re still out exploring!
It turns out, there was more to be impressed by than just the one lookout, too. My friends and I drove out to Calabogie for the hike and by mid-afternoon, it felt like we were in the middle of a wonderful vacation. It was a challenging hike, and well worth it. The most unexpected thing was how much we enjoyed the area and Calabogie lake after our hike.
Here’s my experience hiking to Eagle’s Nest Lookout!
Getting to Eagle’s Nest
Eagle’s Nest is located near Calabogie Peaks Resort. It’s a one hour drive from Ottawa, following the Trans-Canada Highway / ON 417 West. Driving is the best way to get there, as there are no buses or other transportation methods that reach the area. Go early, because the lookout gets crowded later in the day. We arrived at Calabogie Peaks Resort and started hiking around 8:30AM and arrived Eagle’s Nest Lookout not long before noon. It still wasn’t too busy but it was starting to fill up.
Hiking to Eagle’s Nest
We began our hike at Calabogie Peaks Resort, and followed the Skyline Trail to stop at a couple of other lookouts on the way. It’s best to pick up a map from the resorts front desk if you’re planning to hike. Calabogie is a ski resort in the winter, so there are tons of different trails winding across the mountain. This can definitely get disorienting, and without our map we probably wouldn’t have found our way to Eagle’s Nest. There are so many trails that there are at least 8 different ways to get there. My friends and I wanted to enjoy a day of hiking, but you don’t have to hike nearly as much as we did if you don’t want to.
There are a couple ways to access the lookout!
If you’re not an avid hiker and want to cut straight to the lookout, you can. Drive past Calabogie Peaks Resort along Highway 508 and watch for trail marking signs. There’s a trail entrance about 2km from the resort, and from there it’s a 20 minute hike to Eagle’s Nest lookout. This is the option that most people go for. That said, we really enjoyed our hike and it made arriving at the lookout that much more rewarding.
It took us a long time to get to Eagle’s Nest lookout and there were a lot of ups and downs (and bug bites) involved. We opted to walk along the highway back to the resort rather than follow the trails back.
Calabogie Peaks Resort is the perfect place to relax post-hike.
The resort has it’s own beach, and it was nearly empty. When we arrived back we went straight to the water to cool off and have some snacks. This is where the on-vacation feeling kicked in, because there’s nothing quite like taking off your hiking shoes and standing in a lake. Calabogie is essentially a ski resort area, thus the lack of other people. People visit in the summer for hiking, kayaking, and picnics. There are a few resorts surrounding the lake but there’s no shopping or other attractions. It’s packed in the winter for skiing, but in the summer it’s not a busy area.
Eagle’s Nest was everything I hoped it would be and more. I had no idea that I would enjoy the beach so much, or how many trails there were to choose from!
- Start your day early, particularly if it’s hot out. Leave Ottawa around 7AM if you plan on hiking. If you’re going straight to the lookout, I still recommend planning to get there by 11AM because it was starting to fill up around noon.
- The bugs are really intense on these hiking trails. Bring Deep Woods bug spray, and cover yourself with it. The bugs were biting through our clothes and hats along a few parts of the trail.
- Pick up a map from Calabogie Peaks Resort, you’re going to need it if you’re hiking.
- Water, snacks, more water, and more snacks. I love trail mix, Cliffs bars, and my stainless steel water bottle.
- Wear sunscreen and bring a hat! We were in direct sunlight for a while on our walk back along the highway.
- Have fun and take lots of pictures!