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A charming city with a small-town vibe located less than two hours from Ottawa, Pembroke is nestled on the Ottawa River, which divides Ontario and Quebec. Pembroke was established in the mid-19th century as a logging town, and the industry is still thriving today. Pembroke's proximity to other quaint Canadian towns makes it an ideal place to kickstart a road trip through the Great White North. Petawawa, another picturesque town in Ontario, is about 20 minutes from Pembroke. The city of Renfrew is a 45-minute drive from Pembroke.
Rent an RV in Pembroke and spend a few days or weeks exploring the area. This vibrant city has been dubbed the Heart of the Ottawa Valley and is a great place to unplug from life for a little relaxation. Pembroke is also a hot-spot for hockey fans. Whether you're visiting to cheer on the Lumber Kings or soak up a little history, Pembroke has you covered with a range of activities. Keep reading to discover how to make the most of your adventures in the Heart of the Ottawa Valley.
Pembroke and the area surrounding the city have plenty of green spaces for people to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air of the Ottawa Valley. Stop in to see Pembroke Waterfront Park. The park's small waterfall is the perfect backdrop for photos. The boardwalk extends out over 300 feet and connects to the Living Legacy Landmark kiosk, which provides historical information about the river's influence on the city and its residents.
While in downtown Pembroke, take a stroll through the streets to find the Pembroke Heritage Murals. These murals were created to celebrate the heritage and character of the city. The murals decorate a number of the walls in downtown Pembroke. The first set of murals was painted in 1990 and became an instant sensation and tourist attraction. Today, over 30 murals painted by local and national artists add a little color to the city.
Your next stop should be Pansy Patch Park. This ten-acre island park is also known as the Jewel of the City. Pansy Patch Park has breathtaking flower beds which become an oasis in full bloom where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Exotic trees have been strategically placed to provide a wonderful contrast of shade and sunshine for the flowers. The park was originally privately owned but was donated to the city in 1962.
Once you've found your RV rental in Pembroke, head over to Pine Ridge Park Campground and park for a few days of relaxation and camping. This campground features docks and boat launches where you can try your hand at catching your own dinner from the lake. You'll find a fish cleaning station near the edge of the campground. Coin-operated laundry facilities, restrooms, showers, and Wi-Fi are also available for campers.
Bring your RV rental from Pembroke over to the Black Bear Beach Campground in Petawawa. There are over 100 campsites with access to restrooms, shower facilities, and a laundry room. Guests can shop at a small gift shop and convenience store to pick up small souvenirs or camping essentials. Pets are welcome at the campgrounds but must remain leashed and cleaned up after.
KOAs are another convenient choice for those exploring Pembroke in a campervan rental. The Renfrew/Ottawa West KOA in Renfrew has campsites with 50-amp electric hookups that can accommodate RVs up to 90 feet long. Wi-Fi is available throughout the KOA, and guests can use the shower and restroom facilities.
Pembroke may be one of Canada's smaller cities, but it still has a few worthwhile attractions. The Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village is a must-see for tourists. Step inside and be transported back in time as you view one of the largest collections of artifacts from the Ottawa Valley. After touring the museum, step outside into the pioneer village and snap selfies with the “Pioneers of Pembroke Township in 1820-1850” mural painted on the side of the museum building. You can take a guided tour through the Pembroke Lowertown Schoolhouse, which dates back to 1838, view a restored pioneer home, and see the Micksburg United Church, which was built in 1879.
Pembroke was the first known Canadian town to use electricity to power street lights. Visitors to the town can learn about the technological strides the city took to accomplish this feat at the Murray L. Moore Hydro Museum. The museum takes visitors back to that day in history and guides them through the development of hydro-powered lighting. The museum is located in the hall built in 1931 by Pembroke Electric Light Company. Visitors will get the chance to see the generator used to power these first electric street lights.
Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch is another essential stop in Pembroke. Encompassing over 17 acres of high-bush blueberries, Hugli's is one of the largest blueberry operations in Ontario and is also a popular venue for weddings. Between May and December, visitors can tour the ranch, learn more about the history of the family that owns it, pick their own blueberries, and enjoy some wholesome family fun. Fall is the optimal time to visit, when the ranch opens up the corn maze and pumpkin patch.