Insight Advisor

Take The Scenic Route

The Rideau Canal stretches from Lake Ontario in Kingston to the Ottawa River following the Cataraqui and Rideau Rivers.  It is 202 kilometers long, of which about 19 kilometers is man-made (locks and canal cuts), the rest are natural waters. There are 45 locks with 23 lock stations along the main route of the Rideau. The canal winds its way through historic sites, charming villages, quaint attractions and spectacular recreation areas, offering visitors a variety of world-class arts, heritage, and recreation experiences.

  • 3.5 hrs from
  • 1 hr from
  • 2.5 hrs from
Ski Adventures Beckon
Ski Adventures Beckon
Explore A Haven For Artists
Explore A Haven For Artists
Rideau Canal In The Bag
Rideau Canal In The Bag
A Latte Cafés
A Latte Cafés
The Historic Charm
The Historic Charm

Ski Adventures Beckon

Several area parks and conservation areas offer cross country skiing opportunities.  Murphy’s Point Provincial Park and Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area each have 25 km and 13 km’s of groomed trails.  The Cataraqui Trail offers 200 km’s of groomed trails! And Foley Mountain Conservation Area is a beautiful, scenic place to enjoy snowshoeing. 

Parks Canada
The definitive resource on National Parks (St. Lawrence Islands) and Historical Sites (Rideau Canal, Bellevue House, Laurier House and more!) in our beautiful region.  Look to this site for complete information on the services and facilities available at each Rideau Canal lock station.

Ontario Provincial Parks
Find information on the features, facilities, services, camping fees and operating dates of provincial parks along the Rideau (Charleston Lake, Frontenac, Murphy’s Point and Rideau River).  Check out handy tools like the park locator and online camping reservations system!

Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority
Learn about the trails, facilities, features, hours and fees at the six Cataraqui Region Conservation Areas that have been developed for recreational use at the southern end of the Rideau waterway.

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Learn about the trails, facilities, features and fees at the ten recreational Rideau Valley Conservation Areas located in the central and northern portions of the Rideau corridor.

Explore A Haven For Artists

Creativity blossoms along the Rideau Canal! Maybe it’s the natural beauty, maybe it’s the friendly people, maybe it’s inspiring landscapes and relaxed way of life – whatever the reason, artists flock to the Rideau to sculpt, paint, build, write, photograph, carve, imagine and dream big. While artist studios dot the landscape, art associations are also active and many galleries showcase local work. Look to Merrickville for a veritable artist’s haven, housing internationally-renowned glass blowers, and many more artists in beautifully-adorned shops. Plan a full day in the village to explore and appreciate the art, dine at a local restaurant and go boutique shopping.

Rideau Canal In The Bag

When the winter blues kick in, don’t run and hide – cure them with a little retail therapy! The Rideau Canal is a mecca of artisan creations, eclectic boutiques, studios, and shopping nooks. With so many places to visit, here is just some to look forward to. Check out our Google map below for more!

Berry Good Farms grows Haskap (also known as Honey Berries) and Romeo and Juliet dwarf cherries. There’s also the craft shack! Everything is handcrafted and utilizes some of the local Berry Good Farms greenery.

Merrickville’s Mrs. McGarrigle’s is well-known across Canada for its award-winning mustards and gourmet food items. Mrs. McGarrigle’s features more than 3,000 sq. Feet of retail, manufacturing space, and a cooking school that works with local chefs in the area.

After your excursion in Seeleys’ Bay, hop over to Westport for more boutique shopping! Appreciate the beauty of variety and pretty things at The Pinecone; the culinary decadence of Rosie Yumksi’s Fine Foods; and shop for ‘all things good’ at Jake By The Lake.

A Latte Cafés

Get cozy with intimate cafes along the Rideau that give you all the feels.

Grahame’s Bakery in Kemptville has been operating since 1885 and is home to a heritage wood-burning oven! This is the real deal: we’re talking donuts, fresh loaves of bread, cookies, pies and custom-made cakes. Dive into cozy cafes where bevies and art mix fluidly. Geronimo Café features local artists and yummy treats that will warm your heart and your hands.

Hot chocolate and speciality coffees are on tap at Brewed Awakenings featuring a full lunch, brekkie menu, and treats like cinnamon buns, scones and more! Get ready for your mouth to water walking into the Crusty Baker in Kemptville. This artisan bakery specializes in rustic, European-inspired loaves of bread and sweets.

In Merrickville, Nana B’s puts its spin on traditional; offering handmade products using the very best ingredients. Nana B’s makes artisan bread, handcrafted daily in the European style, plus a variety of other speciality slices of bread, rolls, and buns. The sweets menu is ever-changing and includes cookies, doughnuts, tarts, and cheesecakes. The bakery itself has an open concept, encouraging visitors to chat.

The Historic Charm

The oldest settlement along the canal is Burritt’s Rapids, which is now a haven for nature-lovers and heritage enthusiasts. The small hamlet with roots dating back to the 1790s, once bustled with the construction of the Rideau Canal. Mostly located on an island – discover the Tip to Tip trailwhich runs the length of the island along the Rideau River and allows visitors to see the historic Burritt’s Rapids locks station.

Bundle up and explore villages in North Grenville through the Walking Tours of North Grenville. Get up close to local history and learn about architecturally significant buildings, culture, and interesting tidbits about each community!

Be sure to pop over to the Old Stone Mill National Historic Site, for tours of this authentic working grist mill.

Get out and explore the Rideau au naturel by hitting trails along the way. With lush greenery, rock outcroppings and pristine water, the Rideau Canal provides natural eye candy at every turn. Photo-ready scenes unravel before your eyes; this is nature at its best.

Rock Dunder, owned by the Rideau Waterway Land Trust near Morton offers a 3.8 km summit loop that is so worth the hike. Standing atop the rock at the summit gives a breathtaking view of the canal with water and treetops below stretching as far as the eye can see. Another unforgettable vantage point is near Chaffey’s Lock on a former train bridge, which is now a section of the Cataraqui Trail. The bridge dates back to the early 1900s and has recently been renovated for use with the trail. A short five minute walk through the woods from the lock awards visitors with an unforgettable view.

Foley Mountain in Westport looks out over Upper Rideau Lake from a granite ridge at Spy Rock. A three-minute walk from the parking lot gets visitors to the rock look out to see the lake and village laid out below.

The North Grenville Trail System links together 150 km of trails, roads, walkways and waterways throughout the municipality. The Sugar Bush Island Trail near Davis Lock also offers incredible views from high atop a rock lookout. It’s an easy hike among Butternut, Sugar Maple, White Pine and Bitternut trees. Be delighted by the abundance of bird life here and by finding stairs in the middle of the woods to help easily traverse some hills along the trail!

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From The Rideau Canal Blog

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How To Make The Most Of Winter In Westport

Pack up the car, turn up the heat, and put your toasty sweaters on, because we’ve put together an itinerary for Westport! It’s no secret that South Eastern Ontario is home to some prime destinations in the province. We have towns and villages that are not only charming but in the winter they look as though they came straight out of a fairytale. Westport is a village of 600 people that is notorious for being bumping in the summer! However, this destination is a year-round spot for whe...

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Supporting our community during COVID-19