Welcome to Eastern Ontario’s playground! From pedaling to paddling, the Rideau Heritage Route has something for every kind of outdoor enthusiast. The corridor boasts clean waters and excellent fishing, fabulous golf courses, three Provincial Parks, sixteen conservation areas, a number of hiking/multi-use trail systems and 202 km of navigable waterway – with many quaint towns and villages to explore along the way. Every visit to the region is a new and exciting adventure!
Boating & Paddling
The 202 kilometres (125 miles) of the Rideau Canal incorporates sections of the Rideau and Cataraqui Rivers, as well as several lakes and a scenic 10KM side trip along the Tay Canal to the Town of Perth. In normal operations it can accommodate boats up to 27.4 metres (90 feet) in length, 7.9 metres (26 feet) in width and 6.7 metres (22 feet) in height. Today the canal is used only by recreational boaters, and most of the 47 locks are still hand-operated – making for a unique and relaxing boating experience.
See “On the Water” for useful information on navigational charts, boat rentals, boat launches, marinas and more! Additional resources for boaters and paddlers can be found in the “Outdoor Recreation” and “A Day in the Countryside > Paddling Routes” sections of our online Travel Guide.
The large number of secondary roads in the region makes exploring the Rideau Heritage Route an ideal cycling adventure! It’s easy to take the road less travelled and discover the quiet beauty that the Rideau has to offer. In the central portion of the route, the Cataraqui Trail (see ‘Hiking’) takes cyclists off the beaten path. In Ottawa, many cycling paths make it easy to get around the city. There are so many ways for bicycle enthusiasts to enjoy the Rideau.
Check out the “A Day in the Countryside > Rideau Cycling Routes” section in our online Travel Guide for suggested cycling loops along the Rideau. Another great resource for cyclists is the Eastern Ontario Recreation Map (see ‘Helpful Links’ at the bottom of this page). Looking to rent a bike while you’re in the area? Check out some helpful listings in our directory under “Self Guided Tours > Cycling”.”
Have you ever explored Perth, and the charming rural communities that surround it? If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing! Check out the following cycling itineraries from our partners at Lanark County Tourism…
When visiting the Rideau Heritage Route, be sure to bring along your golf clubs and enjoy the beauty and the challenges of our winding terrain. Some of Ontario’s oldest courses await – in fact Links O’Tay, built in 1890, is the oldest course in Canada to remain on its original site! Most courses along the corridor offer power carts and fully equipped clubhouses offering a wide variety of services such as pro-shops, beverage cart service, lessons and full-service dining. Here are just a few examples of the treasures waiting to be discovered along the Rideau Heritage Route…
Glen Lawrence Golf Club
This 18-hole Scottish links-style course has been offering some of Kingston’s best public golf for over 50 years. With over 6,500 yards of undulating play, customers say this par-71 course has “the best layout in the area”. Reservations recommended.
2022 Highway 2 East, Kingston ON, K7L 4V1
Nestled beside the beautiful Tay River, this 18-hole par-71 course is the oldest in Canada with its original holes still in play! Offering reasonable green fees and located within strolling distance of historic downtown Perth, Links O’Tay is the perfect place to plan your golf outing!
141 Peter Street, Perth ON, K7H 3E4
This 18-hole, par-70 course is over 6,100 yards in length from the gold tees. Beautifully designed and immaculately maintained, it features challenging water hazards on 9 different holes. Located approximately halfway between Kingston and Ottawa.
551 Highway 15, Lombardy ON, K0G 1L0
t: 613-283-5318 or 1-800-554-0285
This is just a small sampling of the golf courses along the Rideau Heritage Route. Check out the ‘Outdoor Recreation’ section of our online Travel Guide or enter ‘golf’ into the search engine (near the top right corner of this page) for a comprehensive listing of area courses!
Hiking along the Rideau Heritage Route is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the scenery and view the sights. The two longest trails in the area are the Rideau Trail and the Cataraqui Trail (part of the Trans-Canada trail system). There are also dozens of other smaller trails, located in regional parks and conservation areas (see below), which offer spectacular vistas and educational interpretive programs.
Get information on this 104 km shared-use recreational trail that spans the south-central portion of the Rideau, including access points and guidelines for use.
The Rideau Trail is an amazing resource, comprised of 387 km of cleared and marked trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing between Kingston and Ottawa. Find out how to obtain a guide book, prepare for an outing on the trail, and more!
More resources for hikers can be found in the “A Day in the Countryside > Rideau Hiking Trails” section of our online Travel Guide.
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.
The Rideau has been a fishing hot spot since the late 1800’s, when the first fishing resorts were built to cater to those wishing to catch a few big ones. Enjoy unparalleled bass fishing on the southern Rideau lakes or fish for bass, pike and musky on the Rideau River. You’ll also find walleye and crappie at various spots along the waterway.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Fish Ontario
Everything you need to know about fishing licenses and regulations in the province of Ontario, as well as what you can do to fish responsibly and help preserve our natural resources.
Check out ‘On The Water’ > ‘Fishing Guides/Outfitters’ and the ‘Resorts’ section on our Accommodations page for a variety of listings that can help you plan your fishing trip to the Rideau corridor!
Swimming & Picnicking
The clean waters of the Rideau push past 20°C in the warmer months. Those traveling by boat can stop just about anywhere to take a plunge! Those traveling by road or looking for a place to come ashore for awhile can find plenty of public swimming, docking and picnicking opportunities at parks, conservation areas and lock stations along the route. Some sites offer sheltered pavilions, barbeques, washrooms, change rooms and other convenient facilities!
Cross Country Skiing
Several area parks and conservation areas offer cross country skiing opportunities. Murphy’s Point Provincial Park and Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area offer 25 km and 13 km of groomed trail, respectively. The Cataraqui Trail offers 200 km of groomed trail!
Skating on the canal has become a favourite pastime of winter visitors to Ottawa – especially during Winterlude (www.winterlude.ca), a festival held in the capital city each February. The Rideau Canal Skateway holds the Guiness World Record as the largest naturally frozen ice rink at 7.8 km. Other points of interest along the Rideau for skating enthusiasts are the annual International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon in Portland (www.portlandoutdoors.com) and the Market Square outdoor rink in downtown Kingston, where the ‘Limestone Classic’ hockey game featuring hockey greats such as Kirk Muller and Doug Gilmour is held each year during FebFest (www.febfestkingston.com).
The Rideau is home to several established snowmobile trails that provide many kilometers of well-marked snowmobiling fun! Visit the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs website (www.ofsc.on.ca) and check out the Club Links for District 1. Here you can link to the sites of local clubs such as the Rideau Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club and the Rideau Snowmobile Club, which offer maps and information on snowmobiling in various locales along the Rideau.