Whenever in Ottawa, travelers should ensure they pay a visit to the historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a beautifully scenic waterway worth exploring. With endless outdoor adventure opportunities, Rideau Canal is a perfect destination for nature, recreation, and history. Stretching 202 kilometers and accessible by land and water, Rideau Canal boasts beautiful waterfront trails, winding rivers, and lakes. Travelers can explore the beautifully scenic waterway in many ways, including paddling, kayaking, and boat cruise, among others. Passing through Rideau Canal? Visit these adorable places.
8 Visit The Rideau Canal Skateway
Staying in Ottawa? Rideau Canal Skateway considered the largest skating rink on earth is a must-explore attraction. Extending up to 7.8 kilometers. The Skateway receives approximately 1 million skaters who visit to experience the uniqueness it brings each season. The route passes through the downtown core of Ottawa, and many locals now use it to get to work or school. A smooth enjoyable skate is guaranteed on this fine Skateway now that the city is working to improve the route. For an unforgettable skating experience on this fine route, visitors should try going for a night skate with fewer crowds. There are facilities on the Skateway, including changing rooms and heated washrooms to make the experience more fascinating.
Merrickville is the most picturesque town in the Rideau Canal. Although small, this beautiful town located on the Rideau River's south side, along with the canal's stunning locks, has a lot to offer to travelers willing to explore. Once named Canada’s most beautiful village, Merrickville is a surprising town that guarantees an unforgettable tour experience. There are many beautiful shops and cafés to offer some of the most delicious dishes prepared by the local chefs. One can then head to one of the most fascinating attractions in this small town, Merrickville ruins, dating back to the 1800s, and are situated beside the Merrickville locks. These ruins are the most picturesque attractions and make the perfect stop for some epic Instagram shots.
6 Burrits Rapids
Of course, every lock in the Rideau is worth a stop; regardless of other attractions, they have, including parks or museums. Travelers can have incredible views of the Burrits Rapids Swing Bridge from this spot. Another iconic attraction that invites many visitors around here is the Burrits Rapids Park, which gives access to its spectacular Tip Toe Trail, a 4-hour tour. The trail can take tourists to the beautiful Rideau Woodland Ramble.
5 Smiths Falls
Nestled at the heart of the Rideau Canal, Smiths Falls is a stunning town to explore – thanks to the friendly nature and hospitality of the locals. Smiths Falls provides travelers with incredible outdoor opportunities, especially in the summer. Canoeing, swimming, boating, fishing, and walking through the trail system. Visiting in winter can still work, and travelers can enjoy other outdoor activities, including skating, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
4 Railway Museum
Smiths Falls is home to the stunning Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, situated in the Canadian Northern Railway Station. Visiting this museum takes travelers back to 1912 when the Old Railway Station was established. The cabooses and the old trains, cars, and cabooses are part of that rich history. Named a National Heritage Site, the museum does not just preserve the history of the area; it is also a perfect spot to get an insight into the Smith Falls' incredible heritage.
3 Bytown Museum
A visit to Rideau Canal should not end without exploring the Bytown Museum and learning the history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Housed in Ottawa’s most ancient stone building, the Bytown Museum offers details related to the building of the Rideau Canal. That includes the people involved in making the iconic attraction it is today - the designers and those who took their time and effort in building it (most of them died in the process by the way). There is a lot to see and do at this fine museum, and every traveler should allocate some time in their Ottawa travel itinerary and explore it.
2 Rideau Lakes
People only think of the narrow waterways and channels when Rideau Canal crosses their minds. There are many beautiful lakes in this region – no wonder the Rideau Lakes is considered one of the world's best destinations to have a perfect boat cruise. Apart from being a perfect spot for enjoying a boat cruise, this region is one of the most picturesque destinations for fishing and is always open at any time of the year for fishing. The Rideau Lakes surrounds some of the most enchanting villages, including Morton, Chaffeys Locks, Forfar, Freeland, Crosby, Newboyne, and Plum Hallow.
1 Colonel By Island
Run by Park’s Canada, Colonel By Island, once owned by the owner Yellow Cab Company in New York – is a National Historic Site with so much to offer. The company owner used to bring his friends to spend time in the wilderness. The house is still standing, and though visitors can only explore it from the outside, it still allows them to experience how the rich and the famous used to spend their remote escapes. At the Colonel By Island, there is a spectacular hiking route, a perfect spot for swimming and kayaking.