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Duration
6 days
Activities
  • 6 days self-guided cycling
Accommodation
  • 5 nights inns/b&b's
Meals
  • 1 Lunch
  • 3 Breakfasts

Price

$950USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Trip Code: OTK

Overview

Trip highlights


  • Tour the Parliament buildings and pathways of Ottawa
  • Explore locks on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Cycle past rolling farmlands and enjoy the serene rural atmosphere along the trails
  • Experience the hospitality and liveliness of historic towns and cities along the Rideau Heritage Route
  • Ride through pristine woods and wetlands teeming with life
  • Admire tranquil lakes and swirling waterways next to the trail

Embark on a gentle cycling journey that uses a multitude of historic rail trails maintained by the communities between Ottawa and Kingston. Our multi-day bike ride starts in the nation’s capital, exploring the historical sites and picturesque Parliament buildings. Leaving the city behind, soak in the tranquil rural landscapes to reach Carleton Place, known for its historic shops and fine dining experiences. The itinerary follows some sections of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which connects these great cities, including the lovely Chaffey’s Lock. As you make your way between selected charming bed & breakfasts or fancy inns, our team will take care of your luggage transfer. Enjoy the lush greenery surrounding the trails on this refreshing ride as you make your way to Kingston, once considered to be Canada’s capital in the mid-1800s.

Activities:
Grading:
3

Introductory

More info about grading system


Rating: 


Itinerary

Meet your Great Canadian Trails representative at the centrally located bike shop at 10am where you will be fitted for your bicycle. Start riding around the Rideau Canal Locks, the historical site is located in a nice area and offers spectacular views. As you continue along the Ottawa river, you can admire the Parliament buildings of Canada's capital city. Explore some of the local trails provided in your route notes and discover Ottawa's enthralling and enduring features before heading to Nepean for the evening. You will stay at a lovely 'garden oasis' bed & breakfast meticulously maintained by your friendly host.

Meals:  Nil

After a delicious breakfast basket in-room that you can eat on the lovely garden patio, hop on your bike to the historic town of Carleton Place. Today's ride explores the local trails as you connect to the Great Trail, which runs across Canada. This section, known as the Ottawa Carleton Trailway, was a railroad line abandoned in 1990 before it's conversion to a multi-purpose trail. Keep an eye out for deer and a variety of birds as you pass by wetland areas, wooded areas and farmlands. In Carleton Place, you will have opportunities to shop, dine and stroll along beautiful streetscapes, scenic trails and a picturesque waterfront.

Meals:  B

This morning you may have breakfast at your hotel or one of the many cafés nearby. Cycle through the woods as you leave town along the trail, with many more tree-lined paths ahead. You will also pass by serene marsh or wetlands, wildflowers and gorgeous rolling farmlands on your way to Smiths Falls and beyond. Smiths Falls has a rich heritage, and its early growth and popularity were attributed to the Hershey chocolate factory, which closed by 2007. In town, there are restaurants, museums and multiple lock stations on the Rideau Canal that you can view before joining the Cataraqui Trail for the rest of the day. The farmlands near this section of trail are fed by waters of the nearby Rideau River and a few lakes. Tonight you will stay in Portland, best known for the pristine waters on Big Rideau Lake, where enchanting hospitality and refreshments await your arrival at your bed and breakfast. This small town is ideal for relaxing and viewing the stars before retiring for the night.

Meals:  Nil

Hop back onto the Cataraqui trail after a delicious European style all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. Keep an eye out for herons in flight, ospreys nesting and perched eagles. You will notice that the trail becomes even more serene and remote as you approach Chaffey’s Lock where we recommend taking a break to view the town. Lovely Chaffey’s Lock is another fascinating feature of the Rideau Canal. It features a Lockmaster’s House Museum that celebrates the town’s heritage. As you rejoin the trail, you will encounter woods and numerous tranquil lakes. Look for egg-laying turtles, beavers and other small animals along the way. Arriving in Sydenham, you will arrive at a charming bed & breakfast guesthouse that overlooks Sydenham Lake and the trail itself.

Meals:  B,L

After a continental breakfast, the path continues where you left off the day before and travels west along the Cataraqui Trail before splitting off to follow the K&P Trail. Both trails feature wetlands or bodies of water that make for prime habitats for the local wildlife, including nesting turtles. You will also pass through more woods and open fields as you head into Kingston. Historic Kingston is also known as the 'Limestone City' due to the massive limestone beds located under the topsoil. It is rich in history and cultural significance. This is partly due to its military value in protecting trade along the Rideau Canal and its presence close to the Canada-United States border. Today is shorter, so you will have time to tour some of the pathways and historical sites throughout Kingston as well. We recommend heading down to the lively Kingston waterfront and downtown area via the K&P trail before returning to your accommodation.

Meals:  B

If you have not chosen to extend your stay in Kingston, the trip concludes here. A shuttle will bring you back to Ottawa with your gear. If you've chosen to extend your stay in Kingston, we recommend cycling Wolfe Island. The K&P trail will take you to the waterfront downtown, where a regular ferry service is available throughout the day. Wolfe Island features enjoyable rural landscapes and a cluster of charming shops and eateries in Marysville. It is a great way to complete your experience. Return is available by ferry and the K&P trail to your accommodations for the evening.

Meals:  Nil


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • 5 nights in a combination of inns, B&Bs and hotels, generally with private facilities
  • Navigation APP inclusive of detailed route notes and points of interest (available offline while cycling)
  • Luggage transfers (1 piece per person 20kg max)
  • Hybrid bicycle rental including helmet, bike lock, panniers and basic repair kit
  • Emergency hotline
  • C$50 per person donation to The Great Trail
  • Return transfer to Ottawa from Kingston of participants and gear

  • Optional E-bike upgrade (extra cost, limited quantities)
  • Travel to/from Ottawa
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary (suggestions are provided)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Airfare, visas, travel insurance (required)
  • Applicable taxes

Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Suitability

Introductory

3

Introductory. The rail trails are easy, mostly flat, stone dust/packed gravel surfaces. Distances each day are short, so this itinerary is suitable for beginner cyclists. In wet weather, parts of the trail may be muddy. Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!). Cyclists will be expected to know how to fix a flat tire and make basic adjustments to their bicycles using the included repair kit. Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of it as the vast majority of our first time travellers will attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7-day service hotline in the event of any problems.


Departure dates

Every Sunday June to September

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$950USD

* All prices subject to applicable taxes

Options & Supplements*
  • Bring your own bike discountUSD$-100
  • E-Bike supplementUSD$35
  • Wolfe Island day supplement twin occupancyUSD$100
  • Carleton Place own room supplementUSD$130
  • Wolfe Island day supplement single occupancyUSD$180
* Prices listed are per person. All prices subject to applicable taxes.

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Our Expertise

Everyone who works with us, from our office staff, ground staff and guides is the ‘’real deal’’. Our team is comprised of actual hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region in which you will be travelling. Our entire network is highly-specialised in active travel.

Great Value

Quality services at the best price make our adventures great value for money. Having essential items included like National Park fees, charming accommodations, most meals, bikes for cycling trips, maps and support for peace of mind. Our inclusions allow you to better budget for your big adventure.

Innovative Itineraries

We look beyond the horizon to find new and exciting adventures. We’re passionate about shaping the next generation of outdoor travel in Canada, and constantly seek different ways, routes and alternatives to exceed our clients’ dreams.

ECO Friendly

We are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability, formed when the company was established, and in the face of a multitude of threats to the environment, our commitment is stronger than ever. We aim to "leave no trace" in both an environmental and cultural sense.