Canada: Ontario

Ottawa & The Rideau Canal Bike Tour

Six nights; seven days of quiet, flat cycling with moderate distances, on paved and gravel roads, featuring some stretches along the Rideau Canal, and some bike paths in Ottawa. Upper Canadian history, charming inns, and the National Capital region contribute to the charm of this ride.


Start: Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 13:30, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location in Ottawa if necessary.

Finish: Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 17:00, or downtown Ottawa, 18:00, day seven.

Day 1

Introductions ~19 km

Afternoon pick up at Ottawa International Airport, followed by bike familiarization and a short ride along Ottawa’s renowned Rideau Canal bike paths. Have dinner in the city's chic Byward Market. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips; self-guided trips normally include breakfast only)
Château Laurier, or
Hotel Andaz, or
Lord Elgin, Ottawa

Day 2

Ottawa & Gatineau ~40km

Today’s route includes several interesting stops, including the seven-tiered Ottawa lock station, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian War museum, and John Cepreno's outdoor balancing rock sculpture museum. You will cross the Ottawa river to Quebec, picnic at the Alymer Marina, then continue on the Quebec side, to see the best view of Canada's Parliament buildings. Your final stop is at the Eternal flame in front of the Parliament buildings. BL
Same lodging

Day 3

~68 km, additional 30 km option

You might be amazed at the ease of departure from Ottawa along the city’s commuter-friendly riverside bike paths. They traverse the greenbelt and lead you to the quiet rural roads of Eastern Ontario, where you can stop for a bountiful lunch at Alice’s Café in Carp before exploring the top-secret spy camp at the Diefenbunker. After the hour-long tour, you will ride the flat 20km stretch into Almonte. Stronger cyclists can extend the ride to see Pakenham's remarkable Scottish stone bridge. BD
Almonte Riverside Inn, Almonte

Day 4

~54 km, additional cycling or hiking available

Travel from Almonte through the rolling farmland of Lanark County to rest in the crown jewel of Perth, the Tay River. You will normally arrive in plenty of time to experience ghost walks, summer theatre options, or a hike on Blueberry Mountain. BLD
Nevis Estate, Perth

Day 5

~51 km loop; with additional cycling or hiking available

Follow quiet roads and cycling trails from Perth to Murphys Point Provincial Park, and north around dozens of small lakes, returning to Perth for an optional hike to nearby Rock Dunder. BL
Same lodging

Day 6

52 km

Start with a short ride to Rideau Ferry and across the bridge to Lombardy. Continue to Smith Falls where you can visit the Heritage House or Railway Museums, or the impressive Rideau Canal Interpretive Centre. Your destination is Merrickville, a village recognized as one of Canada's Most Beautiful. You will enjoy its charming streets lined with heritage architecture, artists' studios, specialty boutiques, and restaurants. BLD
1840 Guest House B&B, or
Merrickville Guest Suites, Merrickville

Day 7

Up to 75 km

Rejoin the Rideau Canal and follow it into Ottawa, stopping for lunch in the village of Manotick or for a picnic at Baxter Conservation Area. Watch for the hobby planes and the long white wings that ride the thermals at this glider-specific airfield. Transfer back to Ottawa by van, or ride the pleasant 24 km into the city before saying farewells. BL


Route expectations:

An easy ride with moderate distances on predominantly flat, paved roads and canal bike paths. Stretches of rolling farmlands and trails provide gradual descents and inclines.

The Rideau Canal, completed in 1832, is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. “Rideau” is French for curtain, a fitting term as this tour sets the stage for a superlative show.

This remarkable trip through "Upper Canada" will quickly familiarize you with how Ottawa was originally conceived along Canada's oldest trading route, the Ottawa and Saint Lawrence rivers. It offers up history, culture, and rides through spectacular scenery, with highlights including Gatineau Park (Ottawa’s national park), visiting the Diefenbunker (the top secret cold war nuclear escape facility for the Canadian government), Scottish stone architecture, and the National Historic Site of Fort Henry, built following the American Revolution to protect river trade and attack during the War of 1812.

You will get a strong sense of the history and beauty that Ontario has to offer. We recommend planning extra time in Ottawa at the beginning or end of your adventure to take in some of the capital’s world-class museums, galleries, festivals, restaurants, and performances.

Map & Elevations

Click here for the elevation profile

Day # Daily distance
  ~19 km
~40 km
~68 km + ~30 km
  ~54 km
  ~51 km
~52 km
Up to ~75 km

Learn more

More great cycling is available nearby in Quebec, try linking this trip with the Montreal to Ottawa Laurentians Bike adventure!

Consider staying in Ottawa either before or after the trip to take in some of the capital’s world-class museums, galleries, festivals, restaurants, and performances.


Recently recommended restaurant: Play Food & Wine in Ottawa.


US 3145 C 3595 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, Diefenbunker admission, luggage handling, maps and route instructions, van support, full-time guide support, 5% sales tax

US 2575 C 2945 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, welcome briefing, inn to inn luggage transfers, maps, route instructions, essential transfers, emergency support, 5% sales tax

Single room

US 815 C 935


Hybrid: US 135 C 155
Electric-assist: US 395 C 455

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.