Ottawa & The Rideau Canal Bike Tour
Six nights; seven days of quiet, flat cycling with moderate distances. Upper Canadian history, charming inns, and the National Capital region make this an exceedingly captivating tour.
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.
Introductions ~10 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)
ARC the Hotel, Ottawa
Cycle through the idyllic tranquility of Gatineau Park. This remarkable, path-laced park - the only one in Canada not protected by the national park system - contains many cycling options, some with hard climbs and wonderful descents, and majestic views of the Ottawa Valley. Enjoy a picnic at the Mackenzie King Estate (Prime Minister 1920-1940), savouring the architectural follies and charms of an earlier era. Return to Ottawa for an independent exploration of the city's many attractions: Byward Market, National Arts Center, the Parliament Buildings and many more options. BL
~60 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
~55 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
Perth Manor Hotel, Perth
~75 km loop; with additional cycling or hiking available
Follow quiet roads and cycling trails from Perth to Westport, where you can choose from a variety of local cafés and art galleries. From there, you will ride north along Upper Rideau Lake to Newboro, returning to Perth for relaxing or hiking at nerby Rock Dunder. BL
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
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
Note about the route:
An easy tour with moderate distances on predominantly flat, paved roads and canal bike paths. Stretches of rolling farmlands and trails provide gradual descents and inclines, with the exception of day two's hilly portion of Gatineau Park.
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 trip offers up history, culture, spectacular rides and scenery as you ride your way through upper Canada. Highlights include riding through Gatineau Park (Ottawa’s national park), visiting the Diefenbunker (the top secret cold war nuclear escape facility for the Canadian government), seeing Scottish stone architecture, and Fort Henry.
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.
Maps & Elevations
Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 13:30, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location in Ottawa.
Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 17:00, or downtown Ottawa, 18:00, day seven.
US 2285 C 2695(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, Diefenbunker admission, luggage handling, maps and route notes, van and full-time guide).
US 1995 C 2395(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential transfers, and emergency support).
US 565 C 665
US 125 C 145
US 225 C 265
Full Carbon Racing:
US 335 C 395
US 335 C 395
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice. 13% sales tax applies. 6.5% for non-Canadians.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.