Six nights; seven days of peaceful cycling through Canada’s scenic historic and political centre, with stretches along the Rideau Canal and Ottawa’s bike paths.
“I have been taking guided cycling trips for over 20 years…. My experience with your guides was superior to all of the others.” – Don A.
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Canada’s oldest trading route – rich history, culture, heritage.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rideau Waterway.
- Diefenbunker top-secret cold war escape facility.
- Ottawa’s world-class museums and galleries.
- Spectacular rides and scenery, including one of Canada’s Most Beautiful Villages.
- Charming inns and fabulous restaurants.
Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.
Predominantly flat, easy cycling on quiet roads and canal bike paths. Moderate distances, with a mix of paved and gravel surfaces, making hybrid bicycles the most appropriate choice.
- DAY 1: ~19 km
- DAY 2: ~40km
- DAY 3: ~68 km + ~30 km
- DAY 4: ~54km
- DAY 5: ~51km
- DAY 6: ~52km
- DAY 7: Up to ~75km
Start: Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 13:30, or your first hotel, 14:30, day one.
Finish: Ottawa International Airport (YOW), 17:00, or downtown Ottawa, 18:00, day seven.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
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)
Ottawa & Gatineau ~40 km
Today’s route has several remarkable 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
~68 km, additional 30km option
You will 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 Packenham’s remarkable Scottish stone bridge. BD
Almonte Riverside Inn, Almonte
~54 km; additional cycling or hiking available
Ride from Almonte through the rolling farmland of Lanark County to the town of Perth, on the banks of the Tay River. Perth boasts ghost walks, summer theatre options, and the opportunity for a short, beautiful hike on Blueberry Mountain. BLD
Nevis Estate, Perth
~51 km loop ride; 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
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
Transfer and farewells, Up to 75 km
Rejoin the Rideau Canal and follow it into Ottawa, stopping for lunch in the village of Manotick or 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
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Guided: C 3995 (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
Self-Guided: C 3445 (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 Occupancy: 935
Aluminum Racing: na
Carbon Racing: na
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
2022 Guided dates:
- Jun 26-Jul 2
- Jul 17-23
- Aug 14-20
- Sep 4-10
2023 Guided dates:
- Jul 1-7
- Jul 29-Aug 4
- Aug 12-18
- Sep 16-22
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Interested in custom or private departures?
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
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.