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Bicycling the Rideau
Kingston to Cataraqui Trail to Ottawa
(191 km without side trips)

The following are turn by turn directions for a self-guided bicycle tour. Mate this information with a paper or digital map (see the Maps Page for information on various maps of the Rideau).

This tour will take you from Kingston to Ottawa via the Cataraqui Trail. If you want an all paved road tour, then please see the Grand Tour - Kingston to Ottawa. Depending on your skill (stamina) as a bicycler, for the average bicycler, this is a hard one day, or relaxing two day journey. Please note that the kilometre distances are only approximate, they have been measured off a map. The road portion of this tour are on lower traffic paved back roads. The Cataraqui Trail follows an abandoned railway bed, so it is flat with a few rough sections (see the Cycling Notes on the Cataraqui Trail Website).

Place names with links will lead you to a map and description of that community.

Highlights of this trip outside of the many attractions in Kingston and Ottawa include the Rideau Canal Waterway (stops at several lockstations), the scenery along the Cataraqui Trail, the beautiful villages of Portland, Merrickville, Kars and Manotick and the interesting variety in the Town of Smiths Falls. Plus of course the lovely scenery along the rural back roads.

If you see any errors in this information, please email me.

Symbol Legend
Bicycle Route
Route Arrow - continue along main route Right or Left Turn Arrow Side Loop - a side trip off the main route Stop of Interest Bicycle Route - where this route intersects another bicycle route
Kingston to Ottawa Route Directions
  Km Location Description
0 Kingston Follow Montreal Street, north, under Hwy 401, to Kingston Mills Road. Note that Montreal Street turns into County Road 11.
Note: A more direct route, but one with more traffic and you'll miss the Kingston Mills Lockstation, is to head out from Kingston along Division Street, which will put you directly onto County Road 10, which the original route intersects in the Village of Inverary.
8 Kingston Mills
(4 km)
Take Kingston Mills Road 2 kilometres east to the Kingston Mills Lockstation. Beautiful scenery, picnic tables and washrooms.
8 Cty Rd. 11 Continue north along County Road 11 to Sunbury. Continue to intersection with County Road 12 (Moreland Dixie Road). Small grocery store in Sunbury (north of intersection).
turn left 20 Cty Rd. 12 In Sunbury, turn west on County Road 12 (Moreland Dixon Road). Continue to County Road 10 at Inverary (note there is a steep hill at Collins Lake).
turn right 24 Cty. Rd. 10 Turn north onto County Road 10 and continue to the intersection with the Opinicon Road, about 2 km north of Perth Road Village (please note that this is located about 1 km north of the intersection of the Cataraqui Trail with County Road 10 - this is a smoother route than turning directly onto the Cataraqui Trail from County Road 10).
turn right 35 Opinicon Road Turn east (right) onto Opinicon Road and take it about 1 km to Maple Leaf Road.
Turn Left 36 Maple Leaf Road Turn north (left) onto Maple Leaf Road and follow it just a short distance to the Cataraqui Trail.
turn right 36 Cataraqui Trail Turn east onto the Cataraqui Trail and take it to Chaffeys Locks.
51.5 Chaffeys Locks At Chaffeys, stop for a bit to take in the locks, the beautiful grounds of the Opinicon Resort Hotel, visit the Chaffeys Lockmasters House Museum. To get to Chaffeys, you might find that it is easiest to exit the Cataraqui Trail at Indian Lake Road and take Opinicon Road into Chaffeys (less than 1 km away).
51.5 Cataraqui Trail Continue along the Cataraqui Trail to County Road 42
65 Forfar Side Trip
(2 km)
A short 1 km jaunt to the west down County Road 42 will bring you to ForFar, home of the Forfar Cheese Factory. Pick up a variety of delicious cheeses, including fresh (squeaky) curd cheese.
65 Cataraqui Trail Continue along the Cataraqui Trail from Country Road 42 to Portland Station Road.
70 Portland You can exit the Cataraqui Trail at Portland Station Road and take it into Portland. Once you've "done" Portland, you can return to the Cataraqui Trail via this route.
70 Cataraqui Trail Continue east along the Cataraqui Trail to County Road 1 (Anglican Church Road - just past Lombardy Station).
alternate route 85.5 Toledo Alternate A lower traffic alternative to passing through Smiths Falls is to exit the Cataraqui Trail here and head south on County Road 1 to Toledo, and from there to Merrickville where it joins the original route. See the end of this section for details of this route. Or, continue on to Smiths Falls where highlights will include a fast food strip (incl. Tim Hortons) and the Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre.
85.5 Cataraqui Trail Continue east along the Cataraqui Trail to its end in Smiths Falls
95 Smiths Falls The Cataraqui Trail ends behind the Harveys Restaurant in Smiths Falls.
95 Lombard Street The quickest, but busiest traffic route is to follow Lombard Street (Highway 15) to the lights at Brockville Street
95.5 Lock & Visitor Centre Side Trip
(2 km)
From Harveys/Tim Hortons - follow Lombard Street east to the lights at Abbott Street. Turn north on Abbott Street, continue across the swing bridge and turn west on the road leading into the Detached Lockstation and the Bascule Bridge. Once you seen those, continue north on Abbott to Strathcona Street (next street north). Turn east on Strathcona and follow it 3 block to Confederation Drive and follow Confederation across the bridge. There you will find a walkway (north side) leading to the Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre and the Smiths Falls Combined Lock (south side). Once you've done those, turn south on Beckwith Street and continue to the first set of lights at the south end of the bridge. Turn left onto Jasper Avenue.
96 Jasper Avenue From the lights at the Beckwith Street/Brockville Street intersection, continue east onto Jasper Avenue and follow it to Old Slys Road (the road will simply curve to the left onto Old Slys Road). Continue to the locks at Old Slys.
99 Old Slys Locks Old Slys is another lovely Rideau lock. Picnic tables and washrooms.
Turn Right 99 County Road 43 From Old Slys, turn east onto County Road 43 and continue east to Kilmarnock.
111 Kilmarnock Lock Side Trip
(2 km)
Kilmarnock Lock - a peaceful rural lock with a lovely wooden swing bridge. Picnic tables and washrooms.
111 County Road 43 Continue east on County Road 43 to Merrickville
123 Merrickville Merrickville is well worth a stop. Accommodations, groceries, restaurants, and many shopping opportunities. Visit the Blockhouse and the locks. While you are in Blockhouse Park, stop in at The Depot, run by Friends of the Rideau and pick up an interesting Rideau book. Take a boat tour of the Rideau on the electric cruise boat, the Harriet By.
123 County Road 43 Follow County Road 43 to the intersection with County Road 23 (to Burritts Rapids)
125 County Road 23 Turn north onto County Road 23 (River Road). Continue to Upper Nicholsons Lockstation.
stop 127 Upper Nicholsons Locks A lovely lockstation with swing bridge. Picnic tables and washrooms.
127 County Road 23 Continue along County Road 23 to Burritts Rapids
stop 131 Burritts Rapids Burritts Rapids is one of the oldest communities on the Rideau. If you feel like a hike to stretch your legs, try the Tip to Tip Trail (start from the Burritts Rapids Lockstation).
131 County Road 23 Continue along County Road 23 to its intersection with County Road 44
Side Loop 143 Kemptville
(7 km)
The town of Kemptville, only 3.5 km away, offers several services, including a fast food strip with a Tim Hortons (turn south at the intersection with County Road 43).
Turn Left 143 County Road 44 Turn west onto County Road 44 and take it across the Rideau River to its intersection with County Road 5
Turn Right 144 County Road 5 Turn north onto County Road 5 and take it to the Dilworth Road. Note that you will pass by Rideau River Provincial Park
Turn Right 150 Dilworth Road Turn east onto Dilworth Road and take it to the Baxter Conservation Area
Stop 153 Baxter Conservation Area Conservation areas offer picnic tables and washrooms. A small day fee applies.
Turn Left 153 County Road 13 After leaving Baxter Conservation area, turn north onto County Road 13 and take it to Kars.
Stop 161 Kars The Village of Kars is a small place with few amenities but lovely ambiance.
161 County Road 13 Continue along County Road 13 (Rideau Valley Drive) to Manotick
stop 170 Manotick Manotick offers a variety of services. Be sure to take time out to visit historic Watson's Mill.
right-turn 170 County Road 8 Turn east onto Bridge Street and cross the two bridges. Continue straight, along County Road 8 to Spratt Road.
left-turn 172 Spratt Road Turn north on Spratt Road and continue along to its intersection with Armstrong Road
Turn Right 176 Armstrong Road Turn east onto Armstrong Road and take it to Limebank Road.
Left 178 Limebank Road Turn north onto Limebank Road and take it to River Road (County Road 19)
Turn Right 183 River Road Limebank Road ends at River Road, so follow River Road north to Hunt Club Road. Note that vehicle traffic will be an issue until you hook up with one of the Ottawa Cycling Paths.
185 Riverside Drive Continue north, crossing Hunt Club Road to Riverside Drive. Continue along Riverside Drive to Mooney's Bay Park
189 Mooney's Bay Park A City of Ottawa Park on the shores of the Rideau River.
189 Riverside Drive Continue north along Riverside Drive to Hogs Back Road.
left-turn 190 Hogs Back Road Turn west onto Hogs Back Road and continue to Hogs Back Lockstation
stop 191 Hogs Back This marks the end of the route description. At Hogs Back you'll find an Ottawa Bicycle Path. Continue on the bicycle path into Ottawa. Hogs Back offers picnic tables and washrooms. This spot also marks where the Rideau Canal splits from the Rideau River. Take time to view the Hogs Back Falls.
Toledo Alternate - Cataraqui Trail to Merrickville
(this will bypass Smiths Falls via Toledo and Jasper)
Turn Right 85.5 County Road 1 Exit the Cataraqui Trail where it intersects with County Road 1 (Anglican Church Road) and follow it south to Toledo.
stop 99 Toledo Gas station with groceries. Limited services.
left-turn-arrow.gif - 482 Bytes 99 County Road 8 In Toledo, turn east onto County Road 8 and take it to the intersection with County Road 29
left-turn-arrow.gif - 482 Bytes 100 County Road 29 Just past Toledo turn north onto County Road 29 and take it to County Road 16, the exit for Jasper
107 County Road 16 Turn east onto County Road 16 and follow it all the way to Jasper
112 County Road 16 From Jasper, continue along County Road 16 to Merrickville
stop 127 Merrickville At Merrickville, this alternate route rejoins the main route.


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