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Bicycling the Rideau
The Grand Tour - Ottawa to Kingston
(180 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 is a self-guided bicycle tour from Ottawa to Kingston. Depending on your skill (stamina) as a bicycler, for the average bicycler, this is a hard one day, a moderate two day, or relaxing three day journey. Please note that the kilometre distances are only approximate, they have been measured off a map. All the roads are paved and in general, most are lower traffic back roads.

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 beautiful villages of Lyndhurst, Delta, Merrickville, Kars and Manotick. 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 or an alternate route
Ottawa to Kingston Route Directions
  Km Location Description
0 Hogs Back The Lockstation at Hogs Back marks the start of our journey. You can get there by following the bicycle paths (head out to Carleton University and from there to Hogs Back). Follow Hogs Back Road east to Riverside Drive.
1 Riverside Drive Turn south (right) onto Riverside Drive and continue to Mooney's Bay Park
2 Mooney's Bay Park A City of Ottawa Park on the shores of the Rideau River.
2 Riverside Drive Continue south on Riverside Drive, crossing Hunts Club Road.
6 Riverside Road Continue south on Riverside Road to Limebank Road
8 Limebank Road Continue south on Limebank Road and take it to Earl Armstrong Road
alternate route 8 Long Island Locks Alternate An alternate route, in order to visit the Long Island Locks is to turn right onto River Road (County Road 19), rather than going south on Limebank Road, and follow River Road south to Nicolls Island Road (8 km). Turn right (west) onto Nicolls Island Road and follow it to the Long Island Locks. After visiting the locks, cross the dam and turn left (south) onto Cecil Rowat Lane (it crosses the weir) to its intersection with McLean Crescent (0.7 km). Follow McLean Crescent south to Bravat Drive (0.2 km), turn left (east) onto Bravat Drive and follow it to Lena Avenue (0.15 km). Turn right (south) onto Lena Avenue and follow it to Long Island Road (0.55 km). Turn left (east) onto Long Island Road and follow it south to Bridge St (1.6 km). Turn right (west) onto Bridge Street and take it into Manotick (0.5 km). You are now back on the original route at km 21.
13 Earl Armstrong Road Turn west (right) onto Earl Armstrong Road and take it to Spratt Road.
15 Spratt Road Turn south (left) onto Spratt Road and follow it County Road 8 (Mitch Owens Road).
19 County Road 8 Turn west (right) onto County Road 8 (Mitch Owens Road) and follow it to Manotick.
21 Manotick Manotick offers a variety of services. Be sure to take time out to visit historic Watson's Mill.
21 County Road 13 From Manotick, head south along County Road 13 (Rideau Valley Drive) to Roger Stevens Drive.
29 Roger Stevens Rd Turn west onto Roger Stevens Rd and take it to Rideau Valley Drive S.
29 Rideau Valley Drive S. Turn south onto Rideau Valley Drive S - you are now entering Kars.
30 Kars The Village of Kars is a small place with few amenities but lovely ambiance.
30 County Road 13 Head south along County Road 13 to Baxter Conservation Area.
38 Baxter Conservation Area Conservation areas offer picnic tables and washrooms. A small day fee applies.
38 Dilworth Road From Baxter Conservation area turn west onto Dilworth Road and take it to County Road 5. Note that you will be passing by Rideau River Provincial Park.
41 County Road 5 Turn south on County Road 5 and take it to County Road 44
47 County Road 44 Turn south onto County Road 44 and take it to County Road 23 .
48 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).
48 County Road 23 Turn southwest onto County Road 23 (just across the bridge) and take it to Burritts Rapids.
stop.gif - 624 Bytes 60 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).
60 County Road 23 Continue along County Road 23 to Upper Nicholsons Locks
64 Upper Nicholsons Locks A lovely lockstation with swing bridge. Picnic tables and washrooms.
64 County Road 23 Continue along County Road 23 to County Road 43
66 County Road 43 Turn southeast onto County Road 43 and continue to Merrickville
68 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.
Bicycle Route 68 Smiths Falls Loop At Merrickville, this route intersects the Smiths Falls Loop. Highlights of that loop include the Rideau Canal Visitor Information Centre in Smiths Falls and the fast food strip (incl. Tim Hortons). The Smiths Fall loop will put you back on this route at Toledo (no need to backtrack)
right-turn-arrow.gif - 477 Bytes 68 County Road 16 Take St. Lawrence street south out of Merrickville, and turn southwest onto County Road 16. Take County Road 16 to Jasper.
83 Smiths Falls Loop In Jasper there is another opportunity to do the Smiths Falls Loop. See above for details.
83 County Road 16 Continue along County Road 16 to County Road 29
88 County Road 29 Turn south on County Road 29 to the exit for Toledo.
95 County Road 8 Turn west onto County Road 8 to Toledo
96 Toledo Gas station with groceries. Limited services.
96 County Road 8 Continue west along County Road 8 to Philipsville
108 Forfar Side Trip (12 km) At Philipsville, you are only 6 kilometres from Forfar, home of Forfar Dairy. If you crave cheese or other snacks, this short side trip is well worth doing. Simply continue along Cty. Rd. 42 to Forfar and then return to this spot.
Bicycle Route 108 Jones Falls Loop This route intersects the Jones Falls loop at Philipsville. If you take the Jones Falls Loop you'll end up back on this route at Old Briar Hill Road and Cty. Rd. 32 (just south of Lyndhurst).
108 Cty Rd. 42 At Philipsville, turn east onto County Road 42 and continue to Delta
113 Delta Village of Delta. Take time to stop and visit the historic Old Stone Mill Museum, now beautifully restored. Restaurant and groceries available in village.
113 County Road 42 Continue south along County Road 42 to its intersection with County Road 33
116 County Road 33 Turn southwest onto County Road 33 and continue to Lyndhurst
122 Lyndhurst Lyndhurst Village. Take time to view the historic Lyndhurst Bridge (you can't miss it - you have to cross over it).
122 County Road 33 Continue southwest along County Road 33 to Briar Hill Road
Bicycle Route 123 Jones Falls Loop This route intersects the Jones Falls loop at Old Briar Hill Road (just after you leave). If you didn't take the option of doing this loop from Philipsville, this is your second chance.
123 County Road 33 Continue along County Road 33 from Old Briar Hill Road to Highway 15.
130 Hwy. 15 Turn south along Highway 15 and take it to its intersection with County Road 32 (road to Gananoque)
131 Hwy 15 Intersection Gas station here has groceries. Also small restaurant.
131 County Road 32 Turn south onto County Road 32 and continue to its intersection with Taylor Road (at Taylor)
140 Taylor Road Turn right (west) onto Taylor Road and take it Brewers Mills Road.
141 Brewers Mills Road Turn right (north) onto Brewers Mills Road (basically continuing along the same direction, just stay right) and take it to Highway 15.
147 Highway 15 Turn left (south) onto Highway 15 and continue for a couple of hundred metres to County Road 12 (Sunbury Road)
148 County Road 12 Turn right (west) onto County Road 12 (Sunbury Road)
148 Upper Brewers Lockstation A nice place to stop and take a break. The lockstation is just a couple of hundred metres off the main road. Washrooms, picnic tables.
148 County Road 12 Continue along County Road 12 (Sunbury Road) to Sunbury
159 County Road 11 At Sunbury (small grocery store), turn south onto County Road 11 (Battersea Road). Continue south to Kingston Mills Road (County Road 21)
171 Kingston Mills Take Kingston Mills Road 2 kilometres east to the Kingston Mills Lockstation. Beautiful scenery, picnic tables and washroom.
171 Cty Rd. 11 Continue south on County Road 11. When you pass under Highway 401, it will turn into Montreal Street which will lead you into downtown Kingston
179 Kingston The Limestone City - lots of things to do and see.
My thanks to Dave Wellstood who provided several updates/improvements to this route after travelling it in 2006.

Thanks also to Michael Whitty who cycled this route in 2013 and provided several good suggestions for alternate routes and side trips to visit more of the lockstations.

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©1996- Ken W. Watson