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Paddling the Rideau Canal

Paddling the Rideau Canal, whether by canoe, kayak or other muscle driven conveyance, is a great low impact way to travel along this historic waterway. It also affords the best opportunity for quiet wildlife viewing. The Rideau Canal is ideally suited to paddling with lots of access points, lots of camping areas (most of the lockstations plus private and public campgrounds), easy access to supplies and easy access to help. The landscapes along the Rideau are varied; natural, rural and urban. Whether you like viewing loons and turtles and/or the architecture of boathouses and cottages, the Rideau has something for everyone.

Watson's Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal
(current version: January 2024)

This is a 192 page detailed guide to paddling the Rideau Canal. It contains a description of the entire route with 18 detailed route maps, plus maps of every lockstation showing the portage routes, and dozens of Points of Interest from Kingston to Ottawa.

If you plan to paddle all or part of the Rideau Canal - this guide is for you. It is a free PDF download:

Watson's Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal
The above is a link to a 12 Mb PDF file. Clicking this link will open the PDF.
You should see a download icon (upper right) on the PDF page, but if not, click on the 3 dots in that area to bring up a menu that will include a download option.

This guide is being distributed as donationware. The guide is freely downloadable and if you find it useful, please come back here and make a donation:

Make an on-line donation using a credit card via PayPal (secure transaction):

Send us a cheque or money order made out to "Friends of the Rideau" - mail to:

Friends of the Rideau
P.O. Box 1232, Stn. Main
Smiths Falls, ON, K7A 5C7

Day or Weekend Trips

Watson's Paddling Guide to the Rideau Canal is a compilation of 18 day paddling guides covering the entire length of the Rideau Canal. Each of the 18 overlapping sections has its own detailed map. The Rideau Canal is ideal as a day or weekend paddling adventure. So if you're just looking for a day or weekend outing, download the guide and use the section you wish to paddle.

Note: the information in this section has been taken, with permission, from the paddling section on Ken Watson's Rideau website at www.rideau-info.com/canal/paddling/


Fauna of the Rideau
a mini-guide to the wildlife you might see on your Rideau journey

Geology of the Rideau
a short history of the geology of the Rideau region

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