Combine the adventure and adrenalin of a 5-7 day Canadian Canoe Route tour with a touch of heritage along the Rideau Canal Route and you have the perfect recipe for a fun-filled RV vacation in Southern Ontario.
1098km / 682mi
Start / End
Toronto / Toronto
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Route - 1098 km / 682 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Toronto to Peterborough 151 km / 94 mi Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
02 Peterborough to Barry's Bay 178 km / 111 mi Approx. 2 hours
03 Barry's Bay
04 Barry's Bay to OWL Rafting on the Ottawa River 95 km / 59 mi Approx. 1 hour 16 minutes
05 Ottawa River to Ottawa 123 km / 76 mi Approx. 1 hour 20 minutes
06 Ottawa
07 The Rideau Canal Heritage Route 275 km / 171 mi Approx. 3 hours 30 minutes
08 Kingston
09 Kingston to Toronto 276 km / 171 mi Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes

Trip Details

Pick up your paddle as you leave Toronto- the first five days of your tour are all about canoeing, and Peterborough is home to the Canadian Canoe Museum which celebrates the canoe's enduring significance to Canada.

Visit the Museum, take a tour and learn to make your own canoe paddle. The Museum's collection includes more than 600 canoes, kayaks and paddled watercraft, from the great dugouts of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest to bark canoes, skin-on-frame kayaks and all-wood and canvas covered craft.

Travel further north to Madawaska Kanu Centre, on the eastern edge of Algonquin Park, where you can prepare for the following day's canoeing trip down the River or sign up for Zero-to-Hero in a kayak. Barry's Bay is located south-east of Algonquin Park, approximately 55 km from the east entrance. Overnight at your chosen RV Resort in the area.

Return to Madawaska Kanu Centre for your full-day guided canoe trip. For those looking for a shorter, softer adventure, try a two-hour family rafting trip on the Madawaska River.

Before the York River flows into the Madawaska River, it traverses Conroy Marsh, one of the most diverse wetlands on the continent. Enjoy paddling your own canoe on this full-day guided day trip. Here the river meanders quite aggressively around sandy S-bends before it opens up in Conroy Marsh where the only sound is the dipping of your own paddle.

Stay another night at your chosen campground in the area.

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As today's journey will take only two hours, you might like to first travel into Algonquin Park and learn first hand why this park is the jewel in the crown of Ontario's provincial parks. While most of the park is accessible only by canoe or on foot, there is a 56 km stretch of Highway 60 running through the park from which you can hike one of 14 trails, take part in education programs or call in at the Visitor Centre. The park also offers excellent trout fishing and the opportunity to view moose along the highway.

Continue along the Canadian Canoe Route, stopping at Golden Lake to visit the Algonquins of the Pikwàkanagàn. It was here that the building of the last birch-bark canoe took place. Continue further east to Forrester’s Falls for an overnight stay at Owl Rafting on the Ottawa River.

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Today’s adventure is whitewater rafting down the world-famous rapids of the Rocher Fendu, before continuing on to Ottawa. Trips run daily between May and September. OWL Rafting's day trip includes a full day of whitewater rafting as well as a BBQ meal on their river pontoon cruise back to the resort at the end of the day. Once back at the resort, your guides will show a video presentation where you can relive your day's adventure. Hot showers are also available.

Spend another night at OWL Rafting or continue on to Ottawa for an overnight stay at Wesley Clover Parks Campground.

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Leave your RV at the campground and take public transport downtown to explore the inner city. Once downtown, the city is very walkable.

Visit Parliament Hill, walk along the Rideau Canal, or take a walking tour to discover more about the city. Take a stroll through Byward Market, one of the oldest and largest public markets in Canada, built in 1826. Enjoy specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, cafes and more in an area spanning roughly four blocks square. Or, visit one of the many museums the city has to offer – The Canadian Museum of History, The Canadian War Museum or The Canadian Museum of Nature.

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Begin your Rideau Heritage Route driving tour by taking County Road 73 south to Rideau Valley Drive and on to the village of Manotick. Visit Watson’s Mill, built in 1860, one of the best-preserved mills in Ontario. Leaving Manotick, take the leisurely scenic route south heading to Burritts Rapids. Your next stop is Merrickville, look for the historic blockhouse just to the west of the main intersection in town.

Highway 43 will take you through to Smith Falls. This was the hub of regional railroads in the first half of the 20th century. From here, travel to Kilmarnock Lock and then on to Toldeo to Forfar. This route will take you by apple orchards and T-Houses. From here, head to The Narrows and Perth. The lock station at the Narrows features one of the four blockhouses built in 1830-31 by Colonel By along the canal to defend it from invasion by the Americans. It’s a leisurely drive from here to Perth, a town that was established as a military settlement in the spring of 1816 as part of a strategic defense plan against invasion from the south. From Perth, Highway 10 (otherwise known as Scotch Line) will take you south past Pike Lake and numerous smaller lakes to Westport. The view of Westport from Spy Rock is truly spectacular.

Take Highway 42 from Westport to Newboro. The lock station here includes one of only four blockhouses built by Colonel John By along the Rideau Canal. There are some nice restaurants here if you’d like to stop for a quiet lunch or dinner. Head east on Hwy 42 until you reach the junction of Hwy 15. A couple of diversions along this highway will take you to Jones Falls and to Chaffey’s Lock where you can visit the Lockmaster’s House Museum. Return to Hwy 15 then continue on to the turn-off to Jones Falls (Hwy 11). Some consider this to be the prettiest lock station on the canal and there’s a lot to do and see here.

Download the walking tour map of Jones Falls Lock Station from the Parks Canada website and spend time here exploring.

Kingston is situated at the confluence of the St Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Plan to stay here for a couple of days as it’s a city with so much history and lots to do.

The 1000 Islands Parkway extends from Kingston following the St Lawrence River where it joins Hwy 401 just past Mallorytown. This is a spectacular drive and a ‘must do’ while you are in the area.

Around Kingston itself, the three most popular tourist attractions are Bellevue House, Fort Henry and the Kingston Penitentiary. All are worthy of a visit. If you’re looking for something to do in the evening, the Haunted Walk of Kingston offers a variety of “ghost” walks including their original haunted walk of Kingston, Ghosts of Fort Henry and Ghosts and Legends of Gananoque.

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Take your time as you begin your journey back to Toronto today. It's a short trip if you take the 401, but a much more interesting route to take is Highway 2. Take a diversion into Prince Edward County - perhaps visit Sandbanks Provincial Park, home of the world's largest baymouth barrier dune formation and a bird migration hot spot in the spring and fall. Prince Edward County is also home to more than 35 wineries, each having its own distinctive character.

Leaving Prince Edward County, continue west on Highway 2 through Brighton, Grafton and Port Hope where the metropolis of Greater Toronto begins its encroachment on the landscape and farmland gives way to the city. There are opportunities to join the 401 if you prefer it to city driving. The closest RV Park to our Toronto location is Indian Line Campground, off 409 and 427. This will leave you with a short drive back to your drop-off location in the morning.

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