The Rideau Canal being one of eastern Canada's most attractive canoe and kayaking destinations offers a truly unique experience; spectacular scenery, quaint villages, military history, varied wildlife and best of all for the kayak camper, a wonderful opportunity to sleep under canvas with a high degree of comfort at little expense. This trip is just over 200 kms and when I do it I allow 8 days so I average 25 km/day give or take as depending on where you want to make camp this may require some longer days.
Camping at lock stations is very affordable at $6 per person per night and provides facilities with toilets and hot and cold water, no showers but in nice weather a dip in the lake does the job. There is one section where I have had to make alternate arrangements for camping where the distance to a lockstation exceeded my daily quota and there I have found 2 options, one is Rideau River Prov. Park, the other Baxter Conservation area. The latter is to me preferable. The park will cost about $40 per site whereas Baxter was $6 per person a night. The sites at Rideau park require a further carry whereas Baxter is right on the water and very private. Note arrangements and payment must be made to Baxter ahead of trip and campfire wood can be ordered then too. For food it is not necessary to bring supplies for the whole trip if you plan your camps to make best use of shore facilities available. From Kingston the first opportunity to eat ashore would be Chaffeys Locks where the renovated Opinicon lodge offers both meals and accommodation for those not wanting to camp.
Personally I prefer to stop at Davis and just do camp food as Davis is a pretty setting with good separation between campers and power boaters so very peaceful. I have used Chaffeys and eaten dinner and breakfast at the old Opinicon lodge but had a sleepless night as a "party" boat was moored not 20' from my tent. I usually do a lunch at Newboro's Stirling Lodge before moving on to my next camp at Col By island. By camping at Smiths Falls and Merrickville this allows for other dinner/breakfast opportunities. If camping at Rideau River park or Baxter a phonecall can get pizza delivery from Kemptille if you wish to avoid cooking your own. This year (2019) Parks Canada is offering paddlers 1/2 price on purchase of season lockage which will not only get you from Kingston to Ottawa but can be used as many times as you want throughout the season. I prefer to do this trip around the end of June just when locking summer hours begin and before traffic builds up after schools are out. This has been a brief summary as I have detailed this trip at some length on my blog post link given below. This contains daily maps showing my track, many photos and details of where we camped etc which I encourage you to read if you are thinking of doing this trip which is well worthwhile.
From Hwy 401 W exit 619 to Battersea Rd/Montreal St south 5 km to James St east, follow James St with 20m jog on Bagot St and left on Rideau St to Cataraqui St, follow Cataraqui to water. Use either paved ramp or Kingston Canoe club docks to launch.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change