Hop into a voyageur canoe (similar to what Samuel de Champlain would have used) and travel down the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site! Parks Canada offers voyageur canoe tours departing from the Hartwells Lockstation, located just over 7km south of downtown Ottawa, near the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and the Central Experimental Farm.
There are two types of tours which both include a leisurely paddle down a portion of the Rideau Canal, providing scenic views of Ottawa’s urban parkland and cityscape including the Dominion Arboretum, Dows Lake and more. Along the way, two guides maneuver the canoe and share historical information about the 19th century construction of the Rideau Canal, the serene natural setting and other interesting facts. The Locking-Through Experience tour starts by taking participants through the two-stage, manually-operated locks – a very unique way to experience the opening and closing of the massive lock gates from within! The Evening Paddle Experience boards the canoe below the locks, allowing for more paddling and exploration time along the Rideau Canal.
Tours are approximately two hours and run daily June through August, except on Mondays and Tuesdays. Parking is available on site for a small fee and there is bicycle access via the multiple pathways. To book a spot on this 10-person canoe tour or for more information, call 613-283-5170, ext. 205.