*The Rideau Canal stretches more than 200 km from Ottawa to Kingston
*In the winter you can glide on the Rideau Canal Skateway which is 7.8 km long
*The skating surface is larger than 105 National Hockey League rinks
Growing up in the Nation’s Capital I’d always take advantage of as many of the wonderful outdoor activities that I could and take the time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings too. From Sunday Bikedays to skating on the world’s largest skating rink while enjoying a beavertail–of course, are just fond memories now since I just can’t seem to squeeze in a visit to Ottawa, Ontario into my schedule these days. So, lately I’ve been doing my best to carve out time to head back to my hometown. When I do travel back, I make a point to stop and visit some of my favourite scenic spots and take part in some memorable pastimes like something as simple as walking along the Rideau Canal.
The Rideau Canal is much more than just a waterway. There are walkways galore where you can sit and appreciate the scenery from the sidelines or on the water. In the winter you can enjoy skating on what Guinness World Records says is the largest naturally frozen ice rink. The rest of the year you can take in the Canal by paddle boat, kayak or canoe which can all be rented at Dow’s Lake Marina.
Colonel John By was assigned the task of creating a waterway from the Ottawa River to Kingston. This was quite a feat considering at the time there was thick brush, swamps and rocky terrain to deal with.
Construction began 1827 and the Canal was opened in 1832.
There are 47 locks located at 24 lockstations. Many of the locks are still operated by hand with the same mechanisms that were used when the canal was opened 185 years ago.
Kayakers and canoeists can explore what seems like endless shorelines and camp at 22 of the 24 lockstations.
The Canal is open year ’round which is great since there is so much to see and explore. So, really there is no excuse as to why you can’t stop by for a quick visit when travelling in the area. I hope I’ve tempted you to drop by and maybe even… stay awhile.