A Capital Rideau Adventure | Canada

A Capital Rideau Adventure Cycle Trip

This bicycle trip will be a 14-day, 13-night circular bicycle trip taking place right here in beautiful south-eastern Ontario. The distance of this trip will be approximately 730 km, starting and ending in Warkworth/Campbellford, and visiting our nation's capital as well as many picturesque rural communities in the Rideau Canal/Thousand Islands Parkway area. We will visit the popular tourist town of Westport, historic Merrickville, quaint Smith's Falls, picturesque Kingston and Prince Edward County and will be cycling along peaceful rural roads as well as the trails of the Ottawa region, the Thousand Islands Parkway and the Waterfront Trail. Our route will cover a wide range of landscapes, including some challenging hills.

This trip is designed to provide two free days to explore the many sights and cycling opportunities in Ottawa as well as a free day to enjoy the Westport area that offers fabulous hiking and notable shopping. Accommodations will range from the quaint Park Place Motel on Stoco Lake in Tweed to the luxurious Boathouse Country Inn in Rockport in the heart of the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River.

There is no lack of history to experience in this area. The Rideau Canal was built following the war of 1812 as part of a large defensive plan to ensure against American invasion of Upper Canada. Though the canal was never used for its intended purpose, it played a pivotal role in the development of Canada. The canal was easier to navigate than the rapids of the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston and it transported thousands of immigrants from the British Isles as well as being a major route for timber, minerals and grain from remote regions heading east.

This year, the second Covid-complicated summer, seems a perfect time to explore our own Ontario history and support the local tourism industry. Hopefully travel within Ontario will prove to be safe and unhindered this summer.

MAPS NEEDED: Map 4; Map 5; Map 5a (Map of Perth); Carleton Place Haunted Heritage Map and Mural Locations;  Haunted Heritage info page; The Murals of Carleton Place info page 

If you are using Garmin maps, go to Rideau Trip Day 4 – Westport to Carleton Place 

(4) Begin today’s ride with a vengeance by heading uphill on County Road 10 to Foley Mountain Conservation Area.  Then relax, the most demanding hill of the day is behind you! Enjoy the lightly rolling topography of this area. 1.7 km - Turn right and ride past the conservation area along the paved and winding Grady Road. Stay on Grady Road at  the intersection with North Shore Road. 

3.2 km – Road changes to loose gravel. 

4.2 km - Road condition improves to more stable gravel. 

5.5 km - Veer right onto Norwood Road. The road has now become less gravelly and more hard-packed. 10.3 km - At the Stop Sign, turn left onto Merkley Road. Stay to the right at the “No Exit” road. The road surface is still  hard-packed with light gravel. 

14.5 km – At the Stop Sign, turn left onto County Road 14. 

16.8 km – Turn right onto Lally Road (County Road 21), a paved secondary road, towards Murphy’s Point Prov. Park(5) 19.7 km – Reach the Lally Homestead Site, part of Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. Here you can find washrooms,  picnic tables and a garbage can and we’ll stop here for a break from the bicycle seat and an interesting hike.  Silver Queen Mica Mine Trail – 2 km partial loop, easy; returning via the Beaver Pond Trail – 1 km, easy This trail leads to the restored, early 1900s partially open-pit mica mine, with heritage displays along the way and a  rebuilt miner’s bunkhouse. Besides mica, apatite and feldspar were also mined here during the mine’s 1903 – 1920  existence. Mined minerals were shipped by barge along the Rideau Canal and by train from Perth and provided extra  income for local farming families. Access to the mine and the bunkhouse is available during mine tours only.  22.3 km – The road becomes paved with a shoulder. 

33 km – At the Stop Sign, turn left onto Rideau Ferry Road which has a wide paved shoulder. 37.2 km – Pass the entrance to Perth Wildlife Reserve Conservation Area, a 257-hectare reserve which nurtures diverse  plant and wildlife species including deer, ducks, Canada geese, rabbits, bluebirds and wild turkeys.  (5a) 38.6 km – Pass the Perth Flea Market (usually open 10 am to 5 pm). Continue on through the town of Perth. 39.6 km – Continue through the traffic lights into Perth. At the second traffic light there is a Circle K and a Tim Hortons. This is a good place to grab some lunch. There are also other restaurants and pizza places nearby. From this corner,  turn right for one block then turn left onto Drummond Street East and enjoy the shady benches of the old courthouse. If you’re interested in visiting Last Duel Park, turn right here onto Craig Street and ride about 0.5 km to the river. It was  here that the last fatal duel in Canada played-out on June 13, 1833. 

Continue northward along Drummond Street East/West past any grand historic houses and law offices.  (5) 41.8 km – Reach the traffic lights at Highway 7. Cross over the highway and take the first right onto Dufferin Road. 43 km – Reach Highway 7 again and turn left to ride along the highway for a short distance. 44 km – Turn left onto Wayside Road. 

45.3 km – Reach Highway 7 again and cross over the highway onto Tennyson Road, which has a paved shoulder. 60 km – Ride through the hamlet of Tennyson. 

60.5 km – Veer right onto the 9th Line Beckwith. This road follows the shores of Mississippi Lake then veers to the east. 68.3 km – Reach the junction with Lanark County Trail (part of the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail) at Stonefields Estate and  Benhaven Stable. Turn left onto the trail and take this pathway under Highway 7 and into Carleton Place. Cross over  Moore Street and continue along the trail. 

74.3 km – At the next crossroad, Lake Avenue East, turn left and ride a short distance until you reach the back of the  Grand Hotel, a beautiful 3-storey hotel, built in 1872 and steeped in history.  

Our hotel for the night ….