Rideau Roundtable

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Facts About the Rideau

State of the River Report

Funders and Partners

What You Can Do

Map of the Waterway

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Directory of Environmental

Voyageur Canoe Tours

     - Tour Schedule

     - Canoe Tripping & Guides

     - Healthy Living by the

     - Rideau Wildlife


For the past five years, the Rideau Roundtable has partnered with Paddle Canada and Parks Canada to host interpretive tours along the Rideau Waterway. What makes these tours unique is that they take place in 34-foot replica voyageur canoes with guides in voyageur costume!!!

With up to 36 participants leisurely paddling in the two canoes (up to 18 per canoe) , the tours explore both the natural and historical aspects of the Rideau Waterway. Our regular paddling instructors and guides provide paddling instruction, interpretation of nature, and historical tales. These trips are enjoyable for groups of all ages.

Rideau Experience - photo by Simon Lunn

A usual trip consists of being “locked through” a set of locks on the Rideau Canal, and exploring one of the significant wetlands which can be found along the river. Tours usually last around 1 ½ hours, but the length of time is negotiable.

These trips can be customized to fit the needs of any group.

Who: All ages are welcome aboard. With 18 paddlers in each canoe, the work is distributed and everyone can enjoy the ride.

What: The main focus of these tours is ecology and history along the Rideau. Depending on the interests of your group, the emphasis of any particular tour can be shifted to suit your needs

Where: Although the main tours are through the Rideau River Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Merrickville, the Smiths Falls Swale, and an associated set of locks, the canoes can be trailered anywhere where there is launch access.

When: The canoes are available any day of the week at any time between May 24 and Thanksgiving. Some of the best times are early evening, when the river is often calm and the heat of the day is ending. *** The trips take place rain or shine, however the canoes will not go out on the water during thunderstorms, or in winds exceeding 8 knots.

Why: We want your trip to be as enjoyable as possible in order that you get a better understanding of the Rideau Waterway, and to stimulate your interest in environmental stewardship.

$600.00 per day, which covers 2 canoes with crew and up to 3 tours during that day.

VOYAGEUR CANOE TOURS are perfect for company picnics, outings for youth groups, family reunions, day camps, festivals, or any day when you want to be out on the water and learning about nature.

Book a teambuilding session for your company or organization. Group activities on the shore precede the canoe trip on the Rideau River. There you will learn not only how to work together to paddle a 34-foot canoe, but also learn how to work with nature to preserve wetlands.

Outings may be combined with restaurant meals, guest speakers, or Rideau Canal Museum visits at additional cost.

See our current Voyageur Canoe Outing Schedule for tour date availability

Each year a number of Rideau Experience Voyageur Canoe Tours are booked and made available to the general public. To participate in this type of tour, see our Rideau Experience Voyageur Canoe Schedule page. Please visit the sponsors’ websites for departure locations, times, and prices for each organization/event. See the Voyageur Canoe Outing Schedule. If you wish to book your own tour, contact the Rideau Roundtable as shown below.

  • PFD’s are provided.
  • The canoes have flotation protection built into them.
  • Instructors have been taught CPR and First Aid.
  • Before loading the canoes, each group is shown water safety tips and given paddling instruction.
  • Canoes will not go out on the water during thunderstorms or high winds.
  • It is hot on the water and there is no shade to protect you: remember to wear sunscreen and/or a hat, and bring water.


Tours are offered anywhere along the Rideau where there is launch access.

The Rideau Roundtable also offers multi-day voyageur canoe tours on the Rideau Waterway. Starting from wherever you choose, as we progress down the river, our knowledgeable guides will tell you about the history and nature of the Rideau and its towns and villages.

The Roundtable can also provide guides for any type of canoe tour on the Rideau: birdwatching, historical exploration, general touring, team building, ecotouring, or adventure paddling

For details see the Canoe Tripping and Guides Page

We've produced two brochures illustrating various types of wildlife and vegetation that you might see on your Rideau journey. For details see the Rideau Wildlife Page

Stew Hamill
Rideau Experience Coordinator
Rideau Roundtable

©2015 The Rideau Roundtable