For those who long to stray from the road most traveled, to strap on a backpack and hiking boots to venture through natural landscapes and across rugged beaten paths straight into the heart of the wild… your next adventure awaits you!
The Rideau Trail offers new and seasoned hikers access to 387 kilometers of interconnected hiking trails, all year round. Truly a gem hidden in our very own backyard, the trails runs between the City of Ottawa, starting at the Rideau Locks, through to Perth and all the way towards Confederation Park, in the City of Kingston. The landscape ranges from farmland to the rocky terrain of the great Canadian Shield, showcasing the diverse ecology of surrounding tributary waters, provincial parks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the Rideau Canal), and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (the Frontenac Arch).
The trail is maintained by the Rideau Trail Association, a volunteer-led charitable organization that maintains and encourages low-impact use of the Rideau Trail. The association is divided into three local clubs including Kingston, Central and Ottawa locations, which all offer free organized outings with a spectrum of activities and distances to choose from. Whether a 5 km relaxed hike or a 28 km bust-a-sweat active trek, there’s something to fulfill every hiker’s nature need. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are currently among the most popular activities during the winter months.
In order to better serve interested hikers, the Rideau Trail Association recently launched a new website that makes hike-planning easy and exciting. Check out their updated FAQs, trail alerts, day trip schedule, trail etiquette and overnight accommodations sections for more information on what to expect before heading out. You can also download PDF maps or purchase them in advance if you plan on ditching your device in true getting-off-the-grid spirit.
Although you don’t need to be a member to participate in group hikes, a $25 annual Rideau Trail Association membership hooks you up with exciting perks and all proceeds go towards supporting the trail. As a member, you receive a quarterly newsletter, information on social activities, news updates from each club, relevant hiking articles and other bonus materials – a great idea for a Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for the hiking enthusiast in your family!