Some Parks Canada places have begun a safe, gradual reopening of some outdoor areas and services, including camping. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and be well-prepared for their visit. Details here.

Starting June 1, 2020

Starting June 1st 2020, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site will offer limited visitor access and basic services along the entire system.

Visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

  • lockage, boat launches, access points and mooring areas;
  • day-use areas, including green spaces, picnic areas, and parking lots;
  • day-use trails, including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways;
  • lockstation grounds; and
  • public toilets where enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented
  • camping (For boaters, paddlers and vessels under power only)
Visiting the Rideau Canal National Historic Site will be different than it has been in the past. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Rideau Canal National Historic website before they travel.

More than an historic waterway, the Rideau Canal is a route through nature with outdoor offerings from the calm reflections of a day’s fishing to adrenalin-pumping rock-climbing. Paddle a kayak for a day or along the canal’s length through hand-cranked locks. Or cruise in luxury. Cycle or walk waterside pathways in communities like Smiths Falls and Ottawa. Pitch a tent beside a lock or rent a lockstation to throw the party of a lifetime.


  • A historic home with a wraparound porch on a sunny day with a lock mechanism visible in the foreground

    Historic accommodations

    Book an unforgettable stay on the Rideau at one of these affordable historic homes, perfect for friends and family.

  • Two women in a canoe paddling away from the dock down on a narrow canal heading towards a lock on the horizon.

    Paddling on the Rideau Canal

    The Rideau Canal offers a number of natural paddling environments (lakes, rivers and wetlands) showcasing the beauty and diversity of the system.

  • Two tents beside the canal

    ​Camping at lockstations

    Boaters, cyclists and hikers are welcome to pitch a tent at historic lockstations along the canal and enjoy a unique camping experience with the comforts of a well-serviced campsite.

All activities