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, with the exception of Jones Falls and Kingston Mills.
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)
Jones Falls and Kingston Mills lockstations will not open on June 1 as important infrastructure work is ongoing in both of these locations. It is expected that this work will be completed and the entire system will be open for navigation later in June.

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.

Spend the night on a historic canal

Experience a unique stay on the water at an affordable price. Relax on your boat or step onto land and enjoy various nearby activities. 

  • Save money with a low-cost overnight stay
  • Access to bathrooms (check with the lock operators)
  • Access to surrounding attractions and services

Know before you go

  • A mooring permit is required to stay overnight
  • Mooring docks can not be reserved and space is not guaranteed
  • Mooring is offered on a first-come, first-served basis
Permits and passes

Permits are available for purchase at most lock stations.

Learn more about lockage and mooring permits

Purchase permits by phone:

Visitor guidelines

Before staying overnight at a National Historic Site, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that ensure these places stay protected and enjoyed for years to come.

See all Visitor Guidelines

Displaying permits

Seasonal mooring, lockage and/or transit decals must be affixed to the vessel. Other permits must be available for verification or validation by lock staff.

More information about boating permits

Your responsibility

Boaters are responsible for the care of their own vessels during the mooring period. Vessels should not be left unattended for long periods of time.

Maximum mooring time

Boaters may stay at one lockstation for up to 2 nights (48 hrs.) unless otherwise posted or indicated by lock staff. Vessels that reach the maximum length of stay may not return to the same wharf or wall for the next 24 hours, unless otherwise directed by lock staff.

Check-in / check-out

Boaters wishing to moor overnight at a lockstation must check-in with lock staff upon arrival. Check-out time in the morning is 11:00 am. Boaters must leave the wharf area (wall) by 11:00 am the day following the last permitted mooring night.

Additional mooring space

Blue lines are often used for additional mooring spaces following the day's last lockage. However, boaters must move their vessels off the blue line before the lock opens the next day.


Rafting of vessels is only permitted at lock and bridge stations from the close of navigation for the day to opening the next morning. Boaters on the wall are not required to accept rafting. Rafted vessels are charged the same mooring fee as vessels on the wall.


Vessels towing a boat (aluminum, fiberglass, rubber dinghy or personal watercraft) regardless of size, with or without an engine, will require a lockage permit for the towed craft. A mooring permit for a towed vessel is also a requirement.

More information on permits and fees


Boaters who pay for overnight mooring are allowed to camp on land free of charge, at the discretion of the lock master.

Learn more about camping at a lockstation