South Wind Itinerary

Day by Day Itinerary: (as of May 1)

*Note: to avoid traffic jams at the locks, it would be expedient to have the brigade streamlined to do ‘one pass’ locking. To do this, several canoes will have to be portaged. This should be easy with all the helping hands we have available. Crews with 26’ canoes should think of packing for portaging. The portages around the locks are short, grassy and level, and low docks make it easy to get the canoes off the water and launch them again. Portage wheels will help,.If you use them, bring them.

June 22: Crews begin to arrive at Rideau Acres Campsite

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June 23:

9:00 AM: Crews who wish to depart from Kingston muster and organize to leave from Kingston Marina. see for details.

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10:00 AM: Kingston Crews depart. 8 km from Kingston to Rideau Acres; one set of locks

12:00 Kingston crews arrive at Rideau Acres Campsite by canoe.

1:00 – 4:00: Big Canoe Paddling Course. Participants who have registered with Max meet at the boat launch with paddle and life jacket.

2:00 PM: Rental canoes arrive. Crews using rental boats must muster with their captains and boats (36’ or 26’).Captains must ensure that they have paddles (+ 2 extra), life jackets, and required safety gear and repair gear for their boat. Crews help with unloading. This should take about 40 minutes. It may require a break in the big Canoe Course.

5:00 PM: Official Welcome from the mayor of Kingston and Algonquins of Ontario

Supper; Everyone one their own

June 24: Rideau acres – Jones Falls 36 km; 2 sets of locks;


Image result for jones falls, Ontario, locks

7;00 Am: captain’s meeting

7:30 AM: brigade breakfast at Rideau Acres

9:00 AM Brigade departs

Lunch: en route (Upper Brewer’s lock?)

4:30 PM: arrive at Jones Falls…Lock through that afternoon.(locks are open until 5:30)

Set up camp at Jones Falls lock station by the Stone Arch dam at the top of the locks.

6:00 PM supper your own arrangements

7:30 PM: Presentation at Hotel Kenny: Wildlife of the Rideau, with Simon Lunn

June 25: Jones Falls to Newboro: 21 km; 3 sets of locks see;;;

Image result for Rideau narrows locks, Ontario

7:00 Am: Captain’s meeting

Breakfast: your own arrangements

Depart: 10:00 AM (earlier if you  haven’t got your canoes to the top of the locks yet..locks open at 8:00 AM)

*note that there are two optional routes from Chaffeys to Newboro around Scott Island. Check your maps. For the very energetic, a side trip to Bedford Mills is a possibility to be discussed at the captain’s meeting.

Lunch: en route (eg. Chaffey’s Locks)..very pretty, check out the Opinicon Hotel. You can buy ice  cream cones here.

Highlight: Newboro Locks – the ‘top’ of the Rideau. It’s all downhill from here.

Campsite: Newboro Lock Station

Supper; on your own – restaurants within walking distance

Outdoor Presentation: Old-time Navigation Techniques, by the Surveyor General’s crew.

(late afternoon, after everyone arrives)

June 26: Newboro to Perth 36 km via Big Rideau Lake and Tay Canal  (three sets of locks)

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see;, and

Big Rideau Lake is the biggest lake on our journey, and it can get wavy, especially at the near Murphy’s Point PP. Good to paddle it in the morning.

6:30 AM: Captain’s meeting

7:00 Breakfast on your own

8:00 Departure.

9:00 Rideau Narrows Lock Station. We want to be here early to be acrosss Big Rideau Lake before the afternoon winds pick up!

Lunch: Rideau Ferry has a restaurant!

2:00 PM: Welcome ceremony at Beveridge Locks. Pick up dignitaries.

Supper; TBD.. many restaurants close to the water.

Camping: Last Duel Campsite, Perth.

7:30 PM..paddle from Last Duel Park  1 km to the ‘Basin’ in the ;middle of the town of Perth. There will be a special welcoming ceremony there. We will paddle into the basin in an orderly parade of big canoes, circling the fountains in the centre of the basin in a clockwise direction one full circle, and then lining up facing the ‘Crystal Palace’ (this will become clear when we are there), while the town cryer and bagpipes and drums makes for a very special arrival. There may even be firetrucks. its up to us tomake this look good….even speed, even spacing between canoes…a big test of canoeing skills.

9:30 PM Paddle back to the campsite just before dark

June 27: Perth to Smiths Falls, 23 km, 2 sets of locks.

Image result for victoria park smiths falls ontarioSee;

 7;00 Am: Captains meeting

Breakfast. On your own…lots of nearby restaurants.

Depart: 10:00 AM

2:00 PM: Arrive in Smith  Falls

Lunch; TBD..lots of restaurants in Smiths Falls close to the water – none en route

Campsite: Detached locks (the first ones) above the locks on left

Afternoon activities: possible tours of the Swale led by us in our Big Canoes with Irish visitors.

Welcoming celebrations. Music, cookout)

Super:  provided by the town of Smith Falls!

Evening presentation: History of the  Rideau Canal, by renowned paddler, blacksmith and Rideau Canal man Don Mackay under the stars (weather permitting .

Arrive in Smith  Falls: 2:00 PM

Lunch: en route…Poonamalie Lock Station perhaps. Welcoming celebrations.

Afternoon tours by Big Canoe of The Swale with visitors from Ireland!)

Super:  Community supper put on by the town of Smiths Falls. There will be fiddles!

Evening presentation: History of the  Rideau Canal, by renowned paddler, blacksmith and Rideau Canal man Don Mackay at the auditorium of the Rideau Canal Museum. time and place TBD.

Camping: At Detached Locks, river left, just past the just past the abandoned railway bridge . There is overnight parking.

June 28: Smiths Falls – Merrickville; 23 km; 4 sets of locks…3-4 hours of locking through

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7:00 AM: Captains Meeting

Breakfast; on your own, plenty of nearby restaurants

Breakfast; on your own, plenty of nearby restaurants

9:00 AM departure (locks open)

1:00 – 200 PM : arrive at Merrickville;  lock through before setting up camp!

Camping on grass at on north side of the highway.

Lunch is on our own. (plenty of cutsie-wootsie restaurants in town)

Afternoon: offer canoe tours to local folks (under discussion)

Late afternoon: birding tour of the marsh for local folks, in the2 Rideau roundtable 36’ canoes, led by Stew Hamill, canoeman and local birder (under discussion)

6:30: supper at the legion, hosted by the Town of Merrickville

8:00: presentation by David Shanahan, historian on First Nations on the Rideau at the Legion

Showers available at Lions Campgound ($2)

Great  pubs close by.

Note: there are showers available at the Lions Campsite ($2.00/shower)

June 29: Merrickville- Kemptville –  30 km; 4 sets of locks

There is limited parking for vehicles at the park in Kemptville.

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7:00 AM: Captains meeting

7:30 Am: Yoga on the dock

Breakfast: possible restaurant breakfast to be arranged (optional)

Depart; 9:00 AM (there is still one lock to negotiate in the morning..or can drag canoes down on the grass.

Lunch; on your own at Burritts Rapids and a visit to the Butterfly Garden (led by paddler Mary Hegan)

Lunch; on your own at Burritts Rapids and a visit to the Butterfly Garden (led by paddler Mary Hegan)

2:00 PM.  Arrive at Kemptville waterside municipal park; set up camp

Seining demonstration by National Museum of Nature scientist and paddler Noel Alfonso

presentation by Noel on the aquatic life of the in the park.

Supper; on your own (Not: there will be hot dogs and hamburgers for sale at the park (vegetarian options too!)

camping: Municipal Park

*We are within spittin’ distance from a great bakery!

June 30: Kemptville- Black Rapids locks: 43 km  1 big set of locks!

This is the Long Reach: The Long Reach is the longest lock-free stretch of the entire historic Rideau Canal Waterway. It extends from the lock at Burritt’s Rapids, to the locks at Long Island, just north of Manotick.

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7:00 AM: Captains Meeting


Depart by 8:00 AM

Lunch: on your own…. one possible suggestion: W.A. Taylor Conservation Area (buoy N120);
Just before N120 there is a day-use park with some dockage, a launch ramp, swimming beach and picnic tables. Helen’s Place restaurant is located up a short lane. Other suggestions: Ice cream (or lunch or beer) stops at town of Kars (can paddle up Stevens Creek to a restaurant and picnic  grounds), Becketts Landing, or Kellys Lnding )..depends on timing and weather.

3:00 PM: Long Island Locks

5:00PM:  Arrive at Black Rapids….lock through the next morning, or some canoes can be portaged.

Camp at Black Rapids Locks

Presentation on Climate Change by  Lin Kulkarni and Anita Payne on Citizen’s Climate Lobby, an international volunteer organization working to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

July 1!!!!! Black Rapids –Victoria Island  18 km; 3 set of locks (the last one is a doozie!)

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Image of Victoria island (Asinabke) above

Captains Meeting; 7:00 Am

Breakfast (there is a Tim hortons not far away, but you need a drive)

Depart 8:00 AM (Parks |Canada will open the locks early for us; normal opening time is 9:00 AM)

6km to Rideau Canoe Club..there isan international sprint racing competition happening there. We are scheduled for a 500 metre race to the club on the course at 10:00AM. There are 10 lanes…volunteers to race are needed. Training can be done on the water during the week. Speak to Liz or Max top arrange training sessions.

11:00 AM: ready to lock through at Hogs Back

Arrive at Ottawa Locks: 1:00 PM – Everyone portages the locks..there will be thousands of willing volunteers to help carry the canoes., plus extra parks Canada staff to help.

3:00 PM: arrive Victoria island Welcoming ceremony by Algonquin Folks….rendezvous with West, North and East Wind brigades

5:30 PM: depart for campsite at Gatineau Booms, about 4 km downstream in Point Gatineau.

10:00 PM Watch the fireworks!

Shuttle parking available at Rockcliffe yacht Club(no reservation required…yet)

July 2: drop off/pick up of rental canoes at 10:00 AM at site TBD (either Jacques Cartier Park and Marina about 3 km from the campsite, or Rockclifffe Yacht Club, across the river)

Other  canoes can be picked up at the Blair Road Boat Launch, just downstream a few hundred metres.

Note: John Rnakin of the Barrie Canoe club has chartered a bus back to Kingston, leaving at 10:00 AM from Victoria Island (location might change) ….there is extra space on the bus, so contact John if you need a ride to Kingston (cost: about $20.00)