Insight Advisor

Take the Scenic Route

The Rideau Heritage Route follows the historic Rideau Canal as it winds its way through charming countryside from the shores of Lake Ontario in Kingston toward Canada’s capital on the Ottawa River. Cruise by quaint, heritage villages and through original canal locks on Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage; the Rideau Canal National Historic Site. Take a drive and discover a variety of golf courses, boutique shops, galleries, and rustic cottages. The Rideau Heritage Route is a delight from lock to lake.

  • 3.5hrs from
  • 1hr from
  • 2.5hrs from

Rideau Heritage Route at its Best

Harvest Time
Harvest Time
Fall Along the Rideau
Fall Along the Rideau
Cheese Factories
Cheese Factories
Small Town Charm
Small Town Charm

Harvest Time Mixes With Outstanding Views Along The Rideau

The Rideau Heritage Route is a maverick in the local food sphere – and it heats up at harvest time!

The food and drink scene is being reimagined here and the opportunities are endless. Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery in Westport is on the shores of Upper Rideau Lake and offers tastings and dining events using its wood-fired grill throughout the fall. Bundle up in a sweater, sip on locally-produce wine while relaxing in chairs overlooking the changing colours by the lake – and then indulge in their trademark wood-fired pizza! The winery is taking fall colour appreciate to a new level:  Saturday, Oct.6 Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery is partnering with Kouri’s Kopters for unique fall colours helicopter tours. Fall colours tour of Westport and area – see the lakes, forest and small town charm fan out from high above to get a bird’s eye view of autumn along the Rideau Heritage Route.

Furnace Falls Farm near Lyndhurst, brought to you by the folks at Wendy’s Country Market, is taking farm-to-table to a whole new level, as a renovated farm house welcomes guests who are keen to experience local food, cooking classes, and luxurious rural hospitality. Enjoy special, local-food inspired suppers during fall, with the chefs creating menus with food grown right across the road. Look here to celebrate fall with two delicious dinners in a unique setting – a Settler’s Harvest Feast and an Apple of my Eye dinner.

For a further tribute to the fall harvest, bring the whole family for fun at the harvest festival at the Old Stone Mill in Delta. Experience a village coming together to celebrate fall, including blacksmithing and milling demos, wagon rides, a bread baking contest and more.

Get Out on The Water to Experience Unforgettable Fall Along The Rideau

Autumn is the perfect time to explore the nooks and crannies of this paddler’s paradise! Calm, clear water and natural sights entice people of all ages to pick up a paddle and discover the intimate side of the Rideau. More than 30 launch ramps and most lock stations provide paddling access to the canal. Autumn is a unique time to explore wildlife, as the Rideau Heritage Route serves as a corridor for migrating birds and animals.

Kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards can be rented at numerous points along the Rideau Canal and Rideau Tours out of Chaffey’s Lock even offers guided fall colour cruises daily from the end of September to October 31 so visitors can experience the blaze of colour that pops out along the waterfront of three lakes in the canal every autumn.

Fall in Love With Hiking Along The Rideau

The Rideau Heritage Route offers some of the best fall photo ops and nature appreciation for hikers – with rock outcroppings, pristine water and lush forest, the Rideau Canal provides natural eye candy at every bend in the trail. Photo-ready scenes unravel before your eyes; you’ll marvel at the hues of autumn from atop look outs and natural cliffs. Rock Dunder, owned by the Rideau Waterway Land Trust near Morton offers a 3.8 km summit loop that is beyond words. Standing atop the rock at the summit gives a breathtaking view of the canal with water and colourful treetops below stretching as far as the eye can see. Open until mid-November, this trail does require a day pass to access it.


Another unforgettable fall vantage point of the Rideau Canal is in Chaffey’s Lock on a former train bridge, which is now part of the Cataraqui Trail. The bridge dates back to the early 1900s and has recently been renovated for use with the trail. A short five minute walk through the woods from the lock awards visitors with an unforgettable view of the canal far below, as well as the ever-changing fall colours. Se sure to stop in to the lock station to see a working lock in action!

Foley Mountain in Westport looks out over Upper Rideau Lake from a granite ridge at Spy Rock. A three-minute walk from the parking lot gets visitors to the rock look out to see the lake and village below. Other family-friendly trails at Foley Mountain also provide neat interpretive hikes, overlooking a beaver pond, turtle habitat and more.

We Don’t Mind Being a Little Bit Cheesy

South Eastern Ontario has a rich cheese-making heritage.  During your visit to the Rideau corridor, stop in at one of these local producers and see how century-old traditions are still at work today in the making of quality Canadian cheese!

Forfar Dairy Ltd.


Bush Garden Farm 

Located near the small village of Elgin at 509 Bush Road, you will be able to pick up some raw organic cheese made by hand. Depending on the time of year and the diet of the cows a selection of cheese is made that best expresses the natural characteristics of the milk.

The Jewel of the Rideau

Merrickville is renowned for its boutiques, which are filled with one-of-a-kind items made by local artisans. Their unique talents are on display at studios where craftsmen demonstrate their trade as well as sell their wares. You can buy the creations made before your eyes.  The village streets are lined with shops carrying such things as locally-made products, art of all kinds, antiques, collector’s items, specialty foods, and more.

1 2

Considered to be one of Canada’s best preserved 19th century villages, Merrickville boasts uniquely restored and exquisitely maintained homes, all within an easy walk around town. Central to the Village is The Blockhouse, built in 1832 and now a museum of fascinating local artifacts. The locks of the Rideau Canal are fascinating to watch and operate today just like they did over 175 years ago.

An area called ‘Merrickville South’ is well worth the two block detour south of the main shopping area to see some world famous artisans like Kevin Robert Grey and Claudette Hart, the infamous “Gourd Lady” only a couple of the ‘must-see’ artists to be found there.

0 Results

  View on Map View My Wishlist
Sort by:

Is Your Business Not Listed?

Sign-up to our industry site tourismtalk and allow your business to be featured on The Great Waterway website.

From The Rideau Heritage Route Blog

18 Coffee Shops You’ll Love in South Eastern Ontario

For many of us, coffee is the fuel that keeps us rocking on when all we really want to do is take a nap. It’s not always easy to find a good coffee, even more, it’s hard to find a cafe that offers a good space to be able to sit back and relax. We know some of the best-kept secrets in South Eastern Ontario, so we put together a list of some of the top cafes you will love to keep your caffeine cravings down. Kingston 1. CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery An adorably charming cafe located in Ki...
Read More

Rideau Heritage Route Visitor’s Guide

Download the official 2018 Visitor's Guide

More Stories From Rideau Heritage Route

17 Cocktail Destinations To Visit In South Eastern Ontario

Some might say that the type of cocktail a person orders can tell a lot about their personality. Are you a straightforward apple martini? A risk-taking long island? Or an old-soul gin and tonic? Whatever you order, we want to make sure its the best you’ve ever had, so we came up with 17 cocktail destinations in South Eastern Ontario to help you wet your whistle! Kingston 1.Tango Nuevo Whether your palate enjoys fruity or sweet, Tango Nuevo has such a broad variety of cocktails, including spe...
Read More

15 Orchards for Apple Picking in South Eastern Ontario

Now that summertime has wrapped up, it's easy to feel like y...
Read More

20 Fall Date Ideas in South Eastern Ontario

It’s the time of year for falling leaves, cozy sweaters a...
Read More

What’s on the Tube?