A kayak trip from Kingston to Ottawa takes about eight scenic days.
Over the years, I have done a fair number of long-distance canoe and kayak trips. Most of them have been on northern lakes and rivers in Ontario and Quebec, where I had to carry all my food and provisions for a week or so at a time. Still, I have long had a hankering to do something closer to home – a trip that combines some history along with pleasant countryside.
The Rideau Canal seemed to fit the bill. The 202-kilometre-long route from Kingston to Ottawa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And with good reason: It was built in the early 19th century by a group of British engineers and Irish and French-Canadian labourers under the command of Colonel By, for whom Ottawa was once named (Bytown).