Great Canadian Trails: Ottawa to Kingston by bike

Explore Ottawa to Kingston by Bike with Great Canadian Trails

Embark on a gentle cycling journey along historic rail trails maintained by the communities between Ottawa and Kingston. This multi-day bike ride starts in the nation’s capital, exploring the historical sites and picturesque Parliament buildings. Travel along rural landscapes and follow some sections of the Rideau Canal. Stay in charming bed & breakfasts or inns and enjoy the lush greenery of the region.


Please consult the latest updates from the Government of Canada, as well as your province/territory, your municipality and the organization that manages your chosen section of the Trail. We strongly encourage everyone using trails in our network to abide by all public health guidelines.

Duration: 7 days

Activities: 6 days self-guided cycling

Accommodation: 6 nights B&Bs/inns/hotels

Meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch

What’s included

  • 6-night accommodation in B&Bs/inns/hotels
  • 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece per person, not exceeding 20 kilograms)
  • Hybrid bike rental, including helmet, bike lock, panniers and basic repair kit
  • Navigation app including detailed route notes and points of interest
  • Access to emergency hotline
  • $50 donation to Trans Canada Trail
  • Return transfer to Ottawa from Kingston

What’s not included

  • Travel to/from Ottawa
  • Airfare, visas, applicable taxes, travel insurance (required)
  • Airport transfers
  • Guide (this is a self-guided tour)
  • Optional e-bike upgrade
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals and transfers not indicated in the itinerary
  • Applicable taxes

Book your self-guided journey now!

Day 1: Arrive Ottawa

A street sign in Ottawa displaying the word "Ottawa". | Une plaque de rue à Ottawa affichant le mot « Ottawa ».

Welcome to Ottawa, Ontario! Make your way to your hotel in the famous ByWard Market, and enjoy the rest of the day exploring the city.

Day 2: Ottawa to Nepean (approx. 18 km)

Ottawa Parliament: A majestic building with a green roof and tall columns, representing the seat of government in Canada. | Parlement d'Ottawa : un bâtiment majestueux avec un toit vert et de hautes colonnes, représentant le siège du gouvernement du Canada.

In the morning, make your way to the group meeting spot, where you’ll be fitted for your bicycle. Explore Ottawa’s top attractions including the Rideau Canal, Parliament buildings, and local trails, then head to Nepean, your home for the night.

Day 3: Nepean to Carleton Place via the Trans Canada Trail (approx. 40 km)

A bike path in Carleton's woods, covered in fallen leaves. | A bike path in Carleton's woods, covered in fallen leaves.

After breakfast, bike to the historic town of Carleton Place. Ride along the Ottawa Carleton Trailway, part of the Trans Canada Trail network, an abandoned rail line that is now a multipurpose trail. Spend the night in Carleton Place.

Day 4: Carleton Place to Portland via the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail (approx. 56 km)

Today, cycle through wooded areas, and alongside marshes and wetlands, and rolling farmland en route to Smiths Falls. Explore the charming town of Smiths Falls, then join the Cataraqui Trail and continue to Portland, on Big Rideau Lake, where you will spend the night. Note that a section of the route involves road cycling leading into Smiths Falls.

Day 5: Portland to Chaffeys Locks via the Cataraqui Trail (approx. 21.4 km)

Panoramic view of Ottawa River from hilltop, showcasing Rideau Canal winding through the landscape. | Vue panoramique de la rivière des Outaouais depuis le sommet d'une colline, mettant en valeur le canal Rideau qui serpente à travers le paysage.

After breakfast, set off along the Cataraqui Trail. Keep an eye out for herons, ospreys and eagles. Continue to Chaffeys Locks along the Rideau Canal, featuring a Lockmaster’s House Museum. Spend the night in Chaffeys Locks.

Day 6: Chaffeys Locks to Kingston (approx. 65 km)

Scenic traillined with colorful fall foliage. | Sentier pittoresque avec feuillage d'automne coloré.

Continue west along the Cataraqui Trail to the K&P Trail. Enjoy views of wetlands and bodies of water. Head into Kingston, where your path winds along the waterfront to your bed & breakfast, your home for the night.

Day 7: Kingston to Ottawa or extend to Wolfe Island

 Aerial view of Lake Ontario with autumn foliage on the islands in the background. | Vue aérienne du lac Ontario avec le feuillage automnal des îles en arrière-plan.

For travellers who have not chosen to extend their stay in Kingston, the trip concludes here. Until next time! For those who have chosen to extend their stay, the day is yours to explore! Wolfe Island is a great option to explore – take the ferry from downtown Kingston to explore this charming island.

Great Canadian Trails: A note on self-guided adventures

Self-guided walking requires individuals to use problem-solving skills, to be adaptable and to have a keen eye. It’s recommended that individuals are comfortable reading a map and referring to route notes, while having a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!)

Sometimes route finding, losing your way, and asking the locals for help are all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self-guided trip, you’ll get the hang of it after the first couple of days, as the vast majority of first-time travellers with Great Canadian Trails attest.

Written route-finding materials issued by Great Canadian Trails are updated regularly. Great Canadian Trails provides a seven-day service hotline to help solve problems and answer questions.

Metal gear on wooden post, close-up view. | ngrenage métallique sur poteau en bois, vue rapprochée.
Why travel with Great Canadian Trails?

Expertise: They’re a team of hikers and cyclists who have explored or live in the region.

Great value: Quality services at the best price means great value for your money.

ECO friendly: Great Canadian Trails are committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. They aim to “leave no trace” in both an environmental and cultural sense.