There are several online resources for the Rideau Canal and area. Ken Watson has created an extensive and comprehensive resource on this national treasure. He has also authored several books on the area, including Tales of the Rideau, a great read for both adults and kids. (For a list of Ken’s books and how to get them, click here.) Ken’s site, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada and the Rideau Heritage site are excellent resources if you are planning a Rideau Canal houseboat vacation. And what better way than in one of our houseboats? After all, Houseboat Holidays has been providing Rideau Canal houseboat rentals for decades. Let us help you plan a great Rideau Canal vacation.
First stop, Kingston
If you want to stop in Kingston before you head up the canal, there are several marinas in the area to choose from. There are two islands belonging to the Thousand Island National Park (Cedar and Milton) where your park season pass allows you to dock free of charge. Historic Kingston is a destination in itself and we’ve had customers who rent a houseboat to use it as their base while they explore all that Kingston has to offer. (It’s often less expensive than hotel costs for a family.)
To travel the entire Rideau Canal can take 6 or 7 days, each way so if you plan to see it all, plan for at least a two week vacation and houseboat rental. If your vacation is shorter, you will still experience the best of the canal and the locks, the first on your trip to be found at Kingston Mills. Watching the locks in action is a thrill for both adults and children. In your houseboat, you are actually part of it: a real treat. These locks are still hand operated, just like were over a hundred years ago. It’s a living history and you’re part of it.
There are several lakes and other waterways feeding into the river so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore beyond just the canal. If you plan to travel the Rideau and want suggestions on great places to anchor or dock, talk to Pete or Neil when you’re loading your boat. And don’t forget to ask for the charts you’ll need. All the boats have charts of the Thousand Islands section of the St. Lawrence. Charts for the Rideau Canal are provided on request.
What better way to explore the Rideau Canal than by houseboat? We can help you plan your trip and let you know about the many lakes and rivers connecting to the Rideau and the best spots to stop while you explore this special Canadian waterway.