Day 7: Merrickville to Rideau River Provincial Park

We woke up to a lovely sunny morning. Another fine day in store for us today! It was especially fine as we walk into town to the Main St Diner for a hot breakfast! Delish, with lots of coffee, and the best was that there were no dishes to be done at the end! ( yes, doing dishes when you need to take everything to the lock washrooms can be a bit of a balancing act!

Breakfast over, we packed up our gear and managed to hit the water just as they were starting to open the upstream lock.

Just ahead of us, leaving from the downstream marina was a small tour boat heading up to Ottawa… they would arrive at 3:30… about two days ahead of us!!!

Once on the way we paddled under the railway tressel ( fortunately, the last train went through around 10 pm…. no sleep was disturbed with whistles!!)

We made it to Clow’s lock in about 30 min. They had cleared the tour boat that lock station, so all was pretty quiet when we arrived. Our lock master, and Hero Matt, gave us a hand with the portage! Just wonderful!!

After a short paddle we reached Nicholson’s lock, which is a series of 2 locks separated by a long canal. We felt quite dwarfed once again as we reached the open lock!

The portage was fairly short, and allowed us to avoid the canal and the second lock. With boat at the launch point we made a pit stop, and I went to get a closer look at the OTenTik at this site.

A supply of firewood, a gas BBQ, fire pit and inside eating table… definitely Glamping!!

Back into the boat we went. Unfortunately the short cut meant we had to go through the reeds and muck to get back to the river channel… a little muddy, especially when you need to walk your boat out!

The river is quite narrow here with lots of reeds and weeds which means lots of eagles fishing!

Our next lock and stop was Burritt’s Rapids. The channel going into the lock was long and narrow. We hoped we wouldn’t meet a large boat while paddling, and our luck held.

A pretty little lock with a restaurant just across the street! As we were unloading, a boat pulled in called Pogo. She’s an former attic research vessel, and a pretty interesting site!

Dan and I had a great lunch, and are ready for our long paddle to the park. Today we’ll do another 12-14 km. After the overnight at the park we’ll then have another 27.7 km tomorrow. From here to tomorrow’s destination of Long Island Lock Station we will see no more locks!

I’ll post now as I’m not sure if we’ll have any wifi until we put out at Ottawa! Stay safe!

Categories: Paddling the Rideau Canal - A World Heritage Site


  1. Thoroughly enjoying your stories – they leave me being very jealous! I am loving your photos – they are excellent.

    Looking forward to reading your final reports. Continue enjoying yourselves.


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