Discover corners of paradise

Locations: Thousand Islands National Park, Fort Wellington, Bellevue House, Rideau Canal and Laurier House National Historic Sites
Roundtrip: 420 km round trip from Ottawa

Leave the daily grind behind on this 7-day itinerary near Ottawa, Ontario. Explore Thousand Islands on foot, by bike, or on the water. Fire a cannon, visit the home of the first Prime Minister of Canada, discover the former nation’s capital and enjoy the Rideau Canal.

Visitors take part in a cannon-firing activity 

Day 1

Location: Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott
Distance: 100 km from Ottawa

Head to Fort Wellington National Historic Site to check out a fort built during the War of 1812 to defend the St. Lawrence River shipping route from attack by the United States. Enlist in the Royal Artillery for a day and train to be a member of the cannon crew. Feel the surge of adrenaline as you fire a muzzle-loading cannon. Explore the wreck of an 1812-era gunboat, try on a costume and take part in military drill, or play games from times long past.

A woman at Landon Bay lookout at Thousand Islands National Park 

Day 2

Location: Thousand Islands National Park, Mallorytown Landing
Distance: 45 km from Prescott

Explore the Thousand Islands Region, an international tourism destination along the St. Lawrence River and admire the 1864 islands the region is named for! As you make your way along the St. Lawrence River on this scenic route between Gananoque and Brockville, check out the park’s three mainland properties, each with their own hiking trails. Don’t forget your binoculars, the park is the ideal place to observe wildlife!

Ride your bike along the 1000 Islands Parkway and observe its stunning river views. Relax by the waterside and take a refreshing dip in the water. When it's time to rest, why not spend the night in your comfy waterfront oTENTik? Stoke up your campfire, roast some marshmallows, gaze up at the stars and relax!

Recommended accomodation: oTENTik, Mallorytown landing

Two visitors in chairs on a dock at Thousand Islands National Park 

Day 3

Location: Thousand Islands National Park

Wake up to the sound of water lapping the shore. Walk on the wharf, coffee in hand, and enjoy a relaxing morning! Ready for adventure? Tour the islands with a local cruise line, or for a more active and up-close look at the islands, grab your kayak and explore the waters of the St. Lawrence River. Visit picturesque granite islands and admire iconic windswept pine trees. You will be fascinated at every turn by sunken ships, historic castles and a landscape steeped in First Nations history. You might even be lucky enough to get a glimpse of a soaring bald eagle or a family of turtles basking on a rock.

Your paddling journey can be almost effortless with the help of regional outfitters. Experienced guides take care of every detail, from introductory lessons to en-route snacks. To really indulge, opt in for a gourmet picnic of bioregional delicacies. As the sun sinks, return to shore refreshed, recharged and full of memories.

Recommended accomodation: oTENTik, Mallorytown landing

A young girl eats an apple 

Day 4

Location: Bellevue House National Historic Site, Kingston
Distance: 70 km from Mallorytown Landing

Tour the Visitor Centre and gardens of Bellevue House National Historic Site, home to Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald for a short period of time. Wander through the family’s kitchen garden, bite into an apple grown from heirloom seeds, and watch interpreters cut the lawn with scythes! Discover a place that represents the 1840s colonial system of class and privilege and learn about the many perspectives surrounding Sir John A. Macdonald and the lasting impacts of his policies and legacy.

Location: Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site

Take a stroll through the charming streets of Kingston. Explore the city’s defensive system at Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site, located by the Kingston Harbour, and discover the defensive heart of Canada’s first Capital.

A lockstation along the Rideau Canal. 

Day 5

Location: Rideau Canada National Historic Site, Beveridges Lockstation
Distance: 100 km from Kingston

Continue your journey to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and head to the southern end of the Rideau Canal at Kingston Mills. This historic waterway was originally built after the war of 1812 as a military route. Today, the series of 29 locks stretching over 202 km is a boater and paddler’s paradise! Drive the route and check out the many unforgettable stops along the way. Stretch your legs at Jones Falls and take a walk to see the Blacksmith Shop and Stone Arch Dam. Chaffey’s Lock features the photo-worthy Opinicon Hotel, and Westport welcomes you with food and fun.

Settle in for the night at Beveridges lockstation and rent an oTENTik and sleep right beside the water, or stay in the fully restored original Lockmaster’s House enjoying its authentic charm mixed with modern amenities.

Recommended accomodation: oTENTik, Upper Beveridges

Two visitors canoeing with an oTENTik tent in the background. 

Day 6

Location: Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Merrickville
Distance: 30 km from Beveridges lockstation

Take a trip up the Tay Canal in the morning. Departing from your dock, an easy paddle takes you into some gorgeous nearby ecosystems teeming with birds and turtles.

Continue your journey up to Merrickville. Travel through time as you wander around this historic Victorian village, embarking on a walking tour of the historic buildings including the Merrickville Blockhouse where troops were stationed for protection against attack, plus the Ruins and the Depot. Enjoy restaurants and artisan shops in town and then cosy up for the night in an oTENTik at Upper Nicholsons Lockstation nearby.

Recommended accomodation: oTENTik, Upper Nicholsons Lock Station

Ottawa lockstation and Chateau Laurier from the Ottawa River. 

Day 7

Location: Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Ottawa
Distance: 80 km from Merrickville

Head back to Ottawa and follow in the footsteps of the original builders of the iconic Rideau Canal as you explore this important piece of history by foot. Visit the flight of eight locks at Ottawa Lockstation and marvel at this amazing 19th century engineering achievement. Venture along the nearby paths to admire the stunning views of Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill.

Location: Laurier House National Historic Site

On the way home, stop at Laurier House National Historic Site, a unique window into the lives of two of Canada’s most influential historical figures – former Prime Ministers Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. Step into the inner sanctum of our country’s political history and see the fabulous collection of objects and priceless artwork come to life as you learn how these leaders conducted their private lives and even the affairs of state within this historic home.

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