One of the most common questions we get asked is where hikers can spend the night along the trail. The Rideau Trail Association doesn’t offer any camping facilities but certain areas permit camping. There are also several hiker-friendly B&Bs along the way as well.
Since much of the Rideau Trail lies on private property, it is important to only camp at designated campsites and to obtain permits where required. Respecting the wishes of private landowners and federal, provincial & municipal stakeholders is very important for the RTA. These organizations and individuals have generously granted access to their properties like provincial parks, conservation areas, and private properties for hiking purposes only. When crossing private property, it is crucial to stay on the trail as shown in the map since our agreements with landowners to not provide access to all their land. We list these campsites in south-to-north order, with the nearest Rideau Trail waypoint provided.
KOA Campground (Kingston)
There is a KOA campground at 2039 Cordukes Rd, N of Bur Brook Rd, about 1 km from the RT; View the KOA website
Frontenac Provincial Park
Managed by Ontario Parks, this provincial park offers excellent camping facilities for a fee that will make a multi-day hike a little more comfortable. Frontenac offers year-round backcountry campsites that are equipped with tent pads and fire rings. Most useful for hikers on the Rideau Trail is the Doe Lake campsite, at waypoint 04G on the Rideau Trail. Camping is only allowed with a permit and at designated campsites in the park. Backcountry Frontenac Park sites tend to book early in the season, please contact Ontario Parks to make a reservation and for more information.
Located on Opinicon Lake, which is part of the Rideau Canal, Skycroft is a family-run commercial campground with several services on site. Visit Skycroft
Between map points 06C & 06D (south of Bedford Mills), there is a campsite on the shore of Mosquito Lake owned by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) for the use of canoeists. Small parties of RTA members hiking in the area have permission to use this facility, thanks to the generosity of the private landowners whose property surrounds the CRCA site. Care must be taken to use the private laneway only to gain access to the campsite and to avoid intruding onto these private properties. Open fires are not permitted at the campsite. Be sure to review Map 6 for a better idea of this location.
Foley Mountain Conservation Area
Foley Mountain is a favourite location for many Rideau Trail hikers, making it an ideal campsite. Note: camping is only permitted for one night and by advance reservation. A small fee may be required. More information…
Rideau Canal Lockstations nearest waypoints shown in brackets against each lockstation
The Rideau Trail crosses or is near several Rideau Canal lockstations that were each built between 1826 & 1832. Part of Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parks Canada permits tent camping at most of them for a small fee. The lockstations most useful for Rideau Trail hikers are (from south to north): Narrows (08C), Beveridges (11C) (also has fancier “Otentik” tents. These three-season shelters provide an affordable and minimal option for groups. Reservations are required. More information…), Smiths Falls – Detached (12B), Merrickville (13E), Nicholsons (13G), and Burritts Rapids (14A). Flush toilets and running potable water are available at each lockstation and no reservations are required. Be sure to review the Rideau Trail maps as certain lockstations may be nearby other services and amenities. More information…
Murphys Point Provincial Park
Managed by Ontario Parks, Murphys Point offers seasonal back country sites as well as front-country sites that provide access to showers & even laundry facilities. There is a beach and there are walking tours to a nearby mica mine. Camping is only allowed with a permit and at designated campsites in the park.
Lions Club Campsite (Merrickville)
Well-serviced campsite beside the Rideau Canal in downtown Merrickville that provides wifi. More information…
Wesley Clover Parks (formerly Ottawa Municipal Campground)
This urban campsite provides a good option for RT hikers leaving or entering Ottawa. More information…
Leave the tent and sleeping pad at home and travel in style. Here are a few places on or near the Rideau Trail that provide roofed accommodations. We couldn’t begin to list the options in Kingston and Ottawa but we’ll list a few in between. Be sure to check sites like bbcanada.com for more ideas. . These are listed in a south to north order, with nearest Rideau Trail waypoints provided.
Desert Lake Family Resort
Located about 5.5km off the Rideau Trail, between Frontenac Provincial Park & Gould Lake Conservation Area, this is a popular summer spot for families. More information…
The Cove Country Inn Resort & Spa (Westport)
This small resort in the heart of Westport, located on the banks of Upper Rideau Lake, offers accommodations, a full service restaurant, spa services and frequent evening entertainment. More information…
Perth Parkside Inn and Spa
Located in the heart of heritage Perth, this hotel is steps away from the Rideau Trail and is an ideal base for exploring the shops, restaurants and theatres of Perth. More information… [need to add a hyperlink]
Best Western Colonel By Inn (Smiths Falls)
Comfortable chain hotel in Smiths Falls, located across the street from a large grocery store, a Canadian Tire and close to several other shops. In the summer, fruit and vegetable stands are usually nearby as well. More information…
Baldachin Inn (Merrickville)
Their rooms offer private bathrooms, cable TV & wifi. Several suites have fireplaces and hot tubs. All rooms are non-smoking and well-behaved dogs are always welcome. They even have bicycles to lend to guests. More information