Our Mission 

To promote, encourage and conduct responsible hiking and similar self-propelled activities while stewarding the Rideau Trail network.

Our Vision

A community of engaged hikers; a legacy of enduring trails.

About Us

The Rideau Trail Association (RTA) is a charitable, volunteer-run organization with two main roles: 

  • First, it coordinates and promotes self-propelled activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and other outdoor activities.  Hikes and other activities are led by certified and experienced hike leaders.  Hikes are suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced hikers.
  • Second, it stewards over 40 trails that span over 450 km. The main trail, known as the Rideau Trail, is roughly 325 km in length, and goes between downtown Kingston and downtown Ottawa.  

We promote the “leave no trace” principle: 

  • Be respectful of nature.
  • Take nothing but photographs.
  • Leave nothing but foot prints.

Our History

Both the Rideau Trail and the Rideau Trail Association were funded in 1971.  The person behind this initiative was Douglas Knapp, the Rideau Trail Association’s first Treasurer.  As the name indicates, the Rideau Trail was named after the Rideau Canal waterway which has linked the two cities since 1832. Interestingly, the Trail and the Canal only connect in a few areas. Check out the History of the Trail  Area for more information.

Our Governance

The RTA operates on a volunteer basis, led by a Board of Directors. The Board performs central administrative and financial services for the Association. It also provides strategic leadership and performs governance oversight to ensure that the Association operates in compliance with government guidelines as a charitable non-profit organization. Working under the Board, and controlling the day-to-day activities of the Association, are committees (Trail Coordination, Activities Coordination, Marketing and Communications and Operational Support and Administrative Services) led by appointed Officers.  In addition, there are three subordinate local clubs responsible for organizing outings (e.g. hikes), local club events and trail maintenance within their sector: The Kingston Club, the Ottawa Club and the Central Club (which includes Perth, Smiths Falls, and Westport).

About the Rideau Trail

Check out the Discover the trail page for information about maps, alerts, and FAQ