Paddling tours will run if canal conditions are favourable.
The Rideau River and canal have always played a strategic role in the founding and daily life of Burritt’s Rapids. To really know the village, it helps to experience it from the water. For the past five years, the Rideau Roundtable has partnered with Paddle Canada and Parks Canada to host interpretive tours along the Rideau Waterway. What makes these tours unique is that they take place in 34-foot replica voyageur canoes with guides in voyageur costume. With up to 32 participants leisurely paddling in the two canoes, the tours explore both the natural and historical aspects of the Rideau Waterway.
The paddling instructors and guides provide paddling instruction, interpretation of nature, and recount historical tales along the way. These trips are suitable for all ages and paddling abilities and, with up to sixteen paddlers per canoe, distributed work makes for a pleasant ride.
Each tour will take about 75 minutes, in addition to training and preparation. Trips will be scheduled throughout the day at the discretion of the tour leaders. All tours will be completed by 4:00 pm each day.
Please note: As the event is taking place in early spring, tour availability will be subject to Rideau Canal conditions (ice-free, safe water levels). The tours take place rain or shine; however, the canoes will not go out on the water during thunderstorms or in winds exceeding 8 knots. To avoid disappointment, please check our website for updates prior to the event. Tour times will be confirmed a few days prior to the event and will be offered day-of on a first-come, first-served basis.
As for all events on Jane's Walk weekend, these tours are free. For more information on walks and activities in Burritt's Rapids for Jane's Walk Ottawa, please visit the blog: www.habicurious.com/jane.
Conditions permitting, the tours will depart from the gravel parking lot below the Swing Bridge, on the canal, on the south side of the village. Participants will paddle up the western end of the Rideau Canal, to the end of the 'island' and return. The exact route will be determined by the tour leaders.
Note: Dress according to the weather and expect to get your feet wet. A post-paddle change of footwear is recommended. Flotation devices, paddles, and other safety equipment will be provided. If the weather is sunny, it may be hot on the water and there is no shade to protect you: remember to wear sunscreen and/or a hat, and bring some water.
Stew Hamill is an Independent Environmental Services Professional and the Rideau Experience Coordinator with the Rideau Roundtable. The Rideau Roundtable is an incorporated not-for-profit association of individuals, community organizations, and government agencies working together to keep the Rideau and Cataraqui Watersheds from Ottawa to Kingston socially, economically and environmentally healthy.