Last weekend we had the chance to explore a little bit of our own backyard with Le Boat Vacations! We cruised along the Rideau Canal for 4 days checking out some of the smaller islands and towns while maintaining social distance!
Friday morning we packed our car and headed to Smith Falls, Ontario to the Le Boat base. We didn’t need to pack much because the boats are stocked with almost everything you need from linen to cooking utensils. All we needed were our clothes, food, drinks and anything else you might need for entertainment! Once we were loaded, it was only a short 3 hour drive from Bowmanville to our boat!
On this itinerary we only had 4 days so we were unable to do the full extent of the Rideau Canal. We started in Smiths Falls and made our way to Jones Falls and back again. This massive waterway stretches over 202 KM with 45 locks. It would take several weeks to do the whole route justice as there is just so much to see and do! Check out the map below:
Upon arrival we checked in and loaded up a couple carts to transfer our stuff over to our boat which was a short walk from the parking lot.
On board, the friendly staff were there to greet us and walked us through every part of the boat and got us acquainted with the inner workings. They showed us how to start the BBQ, turn on the A/C and pointed out all of the hidden storage found all over the boat! We were then given a short lesson on boater safety, how to drive and dock the boat and given some direction! Before leaving, the staff took us out for an hour in the harbour getting us used to driving the big boat and made sure we were completely comfortable before they sent us on our way!
We decided as a group we’d like to head west towards Kingston into the lakes! The other option is to head through the canal towards Ottawa – something we would have also liked to do but wasn’t possible, given the time constraints. We worked our way through the first two locks – which is all hand cranked by the way. After a short cruise through the canal – things opened up and we found ourselves on Big Rideau Lake. This massive lake is surrounded by towering pine trees and rocky shores – an absolutely beautiful lake.
After a couple hours of slow cruising – we arrived at Colonel By Island where we would stop for the night. This island was quiet and was shared by just one other boat this evening. There is a large fire pit only 100 metres from the dock where we relaxed and cooked s’mores and chatted about the plans for the next day.
This morning we woke up to a mist covered lake as the sun rose. From the top deck we could see swarms of fish swimming around the dock in the water below while we cooked our breakfast on the top deck. After a good meal and a quick wake-up swim, we pushed off and headed our way to Westport.
Upon arrival in Westport we were told of a great winery close by with live music and tastings. It was still early so we opted for a hike at Foley Mountain Conservation Area. After only 30 minutes of walking you are treated to spectacular views of the town below and the surrounding waterways. On the way home from our hike we stopped in at Westport Brewing Company where we picked up a couple of their craft beers to enjoy with a BBQ lunch on board our boat.
After lunch we made our way to Jones Falls through some incredibly scenic stretches of the canal under old train bridges with tons of wildlife everywhere you looked. Once docking in Jones Falls we enjoyed a laid back dinner and played board games on deck!
This morning we took a little walk along the locks before starting the journey back to Smith’s Falls. On the way through Upper Rideau lake we found a nice calm bay and dropped anchor for a swim. We took this opportunity to relax and enjoy the sunshine on the spacious upper deck!
There are tons of lock stations and towns along the way where you can stop for the night and explore. Our group enjoyed Colonel By Island so much the first night, we decided to stop there once again! We arrived earlier this time around and sat at picnic table into the shallow beach. The sun beat down on us as we sat on the beach watching the other boats pass by. We once again enjoyed a peaceful campfire all to ourselves and spent our last night on the boat.
This morning we woke up bright and early to get a start on the day. We had one last swim and packed up our stuff so we could hit the final stretch back to Smith’s Falls where our car was parked. Upon arrival we were greeted once again by the team at the base. They had smiles on their face and carts ready to go for us to pack our stuff out!
Overall his was a great experience to see a small part of our province that we had not seen before. Whether you want to relax, shop, enjoy good food or get out into nature, there is something for everyone. Le Boat also operates in Ireland, the UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Without a doubt we’d all do it again – maybe in the French wine region next!
A Le Boat luxury houseboat rental is the ideal way to get away, short or long. You get the same perks of vacation without flying or exposing yourself to the big, crowded tourist destinations. Their boats have everything you need onboard to enjoy an adventure on the water. No boating experience is necessary as the staff walk you through everything to ensure you’re comfortable!
Get in touch with our team if this is something you might be interested in trying out!