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Routes

There are five official routes for the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour. GPS files will be available through the OBC RideWithGPS route library for these routes closer to the time of the event. (You can get a listing of all the RLCT routes in the OBC RideWithGPS Club by searching for the tag “RLCT“)  The Classic and Century routes are fully supported, the other two are not except where they overlap with the supported routes. Supported routes have directional signage, designated rest stops, on-route repair services, and police supervision. 

Riders may, of course, choose alternative routes and may take one route going to Kingston and another back.   If you are switching between Ottawa and Perth routes, make certain that your luggage is put in the correct truck on Sunday morning.

Technical Note:  If you do not have a RidewithGPS account and want to print the cue sheet, it will be in imperial units.   This is a feature of the GPX system, not something that the OBC can change.  If you need one in metric units, please email, Byron.johnson@ottawabicycleclub.ca. 

Classic Route (171km, supported)

The Classic Route has been more or less the same since 1972. From Ottawa it heads west to Perth, then toward Kingston via the scenic Christie Lake Road, avoiding traffic on County Road 10 until the charming town of Westport. It then heads down CR 10 to Kingston. The return is just the reverse, including the ascent, rather than descent, of the Westport hill.

Century Plus Route (119 km, supported)

The Century Plus Route route starts at Conlon Farm, Perth, heads south down Rideau Ferry Road then through Narrows Lock on the Rideau Canal, south to Lyndhurst to avoid most of Saturday’s traffic, then west to Sunbury before heading into Kingston on CR 11 for a total of 118km. Official stops are Narrows Locks, Delta  and Ormsbee’s in Sunbury.  The Sunday route is simply the reverse of the Saturday route.

Cruise Route (183km, Unsupported)

The Cruise Route route heads south out of Ottawa to the historic town of Merrickville, then south-west through various small towns before arriving in Kingston. The United Church in Toledo will be offering food this year.  Also,  St. Pauls’ Anglican Community Centre in Delta will be offering food, water, and toilets.  

Challenge Route (210km, Unsupported)

This route branches off the Classic Route just after Ashton and goes north to Almonte, then heads west to eventually rejoin the Classic Route before Westport. The ride is, as the name implies, challenging with a good number of hills. Careful navigation is needed as there are no directional signs except where the route overlaps the Classic Route.  Lanark County is undertaking significant work on Bolingbrooke Road, CR 36, that is scheduled to be completed just before the tour.   Please monitor this page for updates sometime in May.

Cataraqui Route (gravel, 119km)

New for 2024, the RLCT is offering a gravel option! The Cataraqui Route starts in Perth.

It is reported to be gorgeous, quiet and scenic. All the gravel roads and rail trails are in great shape – mostly fast and hard, great for beginner gravel cyclists.  The route is best done on smooth-tread tires, and anything 35mm or greater will be fine. (Experienced riders might even opt for 32-33mm)

It’s a mixed surface ride, about 50% unpaved, comprising of gravel roads, rail trails, and quiet paved roads. While this is a “real gravel” ride, it’s intended to be accessible to a wide range of gravel riders.  

At the south end, approaching Queen’s University, the route is  less enjoyable.

This is an unsupported route, riders must be prepared to do their own repairs and arrange for emergency assistance if needed. Also note that parts of the route use trails which are inaccessible to motor vehicles, and uses mainly quiet, remote roads and trails with limited services.