The Rideau Trail is a hiking trail that starts in Kingston and winds its way for over 300 km to Ottawa following hiking trails, foot paths and back roads. It passes through Provincial Parks, conservation areas and private land. The Trail, completed in 1971, is maintained by the Rideau Trail Association (RTA).
In addition to the main trail marked by orange triangles, there are a number of side trails which are marked by blue triangles.
The trail has something for everyone in terms of difficulty, length of travel, terrain profile, ecosystem type and seasonal variation. It crosses terrain ranging from placid farmland to the rugged Canadian Shield. It is only intended for walking (hiking), snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. No part of the Rideau Trail itself is owned by the Rideau Trail Association; the continuity of the trail is made possible by the generous permission of both private and public landowners and is enhanced by the existence of a special fund called the Rideau Trail Preservation Fund.
Each of the three hiking clubs of the RTA - Kingston, Central (Perth), and Ottawa, organize outings in all seasons of the year. They usually take place on the weekend and comprise an activity appropriate for the season, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter and hiking in the spring, summer, and fall. Other activities are scheduled during the week or on some holidays.