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The Kilmarnock Ramble: Merrickville - Jasper Loop (34km)

Trail information: 

This is a country road loop to explore the tranquil, pastoral countryside along the Rideau Canal west of Merrickville. Start from the parking at the park on Main Street near the historic blockhouse, beside the Rideau Canal and bridge. There are lots of coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants for a quick snack before setting out.

Head out of town south along the main street (St. Lawrence St) and turn right onto County Rd 16, following it through farmland, past the village of Easton’s Corners, for almost 15 kilometers. Crossing a bridge over a stream that flows north to the Rideau River you’ll come to Jasper.

Take care crossing the railway tracks and then turn right onto Jasper Street/Cty. Rd. 17. In a few hundred metres is a gas station on the left with drinks, snacks, washroom, and a small grassy area to enjoy a rest before heading back to Merrickville.

Continue along Road 17 for about a kilometer and turn right onto Kilmarnock Road. This leads north to Wolford Chapel, and over a bridge to Kilmarnock Island. On the north side of the island is the Kilmarnock Lock Station of the Rideau Canal – linger to watch the operation in a very peaceful setting. Another bridge brings you to the north shore of the Rideau River. Turn right at the T-stop on Cty. Rd. 43 and very shortly after turn right again onto Rideau River Rd, following it for just over eight kilometers along the north shore of the River. When Rideau River Rd. comes to a T-stop, turn right onto the county road and follow it for about 2.5 km back to Merrickville.  At the stop sign, turn right to cross the bridge, past the old jail, blockhouse and museum, back to your starting point.

Start Location: 

Merrickville.

Terrain: 

Moderately flat to gently rolling farmland for most of the way.

Distance: 
34 km
Bike Suitability: 

All paved - suitable for road, touring or hybrid bike.

Notes and Cautions: 

Traffic in Merrickville can be quite heavy in the summer. This short loop starts and ends in Merrickville.  The entire route is on paved roads, but there are no paved shoulders. The loop is suitable for novices comfortable cycling on country roads with moderate traffic, and families with older children who understand safe cycle touring behaviour. 

This short loop starts and ends in Merrickville.  

While the entire route is on well-paved roads, there are no paved shoulders and there may be moderate traffic.  The loop is suitable for novice countryside cruisers who are comfortable cycling on country roads with moderate traffic.

The route is suitable for families with older children who are experienced and understand safe cycle touring behaviour.  The route is not advised for families with young children due to the possibility of heavier traffic at times, including trucks and RVs.

Start the journey in Merrickville where you'll find parking more or less anywhere, and lots of choice in restaurants and other services and facilities.

At the furthest point, in Jasper, there's a gas bar with drinks, snacks and a washroom. 

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