Starting in Portland, you've got a brief stretch on summer-busy Cty Rd 15 before turning right onto Cove Road and winding your way along cottage-access roads to Cty Rd 42 and then entering the town of Newboro (full services).
Continue following Cty Rd 42 to Westport. Caution: this road may be busy at times in the summer, especially on weekends. Westport has full services.
Leaving Westport, the biggest challenge of this route is a 160m climb up the flank of Foley Mountain. (Be thankful we didn't route you up the even steeper climb!) You're following Cty Rd 36, a.k.a. Bollingbroke Road.
Watch for Cty Rd 6 coming up on your right, and make that right turn.
Cty Rd 6, also known as Althorpe Rd, will lead you through Althorpe, past Christie Lake and across Christie Creek when the road becomes known as Christie Lake Road all the way through Dewitts Corners and Glen Tay to Perth.
Perth has full facilities.
When ready to leave Perth, follow Cty Rd 1, the Rideau Ferry Road. When approaching Rideau Ferry there's a turn to the left into the Rideau Ferry Conservation Area which has great swimming, picnicing and washrooms. To continue, follow Cty Rd 1 across the bridge.
Immediately after the bridge, turn right onto Old Kingston Road which will wind for several kilometers past cottage access lanes for Big Rideau Lake on your right, and Bass Lake on your left.
You'll cross over Cty Rd 38 at Scotch Point and continue on Old Kingston Road until it meets up with Cty Rd 15.
From here, turn right onto Cty Rd 15 (which can be quite busy on summer weekends) and it's 3 km back to your starting point in Portland.
Portland, Perth or Westport.
Lots of hills!
All paved - the route is suitable for a hybrid, road or touring bike.
Notes and Cautions
The short stretches of Cty Rd 15 can be quite busy with vacation traffic on summer weekends.
This route starts/ends in Portland and circumnavigates Big Rideau Lake, winding through beautiful rugged Canadian Shield countryside to Westport, Perth and back to Portland.
The route can just as easily start in any of Portland, Westport or Perth, and go either way around.
For more information on this area, see The Rideau Calls website.
Also see the website for the Township of Rideau Lakes where you can find information on heritage walking tours of the towns as well as more cycling routes created by Doug Bond (thanks to Doug for this route).