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Lucky Ottawans are spoiled with a host of National Historic Sites and National Parks less than a two-hour drive from downtown. Here are six inspirational suggestions to get you started: from paddling in a 27-foot Voyageur canoe along a historic 19th century shipping route, to cycling through 7,000 years of history, and tying on a Voyageur sash and learning about the fur trade. The fun starts here!

Rideau Canal National Historic Site
Historic shipping route constructed after the war of 1812.
walk or bike!
Fort Wellington National Historic Site
Historic fort dating back to the war of 1812.
  • Driving: 1 hour
Thousand Islands National Park
20 islands and three scenic mainland properties on the St. Lawrence River.
  • Driving: 1.5 hours
Carillon Canal National Historic Site
North America’s only 200-tonne Guillotine gate.
  • Driving: 1.5 hours
Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site
Fort remains and Canada’s first lock canal at the most turbulent rapids on the St Lawrence River.
  • Driving: 1.5 hours
Lachine Canal National Historic Site
The canal gateway which links the Atlantic Ocean to the heart of the continent.
  • Driving: under 2 hours
  • Transit: 2 hours