Merrickville is a short 40-min drive from either Ottawa or Kingston. I love to take the back roads and see the seasons unfold as I wend my way along the Rideau River to beautiful Merrickville, several times winner of The Prettiest Village in Ontario award. Like many towns along the Rideau Canal system, Merrickville owes its history to Colonel By and his intrepid navvies who toiled and died to build a route from Kingston to Ottawa by which to keep the new country of Canada safe from American invasion.
These days the major American invasion that occurs is by tourists eager to soak up the history and beauty of the place. You can easily spend a full day wandering the village and its shops & galleries, spending time exploring the locks and watching as staff still open and close the locks by hand. You can also explore the military garrison building if history is your main interest. Several excellent B&Bs serve the village for longer stays and several good restaurants offer big city dining quality. My special favorite is Serendipity Bistro which pioneered a 100-mile diet approach in the region, while maintaining fine dining standards.
For those who prefer more rustic accommodations, the village offers a full-service campsite right on the banks of the Rideau River. Then, of course, for the folks who arrive by boat, there is ample anchorage surrounding the locks.
The village is filled with large old homes, many with lush gardens. Merrickville is well served with life's basic necessities: a good grocery store, bank, liquor store, gas station, coffee shop, homemade ice cream shop and chip wagon.
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