Guide to Lower Nicholsons Lock – Rideau Canal

Lock Station Dates & Hours: the system usually opens around the Victoria Day weekend at the end of May and closes around the Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. The last day of operation for 2021 is 11th October. Lock hours vary with season and can be viewed on the official Rideau Canal site.

Access to Lower Nicholson Lock is East of Merrickville, take Highway 43 and then turn on to Burrits Rapids Road. The turn is signposted and is a gravel track that looks a little like farm access. It is a very short drive to a good size gravel parking area and at the end take the access track down to the locks.

This is an excellent place to start a day paddle into the centre of Merrickville.

General Information

Lock Number(s)/Flights: #18

Lock Lift metres (feet): 2.0 (6.5)

Co-ordinates (Google maps): 44.95472, -75.81595

Civic Address: 41 Nicholson Lane, Merrickville-Wolford, Ontario

Lock Station Phone:  613-269-4960

Portage: Yes, an easy portage.

Boat launch: No.

Kayak/Canoe Launch: Yes

Previous Lock(Distance): Burrits Rapids Lock

Next Lock (Distance): Upper Nicholson Lock


Parking: Yes (free)

Camping: Yes ($), if arriving by water and also for cyclists and hikers.

BBQ/Picnic Tables: Picnic tables & BBQs

Washrooms: Yes.

Power Supply: Nothing dedicated but you can charge electronics in the washrooms (not secure)

Garbage/Recycling: Yes

Potable (Drinking) Water: Yes, but do check with the lockmaster.

Public Telephone: No.


Local Supplies

Hiking Trails: No

Cell Phone Reception:

The camping options here are flat and quiet. The washrooms a very clean and well maintained. Recommended as a spot to start a journey or take a break.