Did you know there are actually over 1,800 islands (1,864 to be exact) that make up the 1000 Islands region? To become an official part of the count, an island must meet two criteria: it must be above water 365 days a year and it must support two living trees. Ferries or bridges provide access to Wellesley, Hill, Wolfe and Howe Islands.
The islands are unique, offering a wonderful recreation experience that spans two nations. Each island has its own individuality with features such as stately granite cliffs, soft sandy bays, tall dark pines and vibrant maple trees—it’s a sightseer’s paradise. Many islands are privately owned but ample public access can be found at island parks and villages throughout the region.
Amusement and Entertainment
Anywhere you go, the 1000 Islands is truly a fun and friendly destination. Stroll through village downtowns, have fun on the water all day long and take in a drive-in movie at night. Have a ball on mini-links throughout the region. You’ll find miniature golf in Alexandria Bay, Brockville, Cornwall, Gananoque, and Watertown. Your kids will love seeing the Dinosaurs at Prehistoric World in Morrisburg, or having fun on the farm at Old McDonald’s Farm Village in Sackets Harbor. Enjoy a night at the speedways in Evans Mills, LaFargeville, Brockville or Cornwall. Get behind the wheel yourself go-karting at Alex Bay 500, Route 342 Karts and More in Evans Mills, Charlie’s Go-Karts in Summerstown or Kingston Family Fun World. Find adventure with a white water rafting trip down the Black River from Carthage to Dexter, or indoor rock climbing in Kingston.
Boating, Fishing, Marinas
The 1000 Islands region of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River offers boating for every taste and includes some of the greatest fishing in the world, the most interesting cruising anywhere and the best diving outside of the Caribbean. With island after island and port after port of breathtaking beauty, fascinating history and lively activity, it’s easy to see why the 1000 Islands are a popular cruising destination for both power boaters and sailors.
The maritime culture of the 1000 Islands makes it the ultimate boater-friendly destination. Here, your boat ties you to the community. So much is accessible by boat: restaurants, resorts, parks, museums, golf courses, retail shops, and of course, the scenery.
There are few places where you can catch as many trophy-sized fish of so many species. The diversity has drawn anglers to return year after year. On eastern Lake Ontario expect to reel some trophy lake trout, king salmon and walleye. The St. Lawrence River is known for its bountiful catches of muskie, northern pike, bass, and its famous Lancaster Perch.
Fishing services abound in the region with plentiful marinas, boat launches and bait and tackle shops. Local guides and charters can assure a successful outing for any angler with their proven knowledge and expertise.
Today, with over thirty public courses, the 1000 Islands offers the golfer a wonderful variety of experiences. Whether you’re a scratch handicap or novice duffer, over 30 courses welcome you to a day of sporting fun!
You’ll find championship calibre courses, nine-holers that are a little less challenging and even several island courses. Most of the well-stocked pro shops offer club rentals, power carts and a variety of golf accessories. More importantly, they offer the hospitality that makes your day on the course a memorable one. You’ll really love the relaxed pace of the Islands and will be pleasantly surprised with the affordable greens fees.
Just think, with great courses in both the United States and Canada, you can tell your friends you went on an international golf tour.
Water Adventure Sports
Paddle sport enthusiasts can indulge in both white water and flat-water paddling. Sea kayaking among the 1000 Islands has been rapidly increasing in popularity. Here you can choose a huge variety of experiences, from short instructional tours in protected areas or multi-day excursions among the island parks.
Explore the wildlife and beauty of the region by canoeing the quiet bays and inland lakes. Rentals are available from a number of outfitters as well as at some parks and conservation areas. Turn up the adrenaline with a rafting trip on the Black River running class IV and V rapids. The Black River offers reliable water spring, summer and fall and features astounding scenery including 200-foot canyons.
In recent years, the region’s Zebra Mussel population has filtered the region’s waters, making it one of the world’s newest underwater destinations for historical discovery and adventure. You’ll find a diver’s paradise where visibility can be 80 feet, water temperatures reach 73 degrees Fahrenheit and no thermocline exists thanks to the St. Lawrence River current.
Hundreds of shipwrecks are hidden below in the waters that have been a key trade route since the late 1700’s. These well preserved freshwater wrecks, combined with teeming vegetation and fish, offer great opportunities for underwater photography. From drift and wall dives, through cavern and bottom formations, the area has something for all skill levels.