There’s no better way to get up close and personal with this naturally alluring region than by hiking its trails, cycling its paths and touring its communities.
The 1,000 Islands region is an integral part of the UNESCO-recognized, Frontenac Arch Biosphere. It is here that visitors can witness the character of wilderness and communities nestled among this awe-inspiring natural landscape.
Golfing in the 1,000 Islands provides a winning combination of unique courses and stunning scenery. The region's golf courses offer natural elevation and panoramas overlooking mature forest and the sparkling waters of the St. Lawrence River.
One of Ontario’s most scenic offerings, the 18-hole championship Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course, caters to seasoned golfers and amateurs alike.
Additionally, with nine-hole historic courses complementing practice greens and driving ranges, the 1,000 Islands golf experience extends beyond the last tee.
Appreciate the natural wonders of this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve designated area by cycling through it.
The 1,000 Islands Parkway cycling path runs from Gananoque to Brockville following the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. The 37-km paved trail features historic sites, restaurants, beaches, interpretive rest stops, and even ice cream shops along the way.
Spend a day taking side tours to discover the area's authentic river-front villages.
Artists and artisans flock to the islands to be inspired by the natural beauty here, which often weaves its way into their creations. But national and local talent in the 1000 Islands is also on show, with their works displayed in a variety of galleries and through active arts organizations.
Sculpture Park in the heart of Gananoque welcomes visitors to a serene landscape of outdoor pieces. Canada’s largest outdoor contemporary art exhibit at Confederation Park fosters an appreciation of arts and culture in a natural setting, expertly incorporating walkways, ponds and the picturesque fountain in the centre of the river basin.
Gallery Vaga features original art in watercolour, oil, pastel, acrylic, collage, encaustic, pen and ink, graphite, sculptures by Canadian artists in the 1000 Islands region. Art lovers can further indulge their senses at Art on Purpose and the Artouch Gallery in Gananoque.
Take that one step further and visit artists in their own creative spaces during the annual 1000 Islands autumn studio tour.
Visitors can discover the area's beauty while exploring the back roads, meet local artists and artisans and find that unique piece to take home. The ultimate 1000 Islands souvenir.
Whether exploring studio shops, galleries or visiting local artscapes, the 1000 Islands is an art haven.
Jones Falls promises the perfect stop on the Rideau Canal.
This impressive lock station is a focal point for visitors and locals alike, with the long bridge, an ice cream shop, a visitor centre, friendly lock staff, and trails.
Be sure to see the Stone Arch Dam which Parks Canada deems the most spectacular engineering structure on the Rideau Canal. It received the nickname “The Whispering Dam” because the 106-metre long curved structure can carry a whisper from one end to the other! Give it a try.
Buckle up and go for a legendary Sunday Drive on the Rideau Heritage Route. Weave through culturally diverse and historic areas along the canal from Kingston to Ottawa.
Immersion in the 1,000 Islands region rewards visitors with stunning scenery and unforgettable moments. Enjoy exploring by land and creating memories.
Starlight, star bright in the 1000 Islands
One of the best places for viewing the night sky in all of eastern Ontario is near Gananoque, Ont. in the 1000 Islands region.
Charleston Lake Provincial Park is gaining a growing reputation for its epic star gazing opportunities. The park is embracing its perfect location for viewing the night sky by catering to star gazers. Amateurs flock to Charleston Lake Provincial Park every summer for its astronomy field and a special event that reminds visitors of the awe-inspiring wonder that comes from looking skyward at night.
A specially designated area in the park is available for astronomy enthusiasts, with scrub brush removed and mowed grass maintained throughout the season to create an astronomy alcove. While it’s an integral part of the experience at the park, Chris Robinson, Natural Education Leader at Charleston Lake Provincial Park, said it’s actually what isn’t there that makes the viewing area special: light.
“We’re in a dark zone, far enough away from cities and towns,” Robinson said. “Thus, we’re less affected by light pollution here, and have a great, dark sky at night - a key for star gazing.”
Visitors can explore the world of astronomy with Dickinson and then gaze through telescopes at the magic of the night sky. The event is free (donations are accepted) however participants are reminded that they must pay Park admission costs, by vehicle.
Dickinson was quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying Charleston Lake Provincial Park “is one of the most southerly places in Canada where you can get a really nice dark sky experience.”
Robinson said the park is extremely fortunate to have such an internationally-renowned astronomer lead this event. Call ahead for dates for 2016.
Make a night of it and stay in the 1000 Islands region! Take a look at our accommodations suggestions or find other unique things to do in the enchanting 1000 Islands.