4 Things You Have To Do During a Stay in the 1000 Islands

Discover many historical and natural attractions when you explore this natural wonderland!

Built from ancient glacial rocks, the 1000 Islands is the perfect destination for pleasure seekers and adventurers. A treasure trove of cultural, natural and historical artifacts awaits visitors. The 1000 Islands gets its name from the 1,864 islands scattered through the St Lawrence River, one of the mightiest rivers in the world that links the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. This region is rich in wildlife and history and is an important habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals. One of the best things to do in the Thousand Islands is to explore the plants, animals, relics and ruins that make it one of a kind. Here are four activities to put at the top of your to-do list on your upcoming 1000 Islands visit!

Friends driving with kayak on forest river


Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, kayaking is one of the best things to do in the Thousand Islands. Chart a course that leads you up quiet coves, past island castles and by welcoming villages at the river’s shore. As you glide along the water’s surface, keep a close eye out for wildlife in the water and on the banks. Be sure to look to the skies — you just might catch a glimpse of an osprey or bald eagle in flight! Spend a few hours or even a full day out on the water. Kayaking is a great way to get up close with the many sights that make the Thousand Islands so fascinating.

Learn more by visiting River Bay Boat Rentals and 1000 Islands Kayaking.


Boat Cruises

Boat cruises are one of the best ways to enjoy all that the 1000 Islands have to offer. Taking a cruise offers you breathtaking views of the region’s sights and scenery. Travel back in time as you take in historic castles, military fortresses and lighthouses. You can even pass over some of the infamous shipwrecks lying in their watery St. Lawrence River grave!

Known as the freshwater boating capital of the world, boat cruises are one of the most popular things to do in the 1000 Islands. Whether it’s a sightseeing cruise, a sunset trip, or a chartered yacht, there are a number of ways to explore this magical place.

To find out more information, visit our RiverQuest partners, Cygnus Classic Charters, Clayton Island Tours and 1000 Island Cruises.

Scuba diving

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is one of the most popular things to do in the 1000 Islands among underwater adventurers. The warm summertime temperatures and clear waters draw people from all over to enjoy the best freshwater diving in the world, with visibility of up to 70 feet. Some even call the St. Lawrence River the Caribbean of the North!

But the mighty waterway isn’t only home to many species of fish, amphibians and aquatic mammals. It’s also home to ghostly shipwrecks dating back to the 1800s. From schooners to steamboats to steel freighters, these boats now call the river bottom their final resting place, and you can see them for yourself when you dive in this watery wonderland.

Scuba diving companies include Thousand Island Pleasure Diving, and Dive Tech Training Centre.


Happy senior couple walking with dog on a hiking trail


Humans have been walking these lands for countless generations, so it’s no surprise that many artifacts have been found here. From copper knives to pottery pieces, these First Nations relics help tell the story of those who have traveled these trails, while battle sites from the War of 1812 mark historic events from a more recent past. Become part of the story as you take a hike through history.

The region surrounding the 1000 Islands is home to the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. This special landscape marks the meeting point where five distinct forests meet. It’s the most biodiverse place in all of Canada. Rugged cliffs, rolling hills and wetlands are some of the terrain you’ll cover as you trek through the wilderness. Along the way you may see one of the many creatures that make their home here, from flying squirrel to porcupines to more rare species such as the five-lined skink. Be sure to keep your ears open, too. Migratory songbirds fill the air with their one-of-a-kind calls.

Learn more by visiting Thousand Islands Land Trust, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and Thousand Islands National Park of Canada.

Humans have been drawn to this region for thousands of years. With so many exciting things to do in the 1000 Islands, it’s no surprise that so many visitors come each year, particularly in summer, to learn, explore and enjoy the cultural heritage and astonishing natural landscape. Kayaking, boat cruises, scuba diving and hiking are all wonderful things to do in the Thousand Islands during your next visit.

← Return to Blog