Discover the exciting natural environment of the 1000 Islands in many unique ways!
The 1000 Islands is a fascinating environment that can be explored in countless ways. Whether you’re searching for a weeklong adventure, a weekend getaway or day trips in Ontario, the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence River region is sure to rekindle your spirit of discovery and strengthen your connection to the natural world.
Here at the Aquatarium, get inspired by the stunning vistas and close-ups of plant and animal life projected before your eyes in Biosphere Hall and discover the abundant natural and historical experiences available in and around the St. Lawrence River with our RiverQuest Partners. To give you a little taste of other ways you can explore the 1000 Islands, here are seven activities that will give you a whole new perspective on our amazing region.
1. Cross-Country Skiing
The unique geology and geography of the 1000 Islands make this region the perfect backdrop for your cross-country skiing adventure. The 1000 Islands Parkway is a 37-kilometer winter path lined with granite cliffs and sandstone outcroppings that runs between Gananoque and Brockville, passing through small ports and hamlets. Making your way along the frosty path is a rare opportunity to observe the St. Lawrence River region in its pristine, winter white condition and submerse yourself in the cultural and commercial history of the region.
Snowshoeing can be a great way to get the whole family together for a hands-on, “boots-on” exploration of the great outdoors. Providing you with the ability to follow trails that may not be accessible in simple hiking boots or skis, snowshoeing brings you closer to the natural environment and can give you access to stunning views of the 1000 Islands that you simply couldn’t see any other way. After a day of exploration in the crisp snow, end your winter outing with a warm meal or drink indoors to defrost and debrief on your snowshoeing adventure.
One of the most rewarding ways to experience the St. Lawrence River is by kayak. An immersive outdoor activity for everyone from complete beginners to expert paddlers, kayaking brings you face-to-face with the abundant aquatic life of the St. Lawrence River. With a variety of locations and tours to choose from, kayaking brings you up close and personal with the 1000 Islands. This can be an afternoon activity for a day trip or a weeklong adventure, as the 1000 Islands offer a complex network of unique waterways to fill any of your Ontario getaway itineraries!
The 1000 Islands region is laced with abundant trails for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re in for a casual afternoon ambling through historic communities or a more adventurous exploration of the majestic forests and sublime waterways of the St. Lawrence River, hiking in the 1000 Islands is one of the best ways to connect with the unparalleled beauty of the environment. Hiking in the 1000 Islands region is also a great way to get some exercise and spend some valuable time in the great outdoors.
Cycling in the 1000 Islands is an exciting way to take a whole new “spin” on our unique landscape. Paved roads in the 1000 Islands region follow the lay of the land, twisting and turning among streams, granite ridges, wetlands and hills to provide constantly changing views and vistas featuring the natural environment and surroundings. Submerse yourself in the St. Lawrence River area and truly engage your senses: feel the wind on your face, inhale the scents of pine, oak and wheat, and listen to the chorus of songbirds, crickets and frogs as you zip along the roads of the 1000 Islands.
If The Boat House & The Skiff House leave you hungry for more of the 1000 Islands boating experience, riverboat cruises provide unique opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the St. Lawrence River from one of its most well known forms of transport. Professional tour guides can amaze and amuse you with tales of the history of the region while your scenic Ontario getaway tour allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Cruises are perfect complements to day trips in Ontario and can be arranged to accommodate dining and visits to the 1000 Islands International Bridge, lighthouses, magnificent historic castles and more.
7. Scuba Diving
Adventurous explorers have used the St. Lawrence River as a prime scuba diving destination for years. The crystal clear freshwater of the St. Lawrence offers optimal visibility for divers to explore and interact with aquatic life in its natural environment. But the scuba diving adventure doesn’t end with native 1000 Islands flora and fauna: hundreds of ships have met their demise while navigating the channels of the St. Lawrence River, and today, still rest in their watery graves. Divers are invited to explore sunken ships that date all the way back to the 18th century, taking a truly “immersive” trip back in time.
If thrilling interactive explorations and aquatic adventures are your cup of tea, join us in the stunning 1000 Islands-St. Lawrence River region for unforgettable day trips in Ontario and other Ontario getaways. With an array of activities for kids both at the Aquatarium and at our many exciting RiverQuest Partners, there is something for everyone in the stunning St. Lawrence River region. We look forward to welcoming you for an unforgettable adventure very soon!