Gateway to the 1000 Islands: What is RiverQuest?

Find out how you can create a customized adventure through the 1000 Islands!

Did you know that one fifth of all the fresh water on the planet flows through the St. Lawrence River? This mighty river connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, flowing between New York State and the province of Ontario and is home to 1,864 islands, commonly known as the Thousand Islands.

Native peoples, explorers, settlers, soldiers, and pirates have all left their mark upon this unique place, and it’s no wonder why. Teeming with human and natural history, the Thousand Islands region has served as a migratory route for man and animal for millennia. Its many microclimates provide diverse habitats for an exotic array of wildlife. Ancient peoples to Gilded Age industrialists have made their homes along the banks of the St. Lawrence, and military forts have been erected on its shore.

Today, nature lovers come from all over to explore the St. Lawrence River, which is the freshwater diving capital of the world. Boat cruises offer visitors the chance to take in breathtaking scenery, whether an eagle in flight or an impressive castle. The Thousand Islands region is the perfect place to explore and adventure, and RiverQuest can help you discover this fascinating territory.

Fort Wellington

What is RiverQuest?

RiverQuest is a partnership of museums, historic sites, theatres, art centres, environment reserves, boat tours and other places of interest on both sides of the St. Lawrence River. RiverQuest lets you chart a customised course through the Thousand Islands region by choosing from a variety of offerings. You can select from a wide array of attractions and activities to design a multi-location experience that’s a perfect match for your interests. What is RiverQuest in the 1000 Islands? The best way to create a choose-your-own-adventure-style vacation.

When you create your RiverQuest getaway, you can sample a little bit of everything, or plan your quest around a central theme. RiverQuest helps you have an adventure that’s custom-tailored for you. Pick and choose from categories including Arts and Entertainment, Family Fun, History, Pirates, Gilded Age or Great Outdoors, or stick with a single theme.

A sample of some of the exciting cultural or historical themes that your quest can center around include Pirates & Rum Runners, the history of the Gilded Age, and the amazing outdoor attractions of the 1000 Islands.

Ropes Course


The Aquatarium is a perfect destination to include in your RiverQuest getaway. Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence in Brockville, Ontario, the Aquatarium is a 27,000 square foot aquarium and discovery centre that uses innovative, interactive exhibits to educate and inspire people of all ages.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run the riggings of a tall ship? The one-of-a-kind ropes course at the Aquatarium lets you do just that, as you climb across the rigging of the SS Kingston and HMS Ontario! And if you’ve ever wanted to see a shipwreck up close and personal, the Aquatarium can give you a front row seat. Take a tour through the pirated steamship Sir Robert Peel, once submerged in the depths of the St. Lawrence. As you explore the chambers of the ship, trained divers interact with you from a dive tank, offering an up close and personal view of fish and aquatic life. You may even spy a treasure chest. For aspiring boat builders, the Wind Wall at the Aquatarium offers the chance to build your own miniature sailboat and take it for a test sail.


Not only cute and furry, river otters play an important role in the St. Lawrence River’s ecosystem. They help regulate the rodent, amphibian and fish population. Though it may look like it’s all fun and games for the otters as they slide down riverbanks, it’s actually their efficient method of trapping prey. Come watch otters swim and play in their river habitat at the Aquatarium’s river otter exhibit.

These are just a sampling of the many hands-on exhibits at the Aquatarium, which introduce you to the fascinating facts and stories of the thousand islands region. A visit to the Aquatarium can help you decide where your next stop will be on your RiverQuest.

What is RiverQuest? The answer is simple: An exciting way for you to chart your own course through the thousand islands wonderland. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know which to choose or even where to begin. RiverQuest offers you the chance to build a personalized getaway vacation that takes you to the doorstep of discovery– and beyond.

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