2020 Summer of Adventure!

Gananoque to Brockville along the Thousand Islands

Celebrate 25 years of trail-building and work to protect and connect our Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterfront with the 2020 Summer of Adventure!

What you will love–Cycling along the St. Lawrence River in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, quaint main streets, amazing parks with beaches and non-stop glorious vistas of the River…and all the off-bike activities such as kayaking, boat tours, swimming, and hiking. The trick to getting a full measure of all that is here is crossing the parkway (the road that runs parallel to the Trail) to access parks and villages.

Terrain—39 km of beautiful paved path. Easy terrain, some gentle rollers,  quiet residential streets, bike lanes. 9 km heading into Brockville use HWY2 with narrow shoulders.

The Plan–2 -3 days. Base your ride in Gananoque.

Day 1: Exploring Gananoque’s local trails, shops, culinary scene and we highly recommend taking a  guided kayak tour of the St. Lawrence River — the guides are excellent story-tellers and the kayaking is very easy for everyone to enjoy.

Day 2: take an epic 100 km ride to Brockville and back with rest stops in Rockport, Mallory Landing, and a great lunch on one of Brockville’s patios. OR Take it slower and spend a night in Brockville.

Family-friendly option–Skip Gananoque and Brockville and stay instead at either the Glen House Resort or Ivy Lea Campground  both of which are located on the  39 km of continuous, off-road path that runs adjacent to the parkway.  Do out and back rides to check out the wonderful park system and its communities: Rockport,  Mallorytown Landing,   Brown’s Bay Picnic and Beach Area.

Please note: due to the pandemic, the public washrooms at the Butternut Bay terminus of the Thousands Islands Parkway are closed. The nearest facilities are at Brown’s Bay.

How to Get There–By Car–3 -hour drive from downtown Toronto using the 401.

Distance– Gananoque to Brockville (approximately 50 km)-

Walkers/hikers

Gananoque Trails — take 90 minutes to 2 hours to follow one of 3 looped trail experiences.

Rockport–historic walking tour showcasing mural and historic plaques depicting the village’s shipping building heritage.

Thousand Islands National Park–several hiking opportunities in the parks.

  • Mallorytown Landing--location for the Park’s Visitor Centre, there is also a 2 km trail
  • Jones Creek–12km trail network of easy to difficult trail loops, wildlife viewing, lookout points, scenic wetland boardwalk
  • Landon Bay–fields and forests to the osprey nest, beaver dam and pond, lookout with panoramic view of the 1000 Islands or through the mature forests and along the banks of Landon Bay and Halstead Creek.

Beaches

  • Joel Stone Beach, Gananoque (125 Water St, Gananoque, ON K7G 2M5)– on the shore of the St. Lawrence with a deep water swim dock and sandy beach and splash pad.
  • Landon Bay (302 Thousand Islands Pkwy, Lansdowne, ON K0E 1L0) –8 km east of Gananoque on the Trail,  takes you to Landon Bay, where there is a lookout with a long flat rock that stretches far into the water to dive off where it meets the sand bottom.
  • Grass Creek Park, Kingston (92991 2, Kingston, ON K7L 4V1)-14 km west of Gananoque
  • Brown’s  Bay Park

Downloadable paper mapsMaps 7 to 10 in the package


Gananoque’s local waterfront, trails, and downtown.

Situated on the shores of the St. Lawrence and Gananoque Rivers, the picturesque Town of Gananoque is rich in cultural and natural attractions. You can enjoy diving, fishing, boating, local hiking trails, touring the 1000 Islands by boat, swimming, local theatre (closed due to the pandemic in 2020), shopping, and a visit to the 1000 Islands Casino.

Most of the trail is asphalt surface, usually on residential roads. Short stretch follows King Street -a busy main street. Joel Stone Park and beach is the heart of the Town’s waterfront and the gateway for Thousand Islands cruise operators. Parking : Joel Stone Park – end of Water St.

Gananoque Inn and Spa is a luxurious kick-off for the weekend, located on the St. Lawrence River and close to local shops and craft breweries and restaurants.

Be sure to visit the Gan Brewing Company to pick up a nightcap to enjoy at the hotel.

Gananoque Visitor Centre is a great place to stop to find out what’s happening.

There is a wonderful culinary scene in Gananoque for example Laverne’s Eatery, which located across from the Visitor Centre.

Crossing the Gananoque River on the Water Street Bridge headed toward the Gananoque Inn and Spa.

The wooden pedestrian/cycling bridge is part of the local trail network and is a beautiful way to get to Confederation Park.

Why not add a guided kayak tour to the mix. The guides are entertaining and knowledgeable and the packages are so creative combining food, history, and discovering hidden gems.

Check out 1000 Islands Kayaking tour options. 1000 Islands Kayaking touring options.

Exploring the St. Lawrence River Waterfront Trail along the Thousand Islands Parkway

2.6 km — Entrance to the trail adjacent to the Thousand Island Parkway. In 2018 the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, towns of Gananoque and  Leeds and Thousand Islands celebrated the construction of the new off-road extension of the trail along the parkway that eliminated dangerous road crossings.  (Thank you MTO Eastern Office!) As you leave Gananoque on King Street/Hwy 2 be sure to veer left to stay in the bike lanes on HWY 2, which lead to this trail extension.

The Trail along the parkway offers a safe, enjoyable ride. However, most of the parks and the village of Rockport are located on the south side or riverside of the parkway.

DYK: The Thousand Islands are what remain of ancient hills after the glaciers flooded the region 13,0o0 years ago.

17 km — Frontenac Arch Biosphere is one of 18 such regions within Canada. The Network is a group of dedicated people and organizations working to protect and promote the FAB!  “The Frontenac Arch interrupts flat countryside with rolling hills and rugged cliffs, topped with windswept pines, and valleyed with sinewy creeks and tranquil lakes and wetlands. But about a billion years ago, the Frontenac Arch, and the Canadian Shield, was a massive range of towering mountains. It took hundreds of millions of years for these mountains to weather down to their roots – and those basement rocks of the mountains are what we experience in this landscape today.” From the Biosphere Network website.

Amid the granite and greenery of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve you’ll find the Ivy Lea Campground, managed by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. It is across the parkway from the Biosphere at the foot of the towering Thousand Islands Bridge, an international connection to the US. Tent camping is permitted with a reservation but there are COVID related restrictions.

Nothing beats a dip to cool off after a nice ride! Ivy Lea (and Brown’s Bay) are great places to splash in the St. Lawrence River.

22 km — Village of Rockport. Cross the parkway and head down to the heart of this lovely village.  Coming for a visit and forgot your bike? No worries, you can now rent a bike for a couple of hours at the Boathouse Country Inn.

Rockport’s restaurants have fantastic views of the St. Lawrence River. There may even be live music playing in Cornwall’s Pub.

You may find yourself so captivated by the St. Lawrence that you register for an afternoon boat tour with Rockport Cruises. Rockport Cruises provides transportation to Boldt Castle in addition to its one hour Heart of the Islands tour, two hour Palaces & Palisades cruise, lunch and sunset dinner cruises, and themed cruises. Easy to fit it into a day of cycling.

Grab a map of the historic walking tour (ask local businesses and pubs) of the Village of Rockport.

39 km– Jones Creek. There are three hiking trails to explore, the trailhead is on the north side of the parkway off the Trail. Brown’s Bay Park Picnic and Beach is located across the parkway on the south side. It is the oldest of all of the Parks of the St. Lawrence. At one time, Brown’s Bay was the only provincial park between Gananoque and the Quebec border.

40 km The dedicated trail ends at Brockmere Cliff Drive. From here you will be riding on County Road 2 and sharing the road with traffic.

Fall in love with Brockville, Ontario

50 km– Brockville’s historic main street and incredible waterfront.

Beautiful downtown shops and great patio scene where you can celebrate the day’s ride.

St. Lawrence Park campground and beach in Brockville is on the western boundary of Brockville and about 2 km from main street. View of the beach at St. Lawrence Park.

Canada’s first railway tunnel has been transformed into a funky landmark. Unfortunately closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, this will have to your reason for coming back!


Custom Google Map
Use our custom interactive Google map to check distances. And points of interest. https://waterfronttrail.org/map/interactive-map-2/

What to bring:
Don’t forget your sanitizer, snacks and water. Some facilities are operating on reduced hours. Please respect physical distancing protocols and call accommodations and facilities in advance to confirm hours.

Accommodations

Gananoque Hotels (many options)

Brockville Hotels (additional options on

Camping

About the Communities and attractions

Gananoque

Village of Rockport

Brockville

Aquatarium, Brockville

Thousand Island National Park

Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network–Great resource on the natural history of this remarkable landform and its incredible biodiversity. We all know the Canadian Shield, they make it easy to understand and appreciate the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

St Lawrence Parks Commission–Cycling

St. Lawrence Parks Commission–Things To Do including kayaking, hiking, cycling, fishing and more.