Ontario, Canada and New York

Thousand Islands Photo Gallery




Ontario, Canada and New York (18th to 28th August 2010)

The Thousand Islands are on Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes), on the border between Ontario, Canada and New York State, USA. We spent a week on the Canadian side before crossing over to New York to camp on the mainland.

Ontario, Canada (18th to 24th August 2010)


The Journey through Ontario (18 th and 19th August 2010)


After leaving Paradise in North Michigan the route takes us back to the shores of Lake Superior and along the Upper Peninsula on a pretty road. We get to Sault Ste Marie and get on to the toll bridge and across to the Canadian border. The exchange rate is making a lot of things very pricey (beer and petrol!) although we get a reasonably priced hotel in Sudbury, Ontario, called the Moonlight Inn. The owners have family in Ilford!

The next day we have a really long drive down to Toronto, where we manage to get ourselves on to a toll road that needs some sort of internet payment but it gets us some way through the rush hour. Unfortunately we get stuck on the road out and queue for around 45 mins. The route is pretty with lots of lakes and waterways, but the Canadian interstates are 60mph all the way which makes the going slow. We roll into Kingston just in time to catch the 8pm ferry to Wolfe Island, where we are meeting our friends, Dave and Cissy.


Wolfe Island, Ontario (19th to 24th August 2010)

Our friends, Dave and Cissy, have a lovely piece of land on the island that is so quiet and right on the lake front. They have a cool Tiki bar and 3 caravans so we can abandon the tent for a while!

Cissy's parents look after us until the guys turn up with their two gorgeous dogs.

On our first evening we barbecue a piece of beef for dinner, before heading over to a friend's place. There's quite a crowd over there round a lakeside campfire. We all get a bit sloshed and Rich ends up falling off the seawall and bruising his knee. Silly boy!

On our second day, my brother Richard flies in from England to visit for a few days. We drive over to Syracuse to pick him up and then force feed him beer until his jet lag goes away. He is very keen and does some running and attempts to swim in the knee deep lake water, quite tricky for someone over 6 feet tall.

The weather takes a turn for the worst while we're having a wonderful meal with the neighbours in the Tiki Bar. (Dave's hand caught Walleye fish and Fried Green Tomatoes!) The rain comes in and sticks around for a couple of days so we end up sitting in more than we wanted to. Dave and Cissy have to go home.

Kingston, Ontario (23rd August 2010)

The weather has dried up though still overcast. The three of us catch the ferry to Kingston, Ontario for a wander. After a mooch round the waterfront, the small fortifications and the square we go to the micro-brewery and Richard buys us a nice lunch. After stopping for a beer in an irish bar near the ferry ramp we jump on the 7pm ferry back to Wolfe Island.

Gananoque, Ontario (24th August 2010)

Wow, what a difference a day makes. It's clear and sunny this morning and the lake looks gorgeous. We catch the 1:15pm ferry to Kingston then drive to the town of Gananoque about 15 miles away. We get tickets on the 2.5 hour boat tour of the thousand islands. It's a wonderful sunny day and the islands look amazing. There are ospreys flying everywhere and other hawks. The islands have the most amazing houses on them and really fast speedboats whizz past. It feels like a millionaire's playground.

We cruise past Bouldt Castle, a very flash house that someone built for their wife. It even has a mini mediaeval castle in the grounds. The ship's narration talks about the wrecks that are still at the bottom of the lake. As we head back the sun is lowering and the light is turning golden. We drive back to Kingston and catch the 7pm ferry back to Wolfe Island. The sunset on the water at the cabin is amazing. We definitely chose the right day to go exploring and I'm so glad Richard got some decent weather in the end.

New York State (25th to 28th August 2010)


Keewaydin State Park Campground

After dropping my brother back at the airport in Syracuse we head back to Alexandria Bay on the mainland of New York and set up camp at this state park. The park is really neat and tidy with mowed pitches. We have a wonderful pitch right on the bank of the St Lawrence River, so we can watch the tour boats go back and forth. There's a brand new shower block and swimming pool close by. After pitching up we take a drive to Alexandria Bay which looks very nice with lots of places to eat and drink, and a little harbour. There's a music festival on this week Rocking on the Bay.

Each day at dusk there is a trumpet salute from somewhere, we assume there's a flag being taken down on one of the islands. At 8am every day they play the national anthem and another trumpet salute. We meet some nice fellow campers here and have a good laugh round the campfire.

We have a resident skunk at our pitch who scoffs our rubbish one night, before we realise he's around.

Alexandria Bay and boat ride

Our NYC friends, Ali and Anthony, come up to stay for the weekend and arrange a boat trip with their friends, Gerard and Jen. Around 5pm we head down to the wooden jetty that is on the park river path. It's gorgeous here, watching the boats going past and checking out the local otter as he runs up and down the bank opposite. Gerard and Jen have hired a boat for the week. They eventually find us on the jetty and we jump on. They've picked Ali and Anthony up from their hotel in Alexandria Bay. It's great to catch up with them and Gerard is a conscientious captain. We pass Bouldt castle again. We feel very grand supping wine and snacks on a private boat.

At one point we head out in to quite open water towards Singer Castle, their wedding venue. A large tug boat goes past and sets a huge wake going. We hold on tight but the wave bursts open the door at the front of the boat and a huge amount of water comes rushing in, flooding out the floor of the boat and heading for Rich sitting in the back. We all scream and throw our feet in the air. No harm done, just some very wet backsides! It's a lovely evening and the sky is turning orange as they drop us back to Ali and Anthony's hotel dock. After a dry off in their room we wander into Downtown and past some more live music. We have an Italian meal and a few drinks before heading home.

Bouldt Castle (28th August 2010)

It's another clear warm day. After breakfast we pick Ali and Anthony up and catch the tour boat from Alexandria Bay to Bouldt Castle on Heart Island. The castle was built by the guy who ran the Waldorf Astoria at the end of the 19 th century as a present for his wife. Sadly, she died when he was only half way through and it was left to ruin. It has since been renovated to some degree though there is still a lot of work to do. It's a big extravagant build with a massive yacht house, playhouse and basement swimming pool. The renovations have been completed in the entrance hall, dining room, ballroom, billiards room and some of the bedrooms.


We get back to shore and drive to the quaint town of Clayton. There are a few nice shops and a lovely coffee shop on the waterfront where we have tea and cakes and watch the ducks.