If you want to experience the 1000 Islands by bike instead of boat, you’ll surely enjoy the paved bike path that runs parallel to the 1000 Islands Parkway and the St. Lawrence River.
This incredibly beautiful section of the Waterfront Trail in the 1000 Islands is 37 kilometres long and runs between Brockville in the east (begins near Butternut Bay) and Gananoque in the west. It excels for day cycles or for multi-day cyclo-touring. You feel like you’re away from the city but still have the convenience of small townships and amenities along the way.
It’s so easy to let yourself go here and enjoy fresh breezes cooling you from across the water as you cycle in the sunshine while birdsong competes with the buzz of cicada. It’s summer in the 1000 Islands!
If you like sandy beaches, swimming in clear water, parks with restrooms, picnic areas, hiking trails, charming small townships, restaurants, camping and lodgings scattered along a cycling route, you’ll like this one.
The 1000 Islands bike path has become one of my favourite off-road cycling routes in Ontario’s Waterfront Trail network. You can relax and not worry about road traffic. And, you can’t get lost. Signs along the adjacent 1000 Islands Parkway give you indications to other destinations you may want to visit.
The 1000 Islands are recognized around the world. There are 1,864 islands located in an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch along the St. Lawrence River between Canada (Brockville to Kingston, Ontario) and the United States (New York State). That’s a lot of islands, and a never-ending canvas of interesting views for you to enjoy.
Enjoy the beautiful, 1000 Islands Waterfront Trail lined with scenery of the 1000 Islands, wildflowers, gardens, granite cliffs and picturesque waterfront cottages. The water is across the road from the cycling path, so be careful if you cross.
Here Are A Few Favourite Stops Along The Route
Brown’s Bay Beach: Large 25-30 acre park, two sandy beaches, 1,000-foot long roped-in swimming area, picnic spots in shade or sun, boat launch, cantine, restrooms, parking fee, six waterfront campsites with no services for RVs. The park restrooms close at 8:00 p.m., depending on the season.
Mallorytown Landing: Five waterfront oTENTiks for overnight camping (must be reserved), picnic areas and picnic shelter, historic 1904 gazebo, restrooms, hiking trails, parking, boat launch, docks, parking fee, Visitor Centre.
Landon Bay Centre: 125 campsites, RV and tent camping, large covered pavilion surrounded by gardens, swimming pool, restrooms, showers, hiking trails with lookouts, and a natural swimming hole across the 1000 Islands Parkway on the St. Lawrence River. No beach.
Rockport: Restaurants, inn, marina, boat tours and cruises. I enjoy the Boathouse Restaurant. It’s best to reserve ahead of time.
Ivy Lea Campground: 146 campsites, RV and tent camping, four camper cabins, laundromat, showers, beach, swimming, playground, washrooms, trails, boat launch, docks, Visitor Centre
Written by Peggy Varner