A Thousand Islands and 864 More
The Thousand Islands Region is a group of islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway located between the northern border of New York state and the southern border of Ontario. Due to the shorelines of exposed granite, dense forest, and cerulean blue water in addition to the novelty of the many islands, the region gained popularity in the mid-19th century when many wealthy businessmen purchased islands, building extravagant estates. Many of these stately homes still dot the shorelines and blanket the islands today, enhancing the charm of the area.
The best way to see these islands is – of course – by boat so we boarded a two and a half hour cruise that took us upriver, cruising back and forth across the Canadian border, past many of the area’s highlights. There was a decidedly casual atmosphere on our cruise, heightened by low occupancy, and we spent the couple hours commenting on the informative narrative, deciding which island we would buy, and kicking back. At the beginning of the cruise it was announced that they had beer from the local St. Lawrence Brewing Company for sale which seemed like a perfect way to enjoy the ride so we took them up on the offer – Tom enjoying a Barnstormer Pilsner while I sipped a Skinny Dipper IPA.
The tour was excellent and as I said, highly informative. We learned about the history of the region, major shipwrecks, the stories of the most famous islands and estates, and the nuances of island living such as electricity service, drinking water supply, sewage disposal, and dealing with the brutally cold winters. The most interesting facts however were that despite it’s name, the region actually has 1,864 islands, and to that point, that there are technical requirements for being defined as an island: three feet of diameter, consistent position above the river level, one tree, and one other living thing.
I have always wanted to visit this area, even since my parents went and shared all of their photos with me. And, how amazing would it be to have a little summer cabin on your own tiny island?! Those pop up around here as well, out in the archipelago. It’s on my bucket list – at least to stay in one for a vacation one day! 🙂
It’s such a nice area. If we had more time before our scheduled family visits we would have stayed and gone over to the Canadian side as well. I’ve always wanted to live on an island (ideally one with a lighthouse!) and I loved looking at all these cute little houses perched in the seaway. The bigger ones were nice but I was definitely fond of the cute cottages. You should definitely add it to your list! The Swedish archipelago is most certainly on my list, much more so since you’ve been posting photos of the countryside and shoreline over the past year!