1000 Islands

Exploring the Province of Quebec is really fun. There’s more to see than just Montreal and Quebec City. We visited a beach in the Parc national d’Oka called Oka Beach. It is on Lac des Deux Montagnes to the west of the city of Montreal. It reminded me of the beaches in Tawas and Au Gres, Michigan. Very brown sand with everybody from the surrounding area enjoying the summer sun.

We were passing through that area to take the ferry from Oka to Hudson. This church faces the water where we waited for the ferry.

Oka, Canada
I see why cell reception is pretty good.

The ferry can hold 18 vehicles and departs from both shores every 15 minutes. The fare for a car is $11 payable in Canadian cash.

Ferries passing on the lake
Oka from across the lake

The plan was to see the islands by tour boat. We drove along route 2 towards the 1000 Islands Parkway, stopping in Brockville for a quick bite.

Brockville Ontario
How do you afford flood insurance?

The tour we took departed Rockport, Ontario, and it crosses between Canadian and American waters.  For $30CDN each we spent two hours on the water.

Rock tour
Tour boat

There are other tours, of course, starting from different places.

A lot of national pride on display
I couldn’t tell if this one was abandoned
Private island
Nesting birds

One of the highlights of the area called Millionaire’s Row is Boldt Castle. It is located in New York waters and was originally a private mansion but is now maintained by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.

Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle

George Boldt expanded his cottage on Hart Island in 1900 with this huge masonry mansion. It was the one of the largest private homes in the US but, sadly, his wife passed before completion, and he abandoned the project. The Bridge Authority took possession for $1 (reminds me of one of the best Red Wings acquisitions ever) and they poured $15million into renovations. Visitors arriving from Canada actually have to clear customs and immigration.

Property on the border

Speaking of which, this home in Canadian waters is connected to the smaller island in American waters. I doubt they station a customs officer there, though.

If you’re looking for a fun day on the water in a unique setting I think you could do a lot worse than the 1000 Islands. The sights are great and the tour was very enjoyable.

~ Freddy


I'm an engineer, a veteran, and an avid traveler. I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson - "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."

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