No trip to the 1000 Islands would be complete without a ride on the paved trail alongside the 1000 Islands Parkway which starts just east of Gananoque. With endless options to see and do, setting up base in this picturesque small town will put you in the heart of the 1000 Islands ready for a getaway full of adventures of your choosing.
Both leisurely cruisers and longer distance riders can set their own pace and enjoy a ride out on the 1000 Islands Parkway. This 37km long off-road and recently repaved multi-use trail is easily accessed from the east end of Gananoque. Whether you want to do just a small section, the full distance, or make a 100km round trip to Brockville and back, there are enough stops along the way to fill a few hours or whole day.
With breathtaking views from the trail to the St Lawrence River and its scattered of islands, big and small, an early stop at the Halstead Bay lookout, just 7km from the start, puts all in perspective. Another excellent vantage point near the 14km marker is a top of the 1000 Islands Bridge, parking bikes at the toll gate and walking out to mid-point of the first of four bridges that make the crossing to USA. The nearby 1000 Islands Tower on Hill Island, while best arrived at by vehicle, also has a most stunning panorama.
Further along, at 18km from town, a towering gateway beckons trail riders to pull into the tiny waterfront village of Rockport for an ice cream stop or lunch on riverside pub patio. If you are going the distance, Mallorytown Landing, a pretty green National Park space at 28km (near the new Treetop Trekking location) or Browns Bay Beach at 33km are both easily accessed from the bike trail.
For a longer ride, keep following east or west the well signed Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. A loop that includes the trail plus a mix of gravel and paved country roads plus a half way stop at BUSL craft cidery and apple farm is just 5km north of Mallorytown Landing. Other options include a ride north from Gananoque expanding on the Marble Rock and Roll Loop and finding quiet roads onwards to the Rideau Canal or Charleston Lake Provincial Park.
There are a number of ways to get out on the water for a tour around the islands. Jump on board a sightseeing cruise from the Gananoque waterfront for a 1-hour or longer tour with options to stopover at the fairy tale like Boldt Castle. For a self-propelled adventure and paddle, 1000 Islands Kayaking offers a variety of rentals as well as guided half and full day tour options.
Arts & Culture
Taking in the local arts and culture scene may be of interest making stops in a number of small galleries that line King Street, the main thoroughfare through town. Learn more about the rich maritime past of the area at the 1000 Islands History and Boat Museums. Book some tickets for a show at the Gananoque Playhouse, a stunning theatre location overlooking the water.
Find a number of hiking trails at several locations within the 1000 Islands National Park. With trails that vary in difficulty from an easy 20-minute walk to a moderate 2-hour hike, get immersed in serenely beautiful settings, with a walk through tall stands of pine, past rugged rock faces and on to scenic lookouts.
Food & Drink
Guaranteed you won’t leave town hungry, as downtown Gan has food options that include outside dining at bicycle friendly cafes, The Purple House Café and Pistachio, plus the Watermark Restaurant and the Gan Brewing Company. If picnic supplies are needed grab a basket full of tasty treats from Lighthouse Provisions before heading out on the adventure of your choosing.
Where to Stay
From historical inns to the newest hotel chain, there are beds a plenty and all within steps of downtown and the waterfront. Try the bicycle friendly Gananoque Inn & Spa, Comfort Inn & Suites, Quality Inn, Travelodge or Holiday Inn. Bed and Breakfasts as well as island campouts are also an option.
A perfect adventure basecamp and easy to plan holiday, make Gananoque your 1000 Islands gateway and place to stay this year.
Plan Your Gananoque Getaway
Sponsored Content Partner & Photo Credits: 1000 Islands Tourism