Exploring the National Parks of Southern Ontario

Blog #5: Thousand Islands National Park

By N. Glenn Perrett

Photos © Lynn and Glenn Perrett

Thousand Islands National Park (TINP) is one of Canada’s oldest national parks. Established in 1904, this park was formerly known as St. Lawrence Islands National Park. The park is approximately 24 square kilometres in size and is composed of more than 20 islands along with numerous islets and shoals and some mainland properties located along a 100-kilometre stretch of the St. Lawrence River.


There are some good hiking opportunities at some of the park’s mainland properties including Jones Creek and Landon Bay. Jones Creek features approximately 15 kilometres of trails while Landon Bay has a lookout that provides stunning views of Landon Bay and the St. Lawrence River. There are also scenic trails on many of the park islands.


Boating is another popular activity at TINP and there is a boat launch at Mallorytown Landing. You can also enjoy the park by taking a boat cruise offered by various tour boats.

Many of the islands in Thousand Islands National Park have campsites. Most of the islands feature quiet, primitive campsites in scenic, natural settings. There is also oTENTik (a cross between a rustic cabin and a tent) camping at Mallorytown Landing and on McDonald Island and Gordon Island. When we visited Gordon Island we enjoyed the island’s scenic trails, saw a gazebo that was built in the early 1900s and met a couple of mink who wandered by.


At Mallorytown Landing there are beautiful Mohawk rock carvings that represent the elements of creation scattered throughout the grounds. There are also symbols carved into Contemplation Rock located next to a gazebo that was built in 1904. This area provides a nice view of the St. Lawrence River.


Located within the park is the Thousand Islands International Bridge. Constructed in the late 1930s, the approximately 13-kilometre bridge extends from Ivy Lea near Gananoque, Ontario to Collins Landing near Alexandria Bay in New York. This bridge provides a connection from Highway 401 in Ontario to US Interstate 81.


Park website:  www.parkscanada.gc.ca/ti

Next Blog: Point Pelee National Park

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N. Glenn Perrett is a writer and environmentalist whose book Southern Ontario's National Parks has just been published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

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Click here to see  Blog #4: Rouge National Urban Park