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Learn more about the Amazing Place you can find on this trail
This is a loop that could start at either Gananoque or Rockport. It’s an easy-going 34 KM route along the St. Lawrence, with several opportunities to pause and enjoy views. It’s basically an out-and-back ride that if younger legs tire, you could turn back to the start at any point.
Should you start at the Gananoque end, it could be from the Lion’s Club Centennial Park, beside the Beer Store – parking nearby at the recreation centre lot. If you have children and concerned about riding on Gananoque’s King Street, an alternative start might be Gray’s Beach, about a kilometer east from town on the Thousand Islands Parkway. There is parking there, and a nice beach for a swim.
About 4.5 KM along, just before the bridge across Landon Bay there is a pull-off from the Parkway with a super lookout of Halstead's Bay, and another great spot for a picnic or a swim off the rocks. Across the Parkway is Landon Bay of Thousand Islands National Park. There are excellent walking trails and the Lookout Trail has a fabulous view of the islands and Frontenac Arch. There are washrooms – but be aware that there may be construction work for new facilities in 2018 and 2019 that may close all or part of the property – signs will be posted.
Another 2 and 3 KM east along the cycling path are first the Glen House Resort, and then the Ivy Club – both riverside places to lunch, and with a tasty ice cream selection at the Ivy. Continuing east, before the hamlet of Ivy Lea are several marinas. A short side trip into the village of Ivy Lea on the river gives you a view of some fine examples of the late Victorian cottages.
Before reaching the Thousand Islands Bridge there is a campground of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. There is no entrance fee for cyclists. There are washrooms, and there is a very good sandy swimming beach.
It’s worth another detour from the route to go to the Thousand Islands Bridge. Follow the off-ramp north from the Parkway, just past the Frontenac Arch Biosphere office, opposite the Ivy Lea campground. You’ll come to the toll booth for the bridge – no fee for bicycles. Here, you might leave the bikes by the office and take the pedestrian walkway up and onto the bridge, for a terrific view of the river and islands, boats and swirling currents far below. The bridge touches down on Hill Island, still in Canada. The viewing tower on the island gives a region-wide view.
Coming up next is Rockport, the gates off the parkway on the right. This quaint village was established as a port in Loyalist times and once was a bustling community with a cheese factory, the Andress Boatworks and two general stores, one of which is now the Boathouse Restaurant and Cornwall Pub. The ice cream part of the tour is at Andress Boatworks. You can catch boat cruises/tours of the Thousand Islands here.
With this, just reverse the route to ride back to Gananoque. Perhaps you’ve saved some of the side trips to break up the ride into easy sections. And, if another ice cream would be in the cards, cruise down to the waterfront to the ice cream stand opposite the Arthur Child Heritage Museum – itself, and the Thousand Islands Boat Museum wonderful places to visit. Rinse off at the beach at Joel Stone Park.
Either the cycling hub or Gray’s Beach at Gananoque – or from Andress Boatworks in Rockport.
Predominantly flat with a few gentle hills.
Notes and Cautions
Be cautious of traffic when crossing the busy Thousand Islands Parkway.