Click Map PDF at the bottom of the page for a printable trail description
There are some peaceful and pastoral rides just a short and scenic ferry ride from downtown Kingston. Wolfe Island is the largest and westernmost of the Thousand Islands. It is named to honour British General James Wolfe, for his 1759 victory at the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City. The island was part of the traditional hunting lands of the Tyendinaga Mohawk people, who named it Ganounkouesnot – “Long Island Standing up”. As this region became part of the early French colony, it was called Grande île. Today, Wolfe Island is a year round rural community, with a patchwork of farms and where many work and commute daily to Kingston.
The island is a fine place for rides, and the township has nicely laid them out on the web page at wolfeisland.com/mtarchives/000137.php There you can download very precise turn-by-turn route instructions. There are essentially three routes, and a fourth option to ride out to a conservation area on one of the routes.
The Wolfe Island Ferry runs on a schedule, generally on the hour and half hour, all day. The schedule is at wolfeisland.com/ferry Part of the Ontario road network there is no fee. As parking downtown Kingston for a day is hard to find, consider taking your bike by your vehicle to the island to start. The spring through fall island ferry dock is at Marysville, the start point for all island cycle routes.
While exploring the island, you will see many wind turbines, farms, and island wildlife. A short loop explores the northwest corner of the island, turning right on township Rd. 96 and following it to and past the ferry landing for Simcoe Island. Turn left onto the 2nd Line Rd., riding south and edging along a windswept bay of Lake Ontario to turn left/east on Base Line Rd. Ride Base Line Rd. east past fields and the slow-turning, massive blades of wind turbines. At township road 95, turn left and back to Marysville.
A popular loop is inland from Marysville on Road 95, south across the island to the island’s south shore at Point Alexandria. At this point is a Canada Customs post, and where the Van Horne Ferry carries a small number of vehicles at a time across to Cape Vincent in New York State. If you were to cross, you’ll need your passport. For the ride back to Marysville, retrace road 95 about 1.2 KM to turn right onto Button Bay Rd. Turn right on Short Rd., then a left/north onto the 7th Line Rd. to where it intersects Bennett Rd. Turn right on Bennett and ride until that ends at the 9th Line Rd., and turn left/north and across much of the patchwork farm island to where the 9th Line turns left/west as the Base Line Rd. The next intersection is at the 8th Line, where the route turns right/north and follow it to the north shore of Wolfe Island at township road 96. A left turn on 96 brings you back to Marysville, and past restaurants and the bakery.
The longest ride on Wolfe Island is east-west down the length of the island, a down-and-back ride on township road 96. It’s a right-left-right-left (you get the picture) on the paved road, flat until a gentle roll of countryside near the east end at Port Metcalf – which was a dock and hamlet, but the end of the road at the east tip shore today. There are some variations the ride can take by riding some of the side roads that leave and come back to 96 – but these are not generally paved.
All roads lead back to Marysville, the ferry, and great places to relax and refresh
Take the ferry from downtown Kingston (near County Road 2 and Tragically Hip Way), which will drop you off in Marysville on Wofle Island.
Flat and gently rolling hills.
All paved, except the return to Marysville roads on the ride to Point Alexandria - road, touring, hybrid bikes are suitable.
Notes and Cautions
No paved shoulders – be aware of following and converging traffic. Time your rides to fit the ferry schedule.
Cycling on Wolfe Island is a popular activity during the summer period. While exploring the island, you will see many wind turbines, farms, and island wildlife. During the summer, Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area is open for visitors to swim and explore the beach. To get to Wolfe Island, there is a free daily ferry boat ride from downtown kingston.