Along the inland segments, the route winds along and through a granite ridgeline running parallel to the River. There are outcroppings of granite, bogs and small ponds. You'll cross over both Jones and Lyn Creeks, and through mixed forest.
From Mallorytown, proceed in a northeast direction along Cty Rd 2 which has wide paved shoulders.
After crossing Hwy 401 at Long Beach, turn right onto Brockmere Cliff Rd and follow it as it doubles back southwest between the 401 and Butternut Bay, coming to a T-stop at the Thousand Islands Parkway.
Cross the Parkway and continue on the St. Lawrence Recreational Trail (SLRT), paralleling the Parkway and running southwest.
As you approach a grade down to the Jones Creek bridge, you'll pass outcroppings of 300 to 500 million year old sedimentary rock which then gives way to outcroppings of 1.2 billion year old granite, the foundation and all that's left of the mighty Grenville mountains.
If you'd like to take a leisurely hike, check out the Jones Creek Trail.
At the 20km mark in your journey, you'll come to Browns Bay Park which you can gain access to by carefully crossing the Parkway from the SLRT. At the park you'll find washrooms, a concession, and a great swimming beach.
Continue along the SLRT southwesterly along the River to Mallorytown Landing where you'll find the National Park's visitor centre with its washrooms, interpretive displays and summer activities.
There is also a general store on your right at this corner.
If you're thinking you've just about had enough for one day, you can turn north on Cty Rd 5, climbing up and over the ridgeline, then pass over Hwy 401, and return to Mallorytown.
If you're game to continue though, proceed by continuing along the SLRT southwest for about another 11 km of scenic River views to Rockport. To enter the village, you need to once again carefully cross the Parkway, then follow the village road to the waterfront. Here you'll find gift shops, washrooms, boat tours/cruises and restaurants.
The village road loops from the Parkway to the waterfront and continues back to the Parkway where you need to carefully cross straight ahead onto the Escott-Rockport Road and our return to Mallorytown.
First though you'll have to climb up and over the granite ridgeline before descending, passing under Hwy 401, and then emerging into a pastoral setting of sheep, horse and cattle farms, and the area's first vineyard at Eagle Point Winery (opened May 2011).
At the T-stop where the Escott-Rockport Rd ends at Cty Rd 2, turn right to continue back to Mallorytown (about 6 km). At this corner though is the heritage Springfield House which houses a library and a small museum on the uppper floor. Built around 1871, you can learn more about the history of this building and the town on the Leeds & 1000 Islands Historical Society webpage.
This route is mapped using Mallorytown as a starting point, and following the loop in a clockwise direction. The route can also be done in a counter-clockwise direction just as easily.
In Mallorytown, you can park on the street or in the spacious parking lot at the general store (corner of Quabbin Rd and Cty Rd 5). The general store also has a washroom for customers.
Alternative starting/ending points include:
- Rockport (parking, washrooms, restaurants, gift shops),
- Mallorytown Landing (at the National Park visitor centre; parking, washrooms),
- Browns Bay Park (parking, washrooms, concession in season).
The inland stretches has some gentle climbs. The River stretch also has a couple of gentle climbs yet is predominantly flat.
The entire route is paved and any type of bike is suitable, although moutain bikes are a little heavy for this distance.
Notes and Cautions
The SLRT has some segments that are in poor shape, with cracked and broken pavement. Ride carefully.
Exercise caution whenever crossing the 1000 Islands Parkway from the SLRT to attractions on the other side of the Parkway, and back.
This is a multi-use, shared trail used by walkers (often with dogs), in-line skaters and cyclists. There are often leisurely family groups with young children. Please keep cycling speed below 20 km/h, slow down near pedestrians, and signal passing by bell or voice (e.g. "Behind you ... passing on left side.")
Faster, more experienced/confident cyclists will use the 1000 Islands Parkway rather than risk the surface conditions and goal conflicts with other trail users. There is no shoulder along the Parkway. Some motorists on the 1000 Islands Parkway do not understand their obligation to share the road and will let their beliefs be known by harrassing cyclists.
Motorists are also sometimes distracted by the scenery. In peak summer season, there are boat trailers, RVs and tour buses on the Parkway as well. Be alert and exercise caution! Riding on the Parkway is not recommended on summer weekends after 9 a.m.
This route is an extension of the "River & Ridges 1" route found under "Family & Casual Routes". This version extends both the inland leg as well as the River leg, includes the village of Rockport and the quiet, scenic Escott-Rockport Road.
This route is suitable for lightly experienced riders who are comfortable riding on lightly-traveled country roads without paved shoulders.