Points of Interest
St. Lawrence Park
Shaded by majestic oaks, graced with a sandy beach, and serviced with campsites, washrooms and a canteen, St. Lawrence Park is an ideal launch site for paddlers embarking on day-trips in the Brock Isles.
This lovely day-use park features several shaded picnic areas, with a change house, washroom, and pay telephone.
Skeleton Island is a close destination for paddlers to explore. It lies just east of the Park access point, behind Victoria and Mile Islands. A dock at the west end of the island is usually empty, but provides access to the island trails and is a nice place to quickly cool off on a hot afternoon.
Stovin Island is the most easterly gateway to St. Lawrence Islands National Park. Several large docks on the south face of the island and two quiet campsites await paddlers who may be arriving from upriver before fully exploring the Brock Isles. The natural integrity of the island has been maintained by the careful management of the national park, and despite its popularity Stovin remains home to a rich diversity of forest species. Hike past sprawling juniper, over the granite ridges of white pine, and atop rocky cliffs where only the sturdiest tress dare send roots. Like many of the Thousand Islands, Stovin shows signs of the glacial scouring that was instrumental in sculpting much of the landscape.
Black Charlie, McCoy, Cockburn, De Rottenburgh, and Sparrow Islands
Docks, campsites and washrooms are located on all 5 of these destination islands. All are suitable for paddlers to enjoy a picnic, stroll the trails or spend an evening. Day use of facilities is free of charge, a fee applies to overnight camping facilities, which operate from May 15 to September 15. Reservations for these sites can be arranged in advance with the City of Brockville, Community Services Department. Call (613) 342-8772
and ask for Parks. Other municipal islands can be used to land (at docks provided or on small rock beaches), and stroll or find shelter to pull out of a storm.
As you travel the mainland shoreline, paddle in to Mollys Gut, a sheltered marsh shoreline between Hillcrest Point and De Watteville Island. This bay is a favorite spot to bird-watch, and a good place to spy a great blue heron lurking in the reeds. To stretch your legs, stroll Mollys Gut Island.
St. Lawrence Park, located along King Street on the western edge of the city, offers boat launching, parking and camping facilities. The park operates seasonally, and a small fee applies for parking.
Centrally located boat launching sites (with docks and ramp) at the foot of Home Street and Henry Street, provide easy access to the river with ample free parking, with a washroom, changehouse, and public telephone nearby.
Trip Length / Distance
A full day of paddling can be filled in this small section of the Thousand Islands. Numerous island camping facilities in the Brock Isles, permit overnight tripping in this narrow section of the river. Through paddlers heading upriver with plans to spend an evening camping on Grenadier, should depart early in the day from one of the islands in the western end of the Brock Isles, and allow a full day for river travel.
Two kilometres separate Mollys Gut and Stovin Island, another 2.5 km will see you to shore at St. Lawrence Park.
Notes and Cautions
The International Shipping Channel poses a real hazard along this entire route due the narrowness of the river. The Shipping Lane lies between the Brock Isles and the Canadian mainland, directly parallel to the paddling route. Paddlers should be sure that no vessels are approaching and exercise caution when
crossing this channel. For peace of mind (or to know what’s coming!), check the local newspaper to determine when vessels will be in the channel.
Brockville harbour is a busy place for pleasure craft and sailboats. Be aware of other craft, especially when launching and beaching.
Above Myers Island the route is fully exposed to prevailing southwesterly winds and can be rough paddling in anything but light conditions. Stick close to shore from De Watteville Island, past Lily Bay, Butternut Bay and on to Jones Creek east of Whitney Point.
At the eastern end of the Thousand Islands and the edge of the Frontenac Axis, lie the 70 islands and 60 shoals that comprise the Brockville Narrows group. As the name implies, the river narrows considerably here to a width of only 1.4 km. The many small islands offer a scenic and relaxing route for daytrippers, just offshore from historic Brockville. Island day-use and camping facilities on Stovin Island and several municipal park islands make this route an ideal paddle for those seeking a relaxing day of paddling or a base to begin an extended trip.