Explore the dynamic channels of the Thousand Islands with your crew and find something to fascinate you around every bend; sunken ships, historic castles, and a landscape steeped in First Nations history.
© 1000 Islands Kayaking Company
Immerse yourself in the Islands
Escape the crowd, forget the tour boat and witness Thousand Islands National Park as few do, from the intimate perspective of a kayak. Explore the dynamic channels of the Thousand Islands with your crew and find something to fascinate you around every bend; sunken ships, historic castles, and a landscape steeped in First Nations history. Lucky paddlers may glimpse a soaring bald eagle or a family of turtles basking on a rock. Chance upon a roving park interpreter and discover elements of the park’s nature and culture up close. Tired but inspired, share the day’s stories around a crackling fire.
Plan Your Trip
Groups of islands have ideal conditions for paddling: protection from wind and lower speed limits for other boats. . Camping reservations are recommended. However if you choose campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis, paddling in groups of islands provides easy access alternative sites if one island is full.
Admiralty Islands: Mermaid, Aubrey, McDonald, Beau Rivage, Thwartway
Closest access point is the Gananoque Municipal Marina, site of 1000 Islands Kayaking Company.
Lake Fleet Islands: Camelot, Endymion
Closest access points are the Gananoque Municipal Marina, site of 1000 Islands Kayaking Company and Misty Isles Lodge.
Navy Islands: Gordon, Mulcaster
Closest access point is Misty Isles Lodge.
While not a cluster of islands, has four park sites with camping at three: North, South (Central), and East Grenadier.
Closest access point is Mallorytown Landing, the mainland base of Thousand Islands National Park.
Kingston Islands: Cedar, Milton
These islands are located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
Best access point is the Cataraqui Canoe Club’s public boat launch.
Thousand Islands Bridge, Georgina Island, Constance Island, and Hill Island
Paddling around the Thousand Islands Bridge, Georgina Island, Constance Island, and Hill Island is recommended for advanced paddlers only. The river bottlenecks here generating stronger and unpredictable currents as well as increased boat traffic.
Closest access point is a boat launch in Ivy Lea.
Thousand Islands National Park offers Parks Canada oTENTik camping accommodations on McDonald and Gordon Islands, and on the mainland at Mallorytown Landing. Many park campsites are available for reservation. Other campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- If you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, consider that July and August are the most popular months for visitors to Thousand Islands National Park. June and September are quieter with less boat traffic.
- Check out our facilities and services page to pick the island that best suits your needs. Browse the availability of garbage and recycling collection, campsites, picnic shelters, wood stoves, and barbeques on different islands.
- Docks, beaching sites, composting toilets and picnic tables are available on all serviced islands.
- Drinking water, ice, and bathrooms with electricity and flush toilets are available on Central Grenadier Island.
- Be sure to use a navigational chart when boating in the area.
- Knowledgeable island attendants circulate throughout the islands to serve you and maintain facilities, sell firewood, assist with fee payment, help with concerns, and make your experience a positive one.
- Enjoy hiking trails, campfire pits, hidden geocaches, and great swimming on the islands.
1000 Islands Kayaking Company and Misty Isles Lodge are the main regional outfitting companies offering kayak rentals. Check out their websites for more information.
- Camping equipment rentals can be made through 1000 Islands Kayaking Company. Fully equipped camping kits or partially equipped camping kits are available.
- The Thousand Islands Water Trail provides maps for 9 full-day and half-day routes that connect for the option of a longer trip. These maps identify access points, trip times and lengths, potential hazards, and points of natural and cultural interest. They are not replacements for accurate nautical charts.
- See our park fees page for a full list of fees.
- All vessels must have a valid mooring or beaching permit. These permits are NOT included with camping or oTENTik fees and must be purchased on arrival at the island.
- Camping must be prepaid for oTENTik accomodations and for select campsites through the Parks Canada Reservation Service.
- Relevant fees for paddlers include beaching fees, camping fees, and firewood fees.
- Payment options for self-registration permits:
- At the Mallorytown Landing Visitor Centre with cash, debit, credit or a cheque made out to the Receiver General for Canada. Signs on the deposit boxes outline the fee details and instructions for self-registration.
- Otherwise, self-register on the islands at the green deposit boxes located near most docks. Fees can be paid by cash, credit or a cheque made out to the Receiver General for Canada. Signs on the deposit boxes outline the fee details and instructions for self-registration.
- Fees remain in the park and are used to improve facilities and services.
For Your Comfort and Safety
- Black legged ticks, potential carriers of Lyme disease and Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis, are common in Eastern Ontario and Thousand Islands National Park. Please visit our Ticks and Your Health page for more information on how to protect yourself.
- Garbage and recycling service and generator use is available on limited islands. Visitors who want a more natural park experience can enjoy generator-free islands that have a pack-in, pack-out policy in place. Identify these islands on our facilities and services page.
- To protect our forests from the Emerald Ash Borer, all firewood MUST be purchased in the park. Firewood cannot be moved into or out of the park. Collecting firewood from the forest is prohibited.
- The water of the St. Lawrence River and other surface water in the area may carry bacteria. Water should be filtered and then treated or boiled before drinking or bring your own drinking water. For more information regarding drinking water please refer to Health Canada’s website.
- Be sure that you are well prepared and that you have all the right gear to make every outing safe and enjoyable. Visit AdventureSmart for more details.
- See our Visitor Safety page for complete park rules and regulations.