A thousand Islands is one of the prettiest spots in North America unique because it is an archipelago of island located in the seaway just at the starting of the St Lawrence River Between cape Vincent USA and Kingston, Canada. The most amazing aspect of these islands is the fact that they are even populated where you may find just a single home existing on one island or two at the most. I’m sure those houses are the envy of every person witnessing the breath taking sight that looks as pretty as a picture postcard.
The entire magical cluster looks something right out of a fantasy movie and is made up of 1864 islands home to variety of flora and fauna as well. The largest island is Wolfe Island, 29km loving and 9 km wide. Wolfe Island is home to about 1400 people.
This is what the tiniest island is called
Guess what the tiniest island is called? “JUST ROOM ENOUGH” and that’s exactly what it is, just room enough for one beautiful cottage and a number of wrought iron benches lining the banks. The entire area is part of Canada’s national park.
The Thousand islands national park is a popular vacation spot with its own hydel electric power. It has a number of campgrounds on the larger islands like Wolfe’s island. Families can enjoy walking trails and several activities. The site was declared a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2002.
The Islands have existed from the ice age
The 1000 Islands was formed during the Ice age 12,000 years ago. Since it belongs to both USA and Canada, the countries have designated it as national parks. The most popular are Wolfe’s Island, beau Rivage and Burnt Island.
Wandering among the ethereal atmosphere of the islands, you could well come across tress that are only unique to the area such as the Pitch Pine tree also called candlewood and the Deer Berry. In addition, the islands are alike a transit point for several migratory birds like ducks and Canada geese. But you can also catch species like bald eagles, Ospreys and Wild turkeys which are slowly making a comeback in the area.
Populated from 700BC
Fishing is the most popular sport on the 1000 Islands. A Muskellunge caught in this area once set a world record of weighing 31.397 kg. Sturgeon which is an ancient fish species from the ice age has also recently been discovered in the ST Lawrence River.
The first people to populate the islands consisted of a Paleo Indian culture that came there from Ontario 7000 years ago. During 700 BC to 1600 AD the islands were home to the Iroquois Indians who regarded the Islands as “the great white spirit’. Subsequently they were joined by Mohawk, Cayuga, Omandaga, Seneca, Tusacorra and Oneida whose presence can be proven by 40 archaeological sites scattered across the area.
Home to loyalists after Independence
The St Lawrence River discovered in 1535 by Jacques Cartier has always played an important role in Military activity when warships of France, Britain and The US used the water ways during the French –Britain war and again the American war of Independence.
European settlements began appearing on the Island from 1783 all because those who settled there from the US mainland wanted to remain loyal to the crown. Known as the Loyalists, they were soon joined by Scottish, British, Irish and people from other Europeans countries. The main produce was Cheese and dairy products where the 1000 islands Leeds county Cheddar is world famous and can be purchased from stores in Gananoque.
You just have to visit the 1000 Islands
There is an understanding between USA and Canada that the border would not split any island in two which is why the borderline runs in a zigzag fashion. Because of the popularity of the Islands, many aristocrats and elite began building homes in the area. Today the 1000 islands features a number of lavish and opulent homes and mansions among which the most famous is the Boldt castle build by the owner of the Waldorf Astoria in New York, George C Boldt.
A visit to the 1000 islands is a must and it’s just a one day’s drive from any urban area of the eastern US and Canada.