1,000 Islands • Dakotas
Updated January 4, 2021
Dotting the St. Lawrence river and eastern side of Lake Ontario lies a magical wonderland of islands, beautiful views, and amazing wildlife. This unique region spans the waterways between New York state and Canada, offering some of the finest water sports you'll find anywhere. Named for the over 1,000 islands in the lake and river, the area is filled with breathtaking views and miles of water for boating, sailing, fishing, jet skiing, and much more.
Considered by Americans to be the "gateway to the 1,000 islands," this historic village was founded by explorer Samuel de Champlain who visited the area in 1615. It received its name from French Missionary priest Father Dablon, who worked among the Indians with Father Chaumonoit in 1655.
Today, the township includes the islands of Carelton and Linda in the St. Lawrence River; Grenadier, Little Grenadier, and Fox Islands in Lake Ontario; and hamlets like Rosiere, St. Lawrence Corners, Sand Bay, and Millen Bay. Visitors can tour the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, learn about Fort Haldimand's role in the Revolutionary War, and tour the thirty homes and buildings that are on the State and Federal Historic Register.
Set in Jefferson County, New York, on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Alexandria Bay was once described as "a fairyland, that neither pen nor tongue of man may even attempt to describe" by French explorer Count Frontenac. Known as the resort center of the 1,000 islands, Alexandria Bay specializes in boat tours, water sports, and fabulous festivals including their Blessing of the Fleet and their incredible July 4th celebration.
While you're here, don't miss a visit to Heart Island, where you'll find an authentic turn-of-the-century Rhineland castle. Take a tour of the 120 room Boldt Castle and see this magnificent structure as it once was. The exhibits and displays are sure to spark your imagination, as are the views from the fairy tale castle walls.
Known to locals as "the Burg," Ogdensburg is the big city of the American 1,000 islands. Set where the gentle Oswegatchie River flows into the St. Lawrence River, this city is rich in natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition, like all of the 1,000 islands, it had a long and fascinating history.
In the summertime, visitors enjoy fishing, boating, and all kinds of water sports. Winter sports include cross-country skiing and all the downhill thrills to be found at White Face Mountain and Lake Placid, the former Olympic site. Be sure not to miss the Frederic Remington Art Museum.
Ogdensburg played a significant role in the War of 1812, then known as the second revolutionary war. Learn all about it at the city's incredible museums and historical sites.
For superb dining, shows, entertainment, and marinas, head to lovely Sackets Harbor on the shores of Lake Ontario. Situated in Black River Bay, this is a fabulous place to go sailing and wind surfing, or to try your hand at white water rafting and water skiing. Trophy fishing is a year-round sport here!
During the summer, Sackets Harbor springs to life with Sunday Concerts on the Waterfront, antique shows, auto shows, and sporting events that range from polo and lacrosse to rugby. Join them for the annual International Festival or the Fireman's Field Days (which includes a carnival, a block party, and fireworks). Each year the town hosts a Can-Am War of 1812 Festival, complete with musket fire and tall ships engaging in battle.
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