Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada!
Summer is a great time to be open to adventure. Have you thought about getting out into the great outdoors to escape and go wild with Parks Canada? I was invited to go on an outdoor adventure with Parks Canada at the Thousand Island National Park. Our Honourary Guide Sophie Gregoire Trudeau to share a few of the amazing adventures that are open to Canadians to experience in our national parks across the country. This was an invitation I could not refuse!
Interesting facts about Thousand Island National Park
Are you not familiar with Thousand Island National Park? I have never been to this national park, but I was looking forward to an awesome adventure with Parks Canada!
I was fascinated to find out these interesting facts:
- Thousand Islands National Park was founded in 1904, making it the oldest Canadian national park east of the Rocky Mountains.
- This park is made up of many ecologically important mainland properties, over twenty islands, and 88 small inlets between Kingston and Brockville.
- The biodiversity found within this national park is vast! It provides habitat for rare species such as the Pitch Pine and Deerberry, which can only be found in this park.
Meeting our Honourary Guide to adventure
A great thrill for our young kindergarten companions (and our group) during our first stop of the day at Landon Bay within Thousand Island National Park was to meet Parks Canada’s Honourary GuideSophie Gregoire Trudeau on our fun adventure with Parks Canada. She greeted adventurers big and small with a huge smile and a spark of enthusiasm that was contagious.
We wound our way along Landon Bay Trails on our way to the lookout, learning about some of the animals that live in the area. One of them was a musk turtle.
Our guide explained to us about the plight of this animal and how their eggs are so important to protect. Turtle boxes is one way to keep turtle eggs safe and are used around the area. Sophie then helped to complete a turtle box to help support the growth of the population of these animals.
Lookout for amazing views
At the top of a hill on this trail, on our amazing adventure with Parks Canada, is the lookout point that gives hikers a breathtaking view of Landon Bay. When you are standing out on the rock ledge, you can see so many sights stretching out beyond this point.
Water, islands, cottages, and boats come together to make a scene like no other. A great part of this trail is that it does not take hikers long to reach this point. The trail is not too steep, either, so it will only take a few minutes to reach this lookout sport. If I could, I would have stayed here all day.
Our next short stop was at the Thousand Island Boat Museum.
This museum houses thirty-six antique boats and boats built by students at the Gananoque and Intermediate Secondary School.
Visitors can see their collection of boat offer on-water experiences, preserves the boatbuilding history of the region, supports the Museum’s programs in boatbuilding, and shares stories of local boat builders through its exhibits.
We launched from their dock to continue our day of exploration around Thousand Island National Park.
Beautiful views on Beau Rivage Island
We landed on Beau Rivage (French for beautiful shoreline) Island, my favourite adventure with Parks Canada, and also for many visitors that come to the Thousand Islands National Park. This is due to granite rock on the island that rises from the river that provides gorgeous places to sit and enjoy the gorgeous views.
We had some time to explore the island. Visitors are also able to reserve camp grounds to stay on this island on overnight visits. I was able to see how well the name fits this island.
The views I took in were so beautiful and peaceful. I was imagining spending time with my family while on a visit to this park.
Our group reunited with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and invited to have a casual sit-down interview with her. This unique opportunity was so amazing to have. We asked Sophie about her experiences with enjoying the outdoors, both when she was a child, and as a mother and wife of the Prime Minister.
Sophie was so fascinating to speak to. She told us about her fond memories as a child growing up around nature. Sophie has taken these experiences into her adult life. She is still extremely active outdoors. Biking, hiking, and rappelling are a few of the activities she enjoys doing.
Sophie also loves being around nature to center herself, whether it is to find time to play or to find peace during a hectic day. She was expressive and genuine when we spoke with her. It was as though we were hanging out with a good friend. This is an experience I will never forget.
Getting youth interested in the outdoors
We also had the chance to meet Parks Canada’s 2019-20120 Youth Ambassadors on our adventure with Parks Canada! This year, Izabelle, Nathan, and Gabrielle will be sharing #ParkLife. They are encouraging and inspiring young Canadians to learn, experience and share Canada’s natural and cultural treasures. This will be done by highlighting some of the conservation initiatives, indigenous reconciliation, and showing Canadians how amazing Canada’s outdoor spaces can be to play and explore.
Kayak adventure time!
After enjoying a beautiful lunch, 1000 Islands Kayaking Co. treated us to a paddling adventure around Beau Rivage Island with Sophie.We got dressed to paddle and slipped into a kayak to learn more about Beau Rivage Island.
This was a challenge for me, but one that I found to be amazing. Matt, a member of 1000 Islands Kayaking Co. was really patient and hung back with me to keep me moving on our tour. This experience made me want to get back in a kayak to master my paddling skills around these islands.
Island boat tour
Our time back on land was brief as Scott from 1000 Islands Kayaking Co. whisked our group away for a tour of the Admiralty group of islands of the Thousand Islands. Parks Canada owns and manages many of these islands.
Each island had its own unique personality and beauty. Scott shared with us some of the history these islands held. We learned a lot about the importance this region held during the American Invasion of Canada, and of the homes on some of the privately-owned islands.
One island I found really interesting was McDonald Island. It is one of the most popular islands in Thousand Islands National Park open to visit.
It is a beautiful island that provides critical habitat for the Eastern Musk Turtle and a small fish called the Pugnose Shiner. Both animals are at risk for extinction, and Parks Canada is working hard to recover the numbers of these species and their home.
Visitors who want to stay overnight are able to camp on this island. One interesting accommodation visitors can use while staying on McDonald Island is an oTENTik. It gives sleepers the rustic feel of a tent while providing the small luxuries of a cabin.
With views of the river, campsites and oTENTik users will have a great spot to discover the Thousand Islands during their getaway.
Planning to be open to adventure
It was sad to say goodbye to Thousand Island National Park, but it helped me to be open to planning some amazing adventures in the outdoors here. From hiking and kayaking, to camping and taking in the many beautiful views Thousand Island National Park has to offer, the possibilities for adventure and fun are endless. I am now imagining all of the things my family will be excited to do and the memories we could make here. I can’t wait to get planning!
Are you curious to learn more about what the Thousand Island National Park has to offer? You can check them out on Parks Canada’s website. We also connected with Parks Canada on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages!
What outdoor activity would get you to open up to adventure this summer?
Disclaimer: I was invited to take part in a media tour with Parks Canada in order to write this review. The views I shared are my own.