Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada #PlanAhead

| June 4, 2019 | 11 Comments

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? Parks Canada has just kicked off their 2019 season! I was invited to go on an outdoor adventure at Thousand Island National Park with Parks Canada’s 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!

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Parks Canada guide teaching kindergarten class about Eastern Musk Turtle.

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 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. She greeted adventurers big and small with a huge smile and a spark of enthusiasm that was contagious.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Mme. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and kindergarten children at Landon Bay Trail.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Parks Canada guide teaching kindergarten class about Eastern 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.

Parks Canada’s Honourary Guide, Madame Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, completing a turtle egg box in Thousand Island National Park.

Lookout for amazing views

At the top of a hill on this trail 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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
View at the lookout on Landon Bay Trail.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Editor Lian Wright at the lookout on Landon Bay Trail.

Boat break!

Our next short stop was at the Thousand Island Boat Museum.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Front of Thousand Island Boat Museum’s collection.

This museum houses thirty-six antique boats and boats built by students at the Gananoque and Intermediate Secondary School. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Exhibit of canoes at Thousand Island National Boat Museum.

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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Boat in the Thousand Island Boat Museum’s collection.

We launched from their dock to continue our day of exploration around Thousand Island National Park.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Thousand Island Boat Museum dock.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit Parks Canada. Group photo on a boat.

Beautiful views on Beau Rivage Island

We landed on Beau Rivage (French for beautiful shoreline) Island, a favourite among visitors to 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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Welcome point at Beau Rivage Island.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Path on Beau Rivage Island.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Camp ground at Beau Rivage 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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Bench at lookout on Beau Rivage Island.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Cottage on island by Beau Rivage Island.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
View from lookout at Beau Rivage Island.

Island Interview

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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit: Parks Canada. Group shot during interview with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit Parks Canada. Group photo with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Editor Lian Wright on Beau Rivage Island.

Getting youth interested in the outdoors

We also had the chance to meet Parks Canada’s 2019-20120 Youth Ambassadors! 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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit: Parks Canada. Parks Canada 2019-2010 Youth Ambassadors.

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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit Parks Canada. Group photo while in kayaks.

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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit: Parks Canada. Group while on boat tour of the Admiralty group of islands of the Thousand 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. 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
View of islands in Thousand Island National Park.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Home on private island in Thousand Island National Park.
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
View of island Thousand Island National Park.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Welcome sign on Mc Donald Island.

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.

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Photo Credit: Parks Canada. Family outside of OTENTik.
Photo Credit: Parks Canada. Family inside of oTENTik.

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! 

Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada
Open Up to Adventure with Parks Canada

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 FacebookTwitterInstagram, 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.

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Category: Attractions, Blogs, Dads, Family, Living, Moms, Ontario, Stuff of Interest, Summer, Themes, Tips, Travel, Weekly Themes

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Comments (11)

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  1. Erin N says:

    Those look like some beautiful spots! I am so excited for summer fun.

  2. micheline says:

    When living in Ottawa we used to go to Ivy Lea Campground site 86 right beside the swimming are–lots of great memories.

  3. JoKing says:

    Canada is a beautiful country and exploring our parks is something I love to do.

  4. Carole D says:

    Beautiful views on Beau Rivage Island! I would love visiting!

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    What a great place to visit and enjoy the views and nature.

  6. Fan R. says:

    Thousand Island Boat Museum would be nice to visit this summer!

  7. Fan R. says:

    I like the spectacular views of Thousand Island National Park, visiting this summer!

  8. Calvin says:

    So many vast and spectacular parks in Canada, enjoy the summer in great scenery

  9. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I did go camping (well Rving) with my daughter and family. They were there for 3 weeks and didn’t have any nice weather at all. Luckily whilst I was there we did have 2 nice days. Summer was a miss this year in Alberta

  10. Clifford Perkins says:

    I have visited National Parks in 5 of our provinces and they are all so beautiful. We are very fortunate to live in this wonderful country. I hope everyone visits a National park soon because I’m sure they will enjoy the experience.

  11. Debbie White-Beattie says:

    This looks like a beautiful place and there’s so many things to do.

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