Wolfe Island
The Magic Of Wolfe Island

What An Awesome Location For An Eco Village!
Providing A Combination of Peaceful Country Living just minutes from Kingston's Big City Resources

Wolfe Island is the largest of the world-renowned Thousand Islands. Located where Lake Ontario ends and the St. Lawrence River begins its flow to the Atlantic, its beautiful sunrises, breath-taking sunsets and spectacular night-time skies are a big part of its charm. Just across the water from the magnificent City of Kingston Ontario, Wolfe Island has been described as a magical place where time goes by a little bit more slowly, a place where an old fashioned friendly country lifestyle still exists. Somehow, this magic is just a short ferry ride away from "the big city of Kingston" and has so much to offer to tourists, and Islanders alike.

"Kingston is a city rich in history and culture and home to a vibrant arts, food and maker community. "We’re a city built on a grand heritage and defined by our ability to blend the beauty of yesterday with the passion and sophistication of today".

Every year Kingston hosts a number of festivals, and live concerts including the Kick + Push Festival, Limestone City Blues Festival, Busker Rendezvous, Fort Fright, and FebFest. With plenty of museums, art galleries, and historic sites to keep you busy Kingston has it all from small-specialized museums and art venues brimming with local and international talent, to national historic treasures – Kingston is just begging to be explored.

Visit the Farmers’ Market (which, by the way, is the oldest continuously run market in North America – having been in operation since 1801), and get some shopping done at the authentic boutiques and shops along Princess Street in the downtown core. Kingston is also well known for its many high tech hospitals and Queens University.

The attractions at Kingston include 20 museums. "I loved the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the icebreaker Alexander Henry. The exhibits were fascinating and provided an enlightening look into the storied past of the region. Fort Henry made for another intriguing foray ashore. We walked the grounds, admired the views, and pictured what it must have been like when red-coated soldiers garrisoned the fort in the mid-19th century, back when Kingston was a strategically important trading town."

The Ferry Ride from the city of Kingston Ontario is a pleasant if short (15 minute) voyage featuring scenic views of the island as you approach the landing at the island town of Marysville. This free ferry runs everyday from 5:45am to 2:00am.

"How would I ever get across the lake without you? It is free, it is a fun ride, has washrooms and it is a scenic joy. It was a rainy, blustery and wind crazy day and I can assure you the captain of the Ferry eased THIS BABY WITHOUT A BUMP, A SCRAPE, A SCRATCH and as precise as eyeing a thread into the eye of the needle. It is a short ride and gets you to the nifty village of Marysville. When you get off, grab a coffee, cookies, beef jerky at the corner store and take a drive around the island." Johnny Lambert

The Wolfe Islander III an institution to Ilsanders, has a 55 car capacity but the government has just announced the addition of a new larger ferry which will only improve the service between the Island and Downtown Kingston.

Samuel de Champlain in 1615 is said to have been the first white man of note to visit Wolfe Island but many of the farms on the island were cleared and settled back in the 1820s by Scottish clansmen. Today Wolfe Island has a permanent population of about 1400, but this can swell up to 3000 during the summer when vacationers come visiting and cottagers take up residence on the island.

Of all the Thousand Island only Wolfe Island has a concentrated settlement: the village of Marysville, with around 400 inhabitants. The rest of the population is dispersed, mostly on or near the island shoreline, with some along the interior roads and farm properties.

Marysville itself has everything a family might need from its arty and entertaining shopping, and restaurant scene to the practical things like schools, post office, community center, fire hall, emergency services and a medical center.

Dining on this island offers you a choice of half a dozen great establishments that range in style and approach. I have been pleasently pleased with the fare at all the resteraunts on the Island. They also have some great local brews. Perhaps the fresh air and fresh produce peaks my taste buds when I get to Marysville eateries. But one thing of note is that most will have on the menu is the famous Thousand Island Dressing. Yes the Thousand Island dressing was created here here in the Islands. The prevailing origin tale of the famous dressing includes George Boldt, who built one of the 1000 Islands’ most famous sites: Boldt Castle.

Legend has it that while cruising among the islands on a yacht around the turn of the 20th century, a ship steward found that the ingredients normally used in his salad dressing were missing. Using locally grown ingredients on board, he created a dressing so impressive that the yacht owner named it after the beautiful region from which it came. That yacht owner, George Boldt, added the recipe to the menu at the hotel he ran, the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The rest is history.

Wolfe Island is some twenty miles in length and ranges from one to seven miles in breadth; a fertile Island of over 30,000 acres in area. It is the largest of the famed “Thousand Islands”. It divides the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and has the Canal Channel on the south. It might well be called the gateway to the Seaway.

The Attraction - Islanders may do thier best to keep this treasure a secret, but the word gets out. First time visitors to the Island are surprised to find lots to see and do with many great places to eat and lovely places to stay on Wolfe Island.

Events like the Wolfe Island Music Festival, one of the regions biggest summer events, draws thousands of visitors to the Island. This grass roots Music Festival is held every August and has been called "a paragon of indie attitude" – and it seems the lineup for this year’s triumphant return is no different. So plan ahead if you want to take in this festival it is certainly the island event that brings the largest crowds.

So things can get pretty busy in the little town of Marysville but most of the time the island is a lovely peaceful oasis from hustle and bustle of city life.

Beeches - Big Sandy Bay (right off the ferry, left on 95 to Reeds Bay Rd and right onto 3rd Line Rd.): Described as one of the best hidden gems in the area, Big Sandy Bay is a well-loved beach located on the western shore of Wolfe Island.

Big Sandy Bay is a 404-hectare day-use area which has a coastal ecology that is rare in Ontario. The area has been identified as an environmentally sensitive Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Provincially and regionally significant birds, provincially rare trees and other rare plant species flourish here. The beach/dune complex is reached via a 1.3 km walking trail through wetlands and woodlands. Visitors can commune with nature, watch birds and enjoy the beautiful secluded sand beach.

Bird Watching (everywhere!): Over two-hundred species of birds live on or migrate through the island throughout the year, making Wolfe Island a perfect place for birders. In fact, the island has been recognized by Important Bird Areas of Canada - an initiative that monitors and conserves significant bird habitats. All you need is a good bird book and a pair of binoculars!

Cycling (various routes): Wolfe Island has developed a reputation for being as good destination for cyclists. One of the reasons for this is that, being an island, there is limited traffic on its roads. It’s also popular with cyclists in the Kingston area who are looking for a place suitable for extended day rides. (There aren’t many good cycling routes within Kingston itself).

In fact the first thing I was ever told about Wolfe Island was that the cycling is excellent, and it's true. Four main routes have been established through coloured signage. Most of these routes take cyclists away from heavily trafficked areas, making for a peaceful, pleasant tour of the countryside

The island owes it name to General James Wolfe, and not, as some people may think, the presence of wolves. Its interior consists of mainly farmland, with cottages surrounding the periphery. For the most part the terrain is quite flat, especially the eastern section of the island. There are a few long slopes and the odd hill on the western portion of the island, but nothing very serious.

Family Fun - The Wolfe Island Corn Maze (right turn off the ferry and up Hwy 95 about 3.2km): This corn maze is a popular destination for kids of all ages, run from the beginning of August to the beginning of November. This fun and sometimes spooky maze offers affordable good times.

Surrounded By Shorelines - The Island is a water lovers paradise with great Swimming, Sailing, Boating and Fishing opportunities all around the island.

For anglers the waters surrounding the island are filled with fish of all types and sizes including Walleye, Small Mouth Bass, Pike and Muskellunge. The waters surrounding Wolfe Island abound with game fish of all types and sizes. Lying at the mouth of the St Lawrence Seaway the Island provides anglers with access to both Lake Ontario species and the ones that frequent the seaway itself.

Beginning in early May, anglers can fish for Walleye in the waters surrounding Wolfe Island. In June, Small Mouth Bass come into season and provide a worthy fight to the individual who hooks one. In fact Wolfe Island hosts a family Smallmouth Bass Tournament sponsored by the Volunteer Fire Department in late June on the first weekend of the season that provides fun and prizes for the whole family. Great Northern Pike patrol the shoals and weed beds surrounding Wolfe Island year-round. In the fall they are joined by large Muskellunge, which migrate from the deep waters in lake Ontario to the shallower St Lawrence Seaway for the winter months. These elusive predators are perhaps the pinnacle of the fish food chain. It takes many hours trolling the waters before a lucky angler ever gets a strike from a Muskie.

All anglers coming to Wolfe Island to fish must be in possession of a current fishing license issued by the Province of Ontario. These can be purchased on Wolfe Island at a number of establishments.There is a courtesy boat-loading ramp located at the summer ferry terminal in the Village of Marysville. There are several guide services available on the island for those who wish a charter experience.

Water Sport Haven - Nestled at the east end of Lake Ontario and the west end of the St Lawrence Seaway, Wolfe Island offers arguably one of the best sailing areas in Canada. Many Olympic Sailors have honed their skills on the water between Wolfe Island and the Olympic Harbour in Kingston. The legendary winds on the lsland also keep smiles on the faces of the many windsurfers and kite surfing enthusiasts.

The sun is shining, the water is blue and warm and a gentle breeze is blowing. For sailors, there is nothing more relaxing than to spend those warm summer days out on the water, sailing from island to island and marveling at the stunning beauty of nature. Nights, find them anchored in a secluded cove, gazing at the star-filled sky. For many Ontario sailors, the Thousand Islands may well be the best place in the world to visit.

The Thousand Islands are famous for good reason and Wolfe Island forms the gateway to the enchanting diversity of natual and man made attractions that see thousands of visitors exploring the wonderful scenic tapestry they offer every year.

The Thousand Islands are an archipelago comprising over 1,800 islands ranging vastly in size which populate the waters of the upper St Lawrence River. The islands straddle the border with the USA which runs down the centre of the St. Lawrence. Those located on the Canadian side are in the province of Ontario and stretch for about 50 miles downstream from Kingston. The largest at 40 square miles is of course Wolfe Island; the smallest are just a few square feet in size with only a few pieces of vegetation.

The islands are a favourite recreation area for Ontario residents, and draws visitors from all over the world. UNESCO designated the Thousand Islands as a World Biosphere Reserve back in 2002 and there are many parks which can be visited on both the US and Canadian sides of the archipelago.

Golfing (802 9th Line Rd.): Riverfront Golf Course was built in 2003 and operated by the McCready's on their heritage farm that has been in the family for over 150 years, this 9 hole, par 35 course offers breathtaking views of the majestic St.Lawrence River from every hole. See ships of the world sailing by or catch a glimpse of the resident pair of nesting Osprey's. With it's open design, manicured fairways and large 5000 sq ft greens the course is perfect for families & novice golfers but also challenging enough for the more accomplished golfer to enjoy as well. The beautiful, acclaimed signature hole #5, features a pond along the waterfront lined with field stones and flower beds. Completed by a windmill, bird houses and a foot bridge to cross the pond that you shoot over, it is said to be one of the most picturesque holes in the area. This is a nine hole course designed to meet the needs of seasoned and beginner golfers alike. So we are pleased to have it on the island.

History - From the stories of Samuel de Champlain, General Wolfe, the Native presence, Scottish settlers to the rum runners during prohibitiion, Wolf Island has had a lot of attention over the course of history.

You can learn about these and many other stories at the Old House Museum (Leander Street, near the ferry dock): The Old House Museum is the oldest home in Marysville. The museum is run by volunteers and houses a variety of items from Wolfe Island's history such as stories of the ferry from a captain's perspective.

The Wolfe Island Wind Farm is famous. The wind farm consists of eighty-six 2.3-megawatt (MW) Siemens model Mark II wind turbines situated on the western portion of Wolfe Island. This 197.8 MW project is expected to generate approximately 594 gigawatt-hours (GW·h) of renewable power annually; enough to supply about 75,000 average households.

Wind Farm Tours

Wind Turbine Tours : Print off the Self-Guided Wolfe Island Walking Tour Map and narrative and take yourself and your family on a tour of the wind turbines that populate the west end of the island. Learn about hydro developers, the history of the wind farm, how wind turbines work and are constructed, and much more.

Annual Events

Chili Festival (Wolfe Island Community Centre): Each year Wolfe Island celebrates winter with this popular chili festival. The day features the annual chili competition, ice skating, hockey and other games, as well as hay rides around the village. The festival takes place near the end of January or beginning of February.

The Race - Wolfe Island Classic (Marysville Village): This 5 and 10km race has been running annually at the beginning of July for 34 years now and goes to support the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic. The course is described as "scenic but hilly and challenging".

Music - Wolfe Island Music Festival (Marysville): This ever growing festival has been taking place at the beginning of August for over 10 years now. The party runs over two days and showcases the talents of 20 Canadian bands. Tickets typically go on sale in May and can include camping.

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