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1000 Islands Gananoque Long Weekend Guide

Is stepping outside of your comfort zone, your happy place?  Do you crave those heart pounding, dare-worthy adventures? If your trip isn’t complete without a bold and slightly insane activity, read on Adrenaline Junkie,  because we’ve got you covered in the 1000 Islands. 


Without a doubt skydiving has got to be one of the most thrilling ways to see the 1000 Islands. Not only do you get to see the beautiful landscape, you get to plummet towards it. 

Skydive Gan has been operating in Gananoque since 1971 and has jumps geared for the absolute newbie to the experienced novice. For those first-timers, your jump will be a tandem with an experienced instructor. On jump day, you’ll hop on board the airplane and climb about 10,000 feet in the air, gear up and put on your googles. Then it’s go time! Standing in the open doorway of a plane about to jump and freefall through the air for almost an entire minute is the most heart pounding moment. On a typical tandem, your parachute will deploy at 5,000 feet and you can enjoy the scenery below, your instructor will even spin if you’d like so you can see every angle of this beautiful area. 

Ready to throw yourself at a planet? All you gotta do is jump. 

Scuba Diving

Every dive you take is a brand new experience. The sights below the water are so different than anything you encounter on land. The good news is that you don’t need to head to Caribbean to go diving. The 1000 Islands has been making waves worldwide as a premier scuba diving destination and boasts the world’s best fresh water diving. The extreme clarity of the water, thanks to zebra mussels which have cleaned up the river has allowed for up to an amazing 70 feet visibility. The water temperature between the surface and deep waters are usually within a couple degrees of each other, making this a comfortable dive. Add in thick granite walls, 100-feet chasms and over 200 shipwrecks to explore and you can see why divers from all over the world travel here.  

Notable shipwrecks in the area present many levels of diving, from novice to advanced:

  • AE Vickory – 1861 wooden three masted schooner, sunk August 17, 1889
  • The America – steel drill barge, sunk June 20, 1932
  • Wolfe Islander II – 1946 80-foot long car ferry, intentionally sunk September 21, 1985
  • The Keystorm – 2300 ton English steamer, sunk October 12, 1912
  • Lillie Parsons – 2 masted fore and aft centerboard schooner, sunk August 5, 1877
  • The Muscallonge – 245 ton tug, sunk August 15, 1936

A helicopter soars above the 1000 Islands Tower.


For a true adrenaline junkie, a ride in a helicopter may seem a little less extreme but it’s still an out-of-the-box experience that many find exhilarating. If this is something on your to-do list, one of the best places in Ontario to lift off in is in the 1000 Islands. Not only is this area an optical wonder but there are many different tour themes and price-points to make this the ride of your life. 

1000 Islands Helicopter Tours will bring the history of the islands to life as you fly above it’s abundant beauty. It’s the best way to view the impressive 1864 islands that make up the 1000 Islands. Choose a tour that takes you by real-life castles or see the two UNESCO heritage sites, The Arch Biosphere and the Rideau Canal, go on a wine tour or enjoy the sweet side of Canada with a Maple Syrup Tour. Whatever your flavour, if a helicopter ride is on your radar, they have you covered.  

A group of islands in the 1000 Islands.

Treetop Trekking and Zip Lining

Test your mental and physical abilities and see if you can complete a series of obstacle courses up high in the trees. Skywood Eco Adventure Park literally has something for everyone. The adventure course starts off fairly easy but gets progressively harder as you complete them. Scared of heights? Overcome them as you balance on wooden planks, swings and nets as you navigate from one platform to the next among the treetops.  The park also offers 8 linked zip lines, a Discovery/Kids’ Course and Treewalk Village for children. 

Now you have some new things to add to your extreme adventures bucket list. Get ready, set… go!

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