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The change in the leaves always brings out the desire to get outside and enjoy the crisp autumn air and make the most of what remains in the nice weather before the winter chill sets in. Whether it’s crunching through the fallen leaves, enjoying a steaming mug of cider or indulging in a pumpkin spice treat; there’s just some activities that help you feel like you’ve totally embraced Fall! We’ve compiled some of the best ways to experience autumn in the 1000 Islands to enjoy this long weekend before the leaves fall!
Paddle between Islands with 1000 Islands Kayaking
1000 Islands Kayaking is a fantastic way to see the fall colours on the islands up close and personal as you weave your way through the Admiralty Islands group on one of their Half Day or Full Day kayaking tours. Cut through narrow passageways, paddle over shipwrecks lying just beneath the water’s surface and enjoy the breathtaking Canadian Fall colours dotted throughout the islands. Open until October 12th, these kayaking tours are perfect for all skill levels from beginners to experienced kayakers – the staff at 1000 Islands Kayaking will show you the ropes and get you outfitted for an adventure you won’t forget on the mighty St. Lawrence River!
Leaf peeping from above with 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours
Experience the thrill of seeing the beautiful Fall colours from 1500 feet in the air on board a tour with 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours! Take it all in as you soar over famous landmarks such as Boldt Castle, the Thousand Islands International Bridge, and the 1864 Islands that give the area its iconic name. The view of the colours from above is absolutely unforgettable and the small, intimate setting of the helicopter makes for a special private tour and exhilarating experience for you and your bubble. With tours starting at just $99/person, take your leaf peeping game to new heights!
Cruise through the Islands
Hop on board with Rockport Cruises or Gananoque Boat Line with your bubble and see the colours from the water! Operating until October 12th, both boat lines are offering tours through the islands and around Boldt Castle on Heart Island, all accented by the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the changing leaves. Enjoy life on the river as you cruise down the St. Lawrence; sit back, relax and take in the beauty of the region! With reduced capacities allowed on board it’s advised to purchase your fall cruise tickets in advance online to ensure your spot!
Go for a trail ride with Fort Garry Stables
Saddle up and hit the trail with Fort Garry Stables! Offering guided trail rides for all skill levels, enjoy the changing colours of rural Ontario by horseback and cut through the rugged landscape of the Frontenac Arch. Pass under the changing leaves, learn the basics of equestrian care and enjoy a small, private group setting for the duration of your visit; the perfect way to experience the area from a different perspective! Reservations are required, so be sure to get in contact with them to book a tour!
Pick your own pumpkin at Field View Farms
Nothing says Fall quite like the warm, glowing orange of pumpkins! Queue Field View Farms – an adorable pumpkin patch just off Highway 2, less than 15 minutes from downtown Gananoque. Pull on your favourite pair of wellies and adventure into the pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin or small, decorative gourds for your Fall centerpiece. Pick-your-own is open Saturdays & Sundays from 9AM to 5PM. Going into the patch isn’t for you? That’s okay too! They have a selection of pre-picked gourds for you to meander through that are looking for a home, available 7 days a week 9AM-5PM.
Cuddle with donkeys at the Berry Homestead Farm
Experience farm life with the Berry Homestead Farm and get the chance to brush, play and snuggle with their adorable donkeys! Their off-grid farm raises a herd of donkeys that you are able to go and interact with. Shop their handmade preserves, donkey milk soaps, and teas. Learn all about what it takes to raise and care for the herd, get a chance to brush and pet the donkeys and even learn the proper way to get a donkey hug! Did we also mention that the donkeys love to take selfies? It makes for the perfect Fall photo-op! Be sure to book a visit time in advance on their Facebook page!
Pick up some local, organic produce at Wendy’s Country Market
Celebrate the harvest season with some delicious, locally grown produce from Wendy’s Country Market! The highlight of the Fall season is the hard work of the local farmers during the summer months being rewarded with a bountiful crop of fresh produce, and Wendy’s has you covered as a hub for locavores! Boasting a selection of local produce, handcrafted preserves, cheeses, homemade baked goods, locally raised meats and a variety of other goodies. Support local and fill your cupboard with an amazing assortment of farm fresh goodness!
See the Fall colours from the 1000 Islands Tower observation deck
Head 130 feet into the air and see the islands in full colour from the top of the 1000 Islands Tower on Hill Island! Currently open for tours, the tower offers panoramic views of the 1000 Islands region and the iconic Thousand Islands International Bridge. The elevator takes only 40 seconds to reach the first of three observation decks, with each featuring jaw dropping views and the perfect photographic opportunity. Open until October 12th, this is one view you won’t want to miss!
Go for a hike through the Fall colours
A Fall classic – putting on your plaid and going for a hike through the woods! And with so many trails available in the 1000 Islands region you can decide what hike fits best with your comfort level. There’s just something so special and magical about being immersed in nature during the Fall and breathing in that cool, crisp air! Head out to the lookout point at the Landon Bay Centre, enjoy the forest paths of the Jones Creek Trails or strap on your hiking boots and head out into the Marble Rock Conservation Area. For a full list of the different hiking trails to try out, click here: 1000 Islands Hiking
Indulge in some handcrafted beverages at BUSL Cider and Gan Brewing Company
If bundling up and enjoying the taste of Fall is more your speed, indulge in a taste tour and sip the flavours of the 1000 Islands with BUSL Cider and the Gan Brewing Company! BUSL Cider in Mallorytown features a selection of handcrafted ciders that are perfect for any time of year, with a special release of their pumpkin cider, “Ten 06”, just in time to enjoy with the backdrop of the Fall colours! Be sure to also visit Gan Brewing Co. in the heart of downtown Gananoque – bundle up and sit on their glittering patio or cozy up inside with their woodfire and a pint of their delicious craft beer. With a number of brews on tap, there’s sure to be something to please every beer lover!