Cape Vincent has a strong French heritage. After his brother, Joseph, established residence here in the early 1800s, the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte was to have settled in Cape Vincent, seeking refuge from the havoc he had wrought in Europe. The village celebrates its history with the colorful French Festival held near Bastille Day on the second Saturday in July.
To learn more about the village’s glorious past, visit the Cape Vincent Historical Museum, set in an elegant stone building that served as a barracks for soldiers during the War of 1812. Nearby, in a restored gristmill, explore the underwater life of the 1000 Islands at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station and Aquarium.
The only auto ferry across the St. Lawrence River to Canada departs from Cape Vincent. The delightful journey to Ontario’s historic City of Kingston features a drive across the picturesque Wolfe Island, the largest in the archipelago.
Tibbets Point Lighthouse
Located less than three miles west of Cape Vincent where the great Lake Ontario empties into the St. Lawrence River, this historic lighthouse shares Tibbets Point with an American Youth Hostel that is open from May to October. There is also a visitor’s center, museum and gift shop on the grounds. A peaceful location to stop and enjoy the view.
Three Mile Bay & Chaumont
A short drive south from Cape Vincent brings you to the delightful villages of Three Mile Bay and Chaumont. Take in the breathtaking beauty of Chaumont Bay, the largest fresh-water bay in the world. During the warmer months, there are weekly sailing events. The area offers a fine range of campsites, marinas, and boat launches.
The terrain is friendly and the possibilities are endless; here are a few route ideas:
Follow the lake shore south from Cape Vincent to Henderson Harbor and its sand dunes. Bike the Long Sault Parkway (Canada) which crosses a series of islands and parks. Explore an island; Wolfe and Howe islands (Canadian)are accessible by ferry. Bike a section of the 1000 Islands Parkway (Canada), which has a dedicated paved pike path. Tour the historic sites in Sackets Harbor (USA) by bike.
Looking for bicycle rentals? Along the 1000 Islands Parkway, call Misty Isles Lodge at 613-382-4232. For more ideas and information, contact other local bike shops and Chambers of Commerce.⇧