High Water: Fact or Fiction?

The water on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is high. You may have seen the shoreline damage in western New York. It’s not pretty. Boldt Castle had to delay its May 6 opening a few days because of the high water. But, there’s a whole lot of misinformation floating around out there – hey, if your neighbor’s cousin’s dock in the 1000 Islands is under water they all must be, right? Not at all. Now that Independence Day is behind us, we’re ready to dive into summer and set the record straight with some 1000 Islands high water fact or fiction!

Nobody is boating

Fiction! Most of our boaters are out on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River enjoying the water. A few boaters are on shore because their low-built docks are submerged but overall, things are looking pretty good out there. Fourth of July has already gone by, don’t let the 1000 Islands boating season pass you by just because there are rumors of bad conditions. Check out the below images, looks pretty fun to us.

Double down

A post shared by Julia Purcell (@lejuliait) on

Boat Diving! #4theKids #4thOfJuly #LakeOfTheIsles

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I’ve heard the fish are biting though

Fact! We’ve seen pics of some pretty nice northern pike and bass already. The high water has certainly impacted fish habits – and truthfully, this bodes well for future years due to new and diverse spawning locations — so this means there are plenty of new hot spots to check out! Not sure where to look? Hire a charter captain or fishing guide who knows the lake and river like the back of his hand.

Great morning on "THE RIVER" #1000islandsinternationalbridge #1000islandstourism #signmancharters

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All of the marinas are closed

Fiction! Just about every marina is open in some capacity. Those with floating docks have hardly missed a beat; others with more fixed docks have had to close off some sections but adapted by adding floaters or building decks atop their submerged walkways. Expect some limitations on which marinas have gas but as of the beginning of July, there was at least one spot in each community with fuel pumps going. Contact the local chamber of commerce if you have additional gas questions. Same for the launch ramps. A few are blocked off but there’s multiple options in each community to put in.

The campgrounds are open, right?

Fact! Most of our campgrounds are unaffected by the high water. In a given campground of 100 sites, only a handful of low-lying spots may be off limits. Bike riding and yard games continue to flourish, oh and the construction of s’mores around the campfire… that’s camping in the 1000 Islands!

Bike & hike day 🚲🌊 #1000islands #stlawrenceriver #nny #wellesleyisland #biking #hiking @chiga79

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The beaches are closed!

Fact and fiction. Some are open but due to the high water, some beaches have had their sand swept away. Wellesley Island State Park still boasts a great sandy beach with space, and Grass Point State Park beach just across the channel is open; some along the shore of Lake Ontario near Henderson Harbor and Sackets Harbor, however, are not. Be sure to check in with the local chamber of commerce beforehand.

The boat tours and castles are open

Fact! Both have been running successfully since May. The tour companies quickly modified their docks to make sure visitors could get out onto the water to see the castles, lighthouses and mansions. Be sure to check out Boldt Castle, Heart Island, and Singer Castle, Dark Island, while you are here. One closure to note (as of early July) is the Power House and Yacht House at Boldt Castle, since those structures are low lying. The Children’s Playhouse on Heart Island, however, is open.


Don’t let the news reports deter you; we’re open and the folks who visited in June and early July left happy. So what are you waiting for? Don’t delay longer, book your 1000 Islands vacation now!

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