Frequently Asked Questions
How many islands are there?
How does an island become part of the official count?
To be considered an island, it has to stay above water 365 days-a-year and support at least two living trees. No island is split by the international border. Islands are either completely in the United States or Canada.
Can I visit them all?
Probably not. It would take a very long time and most islands are privately owned.
Which islands can I visit?
Many are open to the public and are home to parks, campgrounds and cottage rentals. Wellesley Island (American) is connected to the U.S. and Canadian mainland by the Thousand Islands Bridge. Wolfe, Howe and Simcoe islands (all Canadian) are reachable by ferries. St. Lawrence Islands National Park (Canadian) is a group of 21 islands along the 1000 Islands Parkway, Ontario, that are open to the public.
What’s the easiest way to get to the 1000 Islands?
From the United States, most visitors drive from Interstate 81 or the Great Lakes Seaway Trail along the southern shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. In Canada, most visitors come into the area along Highway 401.
What is there to do in the 1000 Islands?
Most visitors enjoy the region’s natural beauty. Boat tours have long been among the most popular activities because visitors get to see many islands and hear the stories behind them including tales of pirates, bootleggers and the Guilded Age rich-and-famous. Go to the “Things to Do” tab at the top to see more on fishing, historic castles, museums, theatre houses and family attractions such as go-kart tracks and miniature golf courses.
Do I need documentation to cross the border?
The 1000 Islands international border is the same as any other. Visitors leaving one country to enter the other are required to have a passport, enhanced drivers license, frequent-traveler card or other approved border crossing documentation. Some boat tours leave Canada and arrive in the United States. Visitors aboard those boats will be aked for border-crossing documents. (Conversely, some boat line companies tour both sides of the border but documentation is not required because passengers do not get off the boat). The local ports of entry can be contacted at 315-482-2261 (U.S. Customs & Border Protection) and 613-659-2301 (Canada Border Services Agency).
If you have more questions, call the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council at 1-800-8-ISLAND or 800-847-5263