Long Sault Parkway

The Long Sault Parkway is now closed for the season!

The picturesque Long Sault Parkway is a series of 11 islands that were created from high points of land left after the flooding of the St. Lawrence River during the construction of the Seaway in the 1950's. In fact, several villages once stood where the river now lies, a fascinating story captured at the Lost Villages display on Macdonell Island.

Not only is the Long Sault Parkway host to three beautiful waterfront campgrounds and two golden sand beaches, but it is also the perfect destination for runners, cyclists, photographers, and explorers alike.

Aerial view of the Long Sault Parkway

Thousand Islands Parkway

The gorgeous Thousand Islands Parkway is famous for the breathtaking panoramic landscapes and its’ natural features. Seemingly endless emerald and blue vistas that stretch off into the distance like a world all its own. Sprawling forests, and gorgeous trails ripe for exploring. Scenic drives along the shoreline, and time spent out on the river. The wind in your face, the warmth of the sun and the sheer majesty of it all.

The Parkway is host to Ivy Lea Campground and the beautiful Brown’s Bay beach. It is perfect for cycling, swimming, and boating.

Lake view at the Thousand Islands Parkway

Trail Etiquette along the Thousand Islands Parkway


The Thousand Islands Parkway is home to a multi-use recreational trail that may be used year-round when conditions are safe to do so. The St. Lawrence Parks Commission owns the right-of-way that includes the paved recreational trail and surrounding green space.

The recreational trail is not maintained during the winter and the trail should only be used by pedestrians, skiers and those who snowshoe when conditions allow and it is safe to do so.

Please expect minor disruptions on the paved recreational trail alongside the Thousand Islands Parkway between Conner Drive and Cross Creek Cemetery Road throughout the summer months. Questions and concerns regarding these disruptions can be directed to Michael Ostroskie of Expercom at (613) 406-1488.

Please expect minor disruptions on the paved recreational trail alongside the Thousand Islands Parkway between Conner Drive and Cross Creek Cemetery Road throughout the summer months. Questions and concerns regarding these disruptions can be directed to Michael Ostroskie of Expercom at (613) 406-1488.

Safety Message to Local Residents During Winter Months

Motorized vehicles including vehicular traffic and snow machines are not permitted on the paved recreational trail as indicated by signage along the 37 km stretch of pathway. Snowmobiles are permitted on the Thousand Islands Parkway north lane, the land north of the recreational trail. Snowmobilers are asked to follow these snowmobile safety tips, the permitted speed limit of 20 km/hr, and to slow down at residential driveways and stop at all road intersections to keep you and others safe.

Respect the Trail

Plowing the trail in the winter puts others at risk. Pedestrians and vehicles at any speed sharing the trail is a safety risk. Plowing the trail creates unsafe conditions exposing the cleared areas to thaw and freeze cycles, resulting in icy conditions that create safety hazards for trail users and shortens the lifespan of the asphalt. The trail is already showing signs of damage from prohibited activities and vehicular traffic.

As the property owner, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission does not want the recreational trail plowed during the winter months. We ask local property owners in the Front of Yonge and Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands to refrain from plowing the recreational trail.

Only specific sections of the north lane (green space north of the paved recreational trail) may be plowed by permit holders that have applied, paid for, and who have been granted a Controlled Access Entrance Permit in order to gain safe access to their private property.

We would like to ensure the safety of the community and visitors while utilizing the trail. We ask that everyone respect the trail, the safety of its users and the sensitivity of the infrastructure.

Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Home to over 200 various bird species, the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary is perfect for the experienced birder, environmental enthusiasts or to anyone who enjoys a relaxing and leisurely walk through the great outdoors. With over 8 kilometres of self-guided nature trails that take you through mature forested areas, wetlands, and boardwalks, this is truly the best way to spend an afternoon.

You can also partake in programs offered year-round with help from Friends of the Sanctuary. Some of these activities include geese feedings during the Fall, cross country skiing through groomed trails during the Winter and camping during the Summer. Lastly, the great Waterfront Trail runs right along the Bird Sanctuary and is the perfect extension for cyclers of all skill levels.

Friends of the Sanctuary


Friends of the Sanctuary is an incorporated non-profit charitable organization. This group of dedicated individuals supports the development of educational, resource management, recreational and interpretive programs at the Sanctuary. The Friends Association runs a variety of programs and events during the off season (late fall, winter, early spring) which allows the Sanctuary to operate year-round. Members volunteer their time, labour, sepcial abilities, and knowledge to assist any way they can at the Sanctuary.

You too, can be a friend of the Sanctuary!

By becoming a Friend of the Sanctuary, you can help build public education, participate with special events, and help with trail maintenance and wildlife management programs.

Membership Fees
Seniors (65 & over) $10
Youth (18 & under) $10
Individuals $15
Family $25
Corporate $100
If you would like to be a member of the Friends of the Sanctuary, or receive more information, please contact:

The Friends of the Sanctuary

info@friendsofthesanctuary.org

Visit their website by clicking here.

Birds of the Sanctuary

The Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary, jointly operated by The St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, covers 9,000 hectares of managed wooded uplands, goose pasture, crop land, waterways and marshland. With more than 8 km of self-guided nature trails winding through these habitats, the seasoned birder and amateur naturalist alike have excellent opportunities to view close to 200 waterfowl, raptor, passerine and other bird species.

Species Index
LOONS
Common Loon

GREBES
Pied-billed Grebe

CORMORANTS
Double-crested Cormorant

HERONS & BITTERNS
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Green Heron
American Bittern
Least Bittern

GEESE & DUCKS
Canada Goose
Brant Snow Goose
Ross' Goose
Mallard
American Black Duck
Gadwall
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Oldsquaw
White-winged Scoter
Ruddy Duck
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser

VULTURES, HAWKS & FALCONS
Turkey Vulture
Northern Goshawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Osprey
American Kestrel

TURKEYS, GROUSE & PATRIDGE
Wild Turkey
Ruffed Grouse
Ring-necked Pheasant
Gray Partridge

COOTS & RAILS
Virginia Rail
Sora Rail
Yellow Rail
Common Moorhen
American Coot

PLOVERS & SANDPIPERS
Semipalmated Plover
Killdeer
Lesser Golden Plover
Black-bellied Plover
Upland Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Willet Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
American Woodcock
Common Snipe
Short-billed Dowitcher
Sanderling Least
Sandpiper Dunlin

GULLS & TERNS
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Common Tern

DOVES
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove

CUCKOOS
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Black-billed Cuckoo

OWLS
Eastern Screetch Owl
Great-horned Owl
Snowy Owl
Barred Owl
Long-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl

GOATSUCKERS
Whip-poor-will
Common Nighthawk

HUMMINGBIRDS
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

KINGFISHERS
Belted Kingfisher

WOODPECKERS
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

LARKS
Horned Lark

FLYCATCHERS
Eastern Kingbird
Great-crested Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Willow Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Wood Peewee

WAXWINGS
Bohemian Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

SWIFTS & SWALLOWS
Chimney Swift
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
North Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow

JAYS & CROWS
Blue Jay
American Crow

TITMICE
Black-capped Chickadee

NUTHATCHES & CREEPERS
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper

WRENS
House Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Sedge Wren

MIMICS & THRUSHES
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
American Robin
Wood Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Veery Eastern Bluebird

KINGLETS
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

SHRIKES
Northern Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike

VIREOS
Yellow-throated Vireo
Solitary Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Warbling Vireo

WOOD WARBLERS
Black & White Warbler Prothonotary Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Palm Warbler
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Canada Warbler
American Redstart

WEAVER FINCHES
House Sparrow

BLACKBIRDS & STARLINGS Bobolink Eastern Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Oriole
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
European Starling

TANAGERS
Scarlet Tanager

FINCHES & SPARROWS
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak
Pine Grosbeak
Purple Finch
House Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Rufous-sided Towhee
Savannah Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Snow Bunting

Nature Trails

There are more than eight kilometres of self-guided hiking trails and close to 150 different bird species to watch for. Use the links below to learn more about each trail.

Overall, the trails are flat and not overly challenging. The maple trail has some gentle slopes but no hills. On all trails, one will encounter uneven terrain such as tree roots and rocks as the trails are not surfaced with any material.


Note: While walking the trails, please take care not to pick the flowers or disturb the wildlife.

"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."


White Birch

White, paper-like bark peels easily. Birch sap can be processed like maple sap to make a molasses-like syrup.


Juneberry

Note the smooth bark marked with vertical lines. Many Indian tribes mixed the berries with dried meat and fat to make pemmican.


Rotting Log

This is home to decomposers - organisms (such as mushrooms and fungi and many insects) that break down and return dead tissues to the environment.


Sugar Shanty

This trail leads to the remains of an old sugar cabin. Some maple syrup facts: it takes 30 to 40 litres of sap to produce one litre of syrup; it takes 30 to 70 years for a tree to reach a tapable size of 25 cm in diameter; and sap flows when there are frosty nights of -3°C or lower and warm, sunny days of + 2°C or higher .


Ironwood

Ironwood can be identified by its bark which breaks into narrow, vertical strips that are easily rubbed off. Usually a small tree, there is an exception near the end of the Red-wing Trail on the left hand side. Try to spot it! NOTE: You must go back to post #4 in order to continue on the Cedar Trail.


Owl Pellets

Owls have been observed in these big pines. Look under the trees for signs of a successful hunt --- pellets. Owl pellets are sausage- shaped clumps of the indigestible parts (fir, feathers, bones, beaks, claws, tails, etc.) that the owl "coughs up".


Snow (or White) Trillium / Eastern Hemlock

Ontario's floral emblem, the Snow (or White) Trillium, must grow for at least six years before it flowers and blooms in the spring. The needle-like leaves of the Hemlock tree were used by Aboriginal peoples and early white settlers to make a tea rich in vitamin C. Aboriginal peoples also used the leaves as a spice for bear and porcupine meat.


Basswood

Note the large, heart-shaped leaves. The soft, light wood is valued by hand-carvers. The inner bark and the roots are tough and fibrous and can be twisted into cords, mats and lines.


Turtle Nests

Early June finds snapping turtles laying their approximately 20 to 30 eggs in holes they dig along the bike path. It also finds raccoons and skunks digging up the nests and devouring the eggs!


Poison Ivy

A vine or shrub with glossy green (summer) or bright red (fall) leaflets in threes. Contact with any part of the plant may result in a severe rash.


Queen Anne's Lace (white) / Chicory (blue)

From fall to early spring the roots are edible. Queen Anne's Lace can be cooked like garden carrots and Chicory can be roasted and ground to make coffee.


Fence / Culvert

This fenced area around the bike path culvert is in place to prevent beaver from blocking the culvert. Beaver can cause significant damage to surrounding habitats as the water level will rise and flood the area.


Royal Fern

A large, wetland fern with spore cases in dense clusters at the top of fertile fronds (stalks).


Wetlands Are Important

Wetlands improve water quality, provide habitat for many plants and animals and help reduce flooding. Wetlands are also a vital source of oxygen and a great place for activities like bird watching and hiking.


For further information, contact the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary at 613-537-2024.

Note: While walking the trails, please take care not to pick the flowers or disturb the wildlife.

"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."


Buckthorn

This shrub can be recognized by its small, dark green, oval-shaped leaves which are deeply veined. Thorny branch tips replace the terminal buds. Ingesting the blackberries clustered along the twigs will result in severe diarrhea.


Bur Oak

The widest ranging oak tree. Acorns can be boiled, roasted and eaten as nuts or sweetened and eaten as candy.


Trembling Aspen

The beaver's first choice at the tree buffet! Note the smooth, greenish-grey bark and, on a windy day, the "noisy" leaves.


Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple, a tree of upland habitats, is the principle maple tree tapped to produce maple products. The leaves are usually five-lobed and the leaf margins (edges) lack teeth.


Woodpecker Holes

(Can you spot them?) The Pileated Woodpecker drills large, rectangular or oval holes and extracts insects with its barbed tongue. These cavities in turn provide shelter and nesting habitat for other species.


Black Cherry

Note the dark, scaly bark with horizontal dash-like markings (lenticels). The wood is valuable for furniture.


Yellow Birch

The yellowish or bronze bark forms thin papery shreds. A broken twig has a strong wintergreen taste.


Eastern Hemlock

Usually a tree of upland habitats. The flat needles are dark green above, whitish below and have short stems.


Northern Maidenhair

Maidenhair ferns are most adapted to life in dry places. The stalks are black, fine and shiny ---a maiden's hair. Spores develop on the back of the leaflets.


Blue Beech

(Look ahead on the right) A small tree with very hard wood that settlers would use to make wedges for splitting other logs. The smooth, slate-grey bark resembles tensed muscles.


Christmas Fern

An upland fern with leathery, evergreen fronds. Smaller spore-bearing leaflets are near the tip of the fertile fronds (stalks).


American Beech

Note how the trunk, with its pale grey bark, resembles a cement pole or an elephant's leg! Early settlers often used dried Beech leaves as filling material for mattresses.


Climax Forest

A forest that has reached the final stage of succession. It will no longer undergo natural changes as trees that die will be replaced by others of the same species.


For further information, contact the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary at 613-537-2024.

NOTE: While walking the trails, please take care not to pick the flowers or disturb the wildlife.

"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."


Dotted Hawthorn

One of over 100 species of Hawthorn found in North America, this member of the Rose family has many stout thorns and tangy, edible fruit.


Animal Run

The route regularly taken by an animal as it travels between resting areas and feeding areas.


Nannyberry

A member of the Honeysuckle family, Nannyberry has long, slender beige buds; opposite leaf arrangement; clusters of small, creamy white flowers and edible, bluish-black berries.


Canada Goose Cones

Canada Geese prefer to build nests on small islands or marsh banks. If they cannot find a suitable site, geese will use artificial nests.


Cattail

One need never starve where cattails grow! At different times during the year, all parts of the plant (except the leaves) are edible.


Ash

Recognized by compound leaves that are opposite in arrangement. A wetland is called a swamp when trees or shrubs are the dominant vegetation type.


White Cedar

The inner bark of the Eastern White Cedar or Aborvitae, the tree of life, was used by Jacques Cartier to treat scurvy among his crew.


Speckled Alder Thicket

Usually found along a wetland edge. Speckled Alder shrubs add fertility to the soil by transforming gaseous nitrogen into compounds useful to plants.


Wild Rice

The plant filling the marsh by mid-summer is wild rice. The ripening grain may be collected, thoroughly dried, washed in cold water and prepared like brown rice or ground into flour. (Warning: ERGOT, poisonous pink or purplish fungi, can replace some of the seeds.)


White Spruce

The roots of the White Spruce are so pliable that Native Americans would use them for placing the birch bark on canoes.


White Pine

Ontario's arboreal emblem. The White Pine is the only pine in Eastern Canada with five needles in a bundle.


Tamarack

The only evergreen that is not evergreen! In autumn the Tamarack's needles turn yellow and are shed from the tree.


Grey Birch

Grey Birch bark does not peel easily and has black patches. The leaves are triangular in shape with long, drawn-out tips.


Reedgrass

This tall grass-like plant can form dense and enormous stands in ponds, marshes and ditches. The plants spread by means of rootstocks that may be 30 feet long. Edible uses include crushing and washing the rootstocks to obtain flour.


Bracken

(Look to the right and ahead on the left.) Our most common fern as it grows in large colonies almost anywhere. Bracken is a tall, strong and coarse fern with leaves divided into three nearly equal parts. Fiddleheads can be eaten raw or cooked. (Warning: Cooking recommended. Raw plant contains an enzyme which, when ingested in sufficient quantities, destroys vitamin B1 [thiamine].)


Take Cover

This thick jumble of understorey plants offers ideal habitat and protection for many woodland creatures. Chipmunks, squirrels, shrews and rabbits find shelter here. Ground feeding birds such as Robins, Catbirds, Brown Thrashers and Winter Wrens scratch around here for insects and seeds.


For further information, contact the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary at 613-537-2024.

Watersports

Canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are the most unique and extraordinary ways of exploring the picturesque vistas the St. Lawrence River has to offer.

To access the river, guests can utilize the many boat launches and shallow areas along our campgrounds, beaches and parkways.

Watersport rentals are available for rent and launch at the Crysler Park Marina!

Canoe resting on the beach

Fishing

The St. Lawrence River is host to some of Canada’s best fishing spots. Either you’re fishing along Milles Roches campground for Carp, or the beautiful shoreline of Ivy Lea Campground and the 1000 Islands Parkway – There are amazing memories to be made!

In our area, you will most likely be catching pan, sun fish, perch, rock bass, catfish or bass.

NOTE: An Ontario fishing permit is required to fish at any of our sites.

Hunting

The Lake St. Lawrence Controlled Hunt Area offers high-quality waterfowl hunting opportunities. Twenty-six hunting sites are accessible on the river on a first-come, first-served basis. Kemptville District of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry partners with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to provide waterfowl hunting opportunities at this site.

Diving

Celebrated as one of the world’s best fresh-water shipwreck diving destinations, the 1000 Islands region offers numerous, well-preserved wrecks for beginner to advanced divers. From Kingston to Cornwall, the Parks of the St. Lawrence has many interesting access points to explore our underwater history. The accidental introduction of the zebra mussel in the mid-1980s has been credited with cleaning the St. Lawrence River to amazing levels of clarity.

If visiting the Long Sault Parkway, Lock 21 is known as one of Canada’s best surface dives. Located just off of Macdonell Island, this dive will introduce you to the vast and interesting story of the Lost Villages.