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Exploring the 1000 Islands



Discover the fascinating history of the region encompassing more than 1800 Islands in the St. Lawrence River of Northern New York.

The story of The 1000 Islands is all here … from the first explorers to the development of tourism and the construction of hundreds of luxury hotels many destroyed by fire, to the new millionaires who built gilded-age mansions and castles on many of the islands, to the lighthouses that guide massive freighters along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

This sixty-minute documentary covers the beauty and wonder of the 1000 Islands. It encompasses both sides of the border – New York, and Ontario, Canada.

Receding glaciers of the last ice age carved the Great Lakes out of the vast North American River basin. In all, more than 1800 islands were formed. The first French Explorers of the 16th century christened this 60-mile stretch “The Thousand Islands.” The 1000 Islands was the site of two battles of the War of 1812. Later, the visit of President Ulysses S. Grant launched an era of tourism. Grand hotels were built, and millionaires from big cities flocked to the islands during the summer months to escape the repressing heat of the cities.

The islands still attract vacationers from all over the world. Residents and vacationers alike enjoy activities such as boating, swimming, and water sports like waterskiing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. Anglers find many different types of fish are native to the St. Lawrence River. Hundreds of freighters traverse the St. Lawrence Seaway annually, headed either to the Atlantic Ocean or to one of the Great Lakes.