Wolfe Island, set on the St. Lawrence River as it meets Lake Ontario, is known for the many white wind turbines that dominate its landscape. It’s the largest of the Thousand Islands, as the area is known, and spans 124 sq kilometres. The island is 29 kilometres long and part of Frontenac County and the Township of Frontenac Islands, with the largest community being Marysville.
There’s plenty to enjoy on Wolfe Island, especially outdoor activities. Cycling is one of the most popular pursuits. The entire island is covered by four main cycle routes, each taking you on a different adventure. The Red Route, for example, is the longest at 58 km and meanders through rural farmland. The Yellow Route is shorter at 18 kilometres and follows the shore of Lake Ontario.
We recommend visiting the island’s website for up-to-date information and details about Wolfe Island. For more information about the island and other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Wolfe Island
However you’re getting around, be sure to enjoy the island’s famed birdwatching. You can find several types of birds on Wolfe Island, thanks to its varied terrain. There are numerous hawks, owls and other raptors, plus songbirds and those that use the island’s fields and shores as home, such as the Great Blue Heron. Birders love to stop at Big Sandy Bay Beach, a popular spot for walking and beachcombing. A quick 3 kilometre return trail takes you to the secluded shores through a protected ecological area. You can spot rare birds, trees and plant species along the way.
You can reach Wolfe Island by ferry from the city of Kingston. Boats carry cars, pedestrians and cyclists and sail from Kingston’s pier to either the Dawson’s Point Dock (winter route) or Marysville Dock (summer route). There are two other ferry routes from the island if you want to extend your adventure. A 10-minute ferry will take you to Simcoe Island, a smaller island on the western side of Wolfe Island. Or another 10-minute seasonal ferry, which operates from the spring to the fall, sails from Port Alexandria on the island’s southern side to Cape Vincent in New York, the United States.
Other ways to enjoy your time on Wolfe Island include fishing, hunting and golfing. The waters surrounding the island are full of various fish species, and many visitors try their luck catching smallmouth bass each summer. During the Smallmouth Bass Tournament, the first weekend of June each year, eager anglers compete for prizes. Other fish to catch on Wolfe Island include walleye, northern pike, and even musky.
Hunting is also a popular activity on the island, although there are no public hunting areas. Instead, you must get landowner permission or join a guided hunt. Waterfowl are the most popular animal for the sport, but you can also find rabbits, wild turkeys and white-tailed deer.
Each year, Wolfe Island hosts several lively events and festivals like a plowing match, a chili festival, a large music festival, a corn maze, races, holiday music performances and parades.
The community of Marysville has a friendly small-town vibe. Main streets are lined with a handful of cafes, bakeries, restaurants and shops, plus hotels and bed and breakfasts. Of course, the true appeal of the island is its boundless nature, wildlife and exceptional sunsets.
Last updated: January 18, 2023