If nature is what you are searching for, Brockville has it in abundance, with all the comforts of a small city as well.
With big blue skies that stretch for days, Brockville’s beauty goes well beyond the city borders.
It is surrounded by nature reserves and parks that are protected so they can be enjoyed for generations.
Thousand Islands National Park
One of Canada’s 39 national parks, Thousand Islands National Park seeks to preserve the heart of the 1000 Islands. Established in 1904, this park can be found along the 1000 Islands Parkway, and is one of Canada’s smallest national parks. Don’t let its size fool you though, there is a lot of beauty packed into those 24.4 square kilometres!
Thousand Islands National Park is best enjoyed by boat, as the park consists of 21 islands. There are also 2 mainland properties, and there are trails that line the 1000 Islands Parkway including Landon Bay, Jones Creek and Mallorytown Landing. Whether you’re looking for just a picnic out of the city, or want a night or two alone on an island, Thousand Islands National Park has you covered. Be sure to learn more about their oTENTiks, found on both the mainland and a few of the islands!
Mac Johnson Wildlife Area
Located north of Brockville, Mac Johnson Wildlife Area is 532 hectares of wetland, field and forest. Maintained by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Mac Johnson Wildlife Area is filled with diversity. The wildlife area is recognized as a Class 1 provincially significant wetland, filled with plants and animals. Originally known as the Back Pond, Mac Johnson Wildlife Area was renamed in 1987 in recognition of a local Conservation Authority member, Mac Johnson.
Mac Johnson Wildlife Area is filled with opportunities to spend the day. There are 11 kilometres of hiking trails available, including an interpretive trail, the Wildflower Loop. There are picnic tables and shelters at the north end of the reservoir, as well as accessible washrooms and a group firepit available for use. There’s also a canoeing access point on Centennial Road, near the Broome-Runciman Dam. Be careful though, you don’t want to run into the trumpeter swans! Mac Johnson has been the home of a Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program since 1999, and on a nice day, you’ll be able to see how successful this program has been!
Lyn Valley Conservation Area
The smallest of the conservation areas maintained by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Lyn Valley is also one of the most popular and busiest of the conservation areas. Lyn Valley is known for its great swimming area, and also has a short hiking trail. The spring-fed pond has been a popular place to learn how to swim for many children in the area, and the sandy beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. There are even change rooms so you can enjoy a day of swimming!
To locals, Lyn Valley Conservation Area is also known as Lyn Pit, due to its history of being a source of sand and gravel for construction. In the 1880s, Lyn Pit was the source of gravel during the construction of the Canadian National Brockville - Westport Railway. Later, Lyn Pit would help with the improvement of Highway #2, and with the development of highway 401 in the 1960s. In 1973, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority purchased the Lyn Valley Sand and Gravel Pit for $1, and in the decades since, it has evolved into the beloved swimming area we know today.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere
The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is part of UNESCO’s “Man and the Biosphere” program. It was initially nominated in 2000 by the community, and was designated in 2002. The area was increased in 2007 to include Frontenac Provincial Park. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere region was Canada’s 12th biosphere region in the “Man and the Biosphere” program. This area now covers an area in between Brockville and Gananoque, and extends north of Kingston to include Harrowsmith, Verona and Westport.
No matter where you go in the Brockville area, you’re bound to find a view that is postcard worthy.
Some of these scenic views are worth pointing out though.
1000 Islands Tower
Nestled in the heart of the 1000 Islands, there is an observation tower on Hill Island called the 1000 Islands Tower. This one of a kind view of the 1000 Islands is found on the Canadian side of the Canada / USA border, right on the 1000 Islands Bridge. Take the elevator 130 metres up and enjoy the first of three observation decks that provide visitors with stunning photo opportunities of the St.Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands. When you’re visiting Brockville, be sure to check out this unique experience and see what this area has to offer.
1000 Islands Helicopter Tours
If you’re looking for that once in a lifetime experience, 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours is what you need. View the 1000 Islands from a helicopter - any time of year - and have that rush of excitement as you lift off and fly over the islands. There are various tours available, where you can see the islands, castles, and the seaway from above!