United States

Thousand Islands Region

Includes Routes in Both New York State & the Province of Ontario. See Also Our Guide to Kingston, ON

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The Thousand Islands constitute a North American archipelago of 1,864 islands straddling the Canada–Unite States border on the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. The region is steeped in history and is a popular vacation destination, especially in summer, for boating, fishing, camping, cycling, & more. In New York state, there are 15 state parks, several nature preserves, and quiet waterside roads. In Ontario on the Canada Side, the Parks of the St. Lawrence is a group of historic and recreation sites along the river, including Thousand Islands National Park, which includes 21 islands, and the Thousand Islands Parkway. Our guide to running in the Thousand Islands region is focused on the most visited towns, scenic waterfront roads and paths, and some of the best trails.

On the U.S. side in New York, there’s some lovely waterfront running in historic communities on Wellesley Island, and in Clayton, Cape Vincent, Point Salubrious, and Sackets Harbor. On the Canada side, there are some terrific multi-use paths, including the Waterfront Trail alongside the Thousand Islands Parkway and near Upper Canada Village. We also love running on the scenic Long Sault Parkway, which crosses 11 islands. We’ve also provided recommendations on good running spots in the gateway towns of Gananoque and Brockville. We also have a separate running guide for the city of Kingston.

Notes: Remember to bring your passport! Also, although the Thousand Islands is popular summer destination, it’s also a good spot for winter running lovers, owing to the area’s cold winter temps and copious snow.

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Some of our favorite runs in Thousand Islands Region

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The Thousand Islands region warm summers and cold, snowy winters. It’s important to note that there are micro climates affecting different areas of the Thousand Islands region, due to the influence of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario — an example being lake effect snows in winter. Lake Ontario moderates both summer and winter temperatures. Summers are not as hot as the rest of southern Ontario, with average highs in the 25C (77F) range. Autumn is beautiful and there are wonderful foliage routes. Winters are the real deal — cold, with nights dipping to -12C (10F) and some 160 cm (61 inches) of annual snowfall. Runners should also note that the area can be windy.


5k races in the area.

Thousand Islands Marathon. The area’s signature race. May.