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Posts tagged ‘1000 Islands June 2016 Vacation’

1000 Islands Vacation Day 4: Alexandria Bay Evening Visit

On Day 4 (Wednesday, June 22) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited four New York State Parks: Keewaydin State Park, Kring Point State Park, Jacques Cartier State Park and Grasse Point State Park.  We also visited the Chippewa Bay area and, later in the evening, downtown Alexandria Bay.  In my first Day 4 blog post I wrote about our Keewaydin State Park visit.  My second Day 4 blog post was about our visit to Kring Point State Park.  In my third Day 4 blog post I wrote about our visit to Jacques Cartier State Park.  My fourth Day 4 blog post was about our Grass Point State Park visit.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to downtown Alexandria Bay on the last evening of our 1000 Islands vacation.

After spending the morning and afternoon visiting state parks north and south of Alexandria Bay, we decided to go to downtown Alexandria Bay in the evening for the last time, this visit. Rather than walk from our hotel, as we have done in past visits, we drove the car and parked downtown. After 6:00 pm it is free to park downtown. We stopped for ice cream and then walked down James Street to the docks. We passed by several Corvettes, parked on the street.

Corvettes parked on James Street
Note the license plate?  “Priceee”!

An Internet search revealed the reason for the Corvettes being in town. “Dinner at the Admirals Inn Alexandria Bay NY, with the Northern New York Corvette Club.  Arrive there at 6:30pm. Dinner at 7pm.”

From James Street docks we walked River Walk to Scenic View Park and Casino Island. It was a beautiful night for a walk.

Sten Baltic Chemical/Oil Products Tanker
The tanker sails under the flag of Norway.
The Sunken Rock Lighthouse is visible in this photograph as well.

This goose family was enjoying the lovely evening too.

The western sky was putting on a show on our way to Scenic View Park.

View on River Walk

Scenic View Park

Scenic View Park Covered Pavilion

While the western sky was putting on a show, the setting sun was beautifying the eastern sky.

Scenic View Park
(view from Casino Island)

River Hospital
(view from Casino Island)

Casino Island

I turned around from this view to look toward the western sky once again.

Boldt Castle on Heart Island
(view from Casino Island)

Casino Island Footbridge

Returning to our car we walked on the docks behind Dock of the Bay restaurant, where we had eaten at an earlier day.

Dock of the Bay restaurant
We weren’t aware of outdoor seating on the river, when we ate there.
Next time we visit Alexandria Bay, we will sit outside and enjoy the river view!

There are two houseboats docked here.
The houseboats are available for rental.

 

We returned to our hotel, Capt’s Inn & Suites, before 9:00 pm, in for the night.

As a way to save money, while on vacation, we ate a breakfast that we brought from home. Our breakfast consisted of hard-boiled eggs (two for Bob, one for me), toast and butter for Bob, cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese for me, and an orange for me that I shared with Bob when it interested him.  In addition, we ate only one meal out. For lunch or dinner we ate a picnic lunch. Our picnic lunches consisted of tuna or chicken salad spread on crackers, fruit cup and sugar-free chocolate wafer cookies.

The next morning we ate our brought-from-home breakfast, got showered and dressed, and packed. We checked out of our hotel and were homeward bound at 7:30 am.

We drove through Letchworth State Park in New York.  Our Empire Passport provided free admission to the park.  We ate a picnic lunch between the Upper and Middle Falls.

We returned home at 2:50 pm. I can honestly say that our 1000 Islands Vacation was one of the best vacations we have ever had! The scenery was outstanding. The people were friendly, locals as well as tourists. We had opportunity for downtime, which made the vacation a relaxing one. We would like to make a return visit to see the Canadian side of the 1000 Islands this year, if possible.

 

 

1000 Islands Vacation Day 4: Grass Point State Park

On Day 4 (Wednesday, June 22) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited four New York State Parks: Keewaydin State Park, Kring Point State Park, Jacques Cartier State Park and Grasse Point State Park.  We also visited the Chippewa Bay area and, later in the evening, downtown Alexandria Bay.  In my first Day 4 blog post I wrote about our Keewaydin State Park visit.  My second Day 4 blog post was about our visit to Kring Point State Park.  In my third Day 4 blog post I wrote about our visit to Jacques Cartier State Park.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to Grass Point State Park.

The fourth and final state park that we visited in NY’s 1000 Islands region was Grass Point State Park.  We used our Empire Passport for admission to the state park.  All four of the state parks that we visited today are located along Route 12.  Grass Point State Park is located along the St. Lawrence River, approximately 6 miles south of Alexandria Bay.  According to the park’s description, Grass Point State Park is a popular spot for campers and day-users, who come to boat, swim, fish, picnic, or just to relax. We spent less than 10 minutes at Grass Point State Park.  All the state parks that we visited today have been picturesque and beautifully maintained.  Grass Point State Park was no exception.  We had our fill of park visits, however, by the time we reached Grass Point State Park.  I didn’t take any photographs of the park.  I took photographs only of what we saw, while looking at the St. Lawrence River.

In my previous blog post we watched the Federal MAAS carrier ship, as it passed by the Canadian city of Brockville.  I wrote in that blog post that we saw the carrier ship once again 27 miles south and 2 hours later.  We did indeed.

the Federal MAAS carrier ship

If we had arrived at Grass Point State Park a little earlier, we could have seen the carrier ship as it passed under the 1000 Islands Bridge.

How cool it would have been to see the Federal MAAS carrier ship pass under 1000 Islands Bridge!

Carrier ships are huge.  The next three photographs provide some perspective as to how huge this ship is, as the Federal MAAS carrier ship passes between two islands on the St. Lawrence River.

Federal MAAS carrier ship

Federal MAAS carrier ship passes between two islands.

 

We left Grass Point State Park and returned to our hotel, where we rested for a few hours.

My next 1000 Islands Vacation blog post will provide details and photographs of our evening visit to Alexandria Bay.

1000 Islands Vacation Day 4: Jacques Cartier State Park and More

On Day 4 (Wednesday, June 22) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited four New York State Parks: Keewaydin State Park, Kring Point State Park, Jacques Cartier State Park and Grasse Point State Park.  We also visited the Chippewa Bay area and, later in the evening, downtown Alexandria Bay.  In my first Day 4 blog post I wrote about our Keewaydin State Park visit.  My second Day 4 blog post was about our visit to Kring Point State Park.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to Jacques Cartier State Park, what we saw at a scenic overlook near Chippewa Bay and our lunch stop at Schermerhorn Harbor in Hammond, NY.

The third park that we visited was Jacques Cartier State Park.  We used our Empire Passport for admission to the state park.  Jacques Cartier State Park is located approximately 22 miles north of Alexandria Bay.  Our highlights during our visit to this park included watching a freighter on the St. Lawrence River, the view of the Canadian city of Brockville, a playground and a sandy beach.  We spent about 15 minutes at Jacques Cartier State Park.

Welcome Sign

Federal MAAS Ship
This bulk carrier ship, sailing under the flag of Barbados,
passed by the Canadian city of Brockville.

During our entire stay in NY’s 1000 Islands region we were so close to Canada that our mobile phones hooked up to Canadian cell towers.  I scrutinized our AT&T cellular bill for the time we were on vacation.  I wasn’t surprised to see usage from Canada on the bill.  A quick call to AT&T reversed those charges.

The trees in front of the Federal MAAS ship are located on small Canadian islands.

We saw the Federal MAAS ship once again 27 miles south and 2 hours later, while visiting Grass Point State Park.

It was a weekday, when we visited Jacques Cartier State Park.
Our visit to NY’s 1000 Islands region took place a week, maybe two weeks,
before the start of the summer season.
I am sure that the playground and beach have been full of people since our visit.

Ready and waiting …

Driving south on Route 12, we stopped at a scenic overlook near Chippewa Bay.  We saw Singer Castle, located on Dark Island, way off in the distance.

Singer Castle

The 1000 Islands Tower is visible also in the photograph displayed above.  I would like to take a boat tour to Singer Castle the next time we visit the 1000 Islands region.  I would like to visit the 1000 Islands Tower in Canada as well.

We ate lunch at Foster’s Harbor Inn, located at Schermerhorn Harbor in Hammond, NY.  I ordered chicken tenders, French fries and coleslaw.  Bob ordered a buffalo chicken wrap with house chips and onion petals.  Our lunches were OK, as was the service.  It was our most expensive meal (approximately $32.00), while on vacation.  The cost seemed exorbitant for what we ate.  Neither of us would want to return to this restaurant, as there are many other good, less expensive choices.  In fact, we would have preferred a picnic lunch at one of the state parks!

My next 1000 Islands Vacation blog post will provide details and photographs from our visit to Grass Point State Park.

1000 Islands Vacation Day 4: Kring Point State Park

On Day 4 (Wednesday, June 22) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited four New York State Parks: Keewaydin State Park, Kring Point State Park, Jacques Cartier State Park and Grasse Point State Park.  We also visited the Chippewa Bay area and, later in the evening, downtown Alexandria Bay.  In my first Day 4 blog post I wrote about our Keewaydin State Park visit.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to Kring Point State Park.

The second park that we visited was Kring Point State Park.  We used our Empire Passport for admission to the state park.  Kring Point State Park, which is located approximately 10 miles north of Alexandria Bay, is a narrow peninsula that juts out into the St. Lawrence River.  Its south shore faces Goose Bay and its north shore faces the St Lawrence River.  We spent about an hour at Kring Point State Park, where our main activity was exploring Morgan Island.

Here are three photographs of the Morgan Island footbridge.  The first two photographs were taken from the peninsula, and the third photograph was taken from Morgan Island.

Morgan Island Footbridge
When I took this photograph, I was standing in the area where we parked our car.

Morgan Island Footbridge

Morgan Island Footbridge
with boat dock

We crossed over the footbridge and hiked all over Morgan Island.  There was no need for a trail map.  No one can get lost on this small island!

The crystal clear, aqua blue St. Lawrence River was so beautiful. Please enjoy the photographs that I took, during our hike on Morgan Island, as well as the nature quotations that I applied to each photograph.

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
~John Keats

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
~John Burroughs

“If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water.”
~Loran Eisely

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods…”
~Lord Byron in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

“Go and walk with Nature; thou wilt find
Full many a gem in her enchanted cup.”
~Issac McLellan, Musings

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
~Henry David Thoreau

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.”
~William Hazlitt

My next 1000 Islands Vacation blog post will provide details and photographs from our visit to Jacques Cartier State Park, what we saw at a scenic overlook near Chippewa Bay and our lunch stop at Schermerhorn Harbor in Hammond, NY.

1000 Islands Vacation Day 4: Keewaydin State Park

On Day 4 (Wednesday, June 22) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited four New York State Parks: Keewaydin State Park, Kring Point State Park, Jacques Cartier State Park and Grasse Point State Park.  We also visited the Chippewa Bay area and, later in the evening, downtown Alexandria Bay.

The first park that we visited was Keewaydin State Park. We used our Empire Passport for admission to the state park.  Keewaydin State Park is on the St. Lawrence River and is located a short distance south of Alexandria Bay.  We spent about an hour exploring Keewaydin State Park.

Fishing Dock with a View

Beautifully Maintained Marina

I walked on the wide sidewalk all the way around the marina and reached this beautiful stone staircase.  I climbed the staircase, which took me high above the marina.

The stonework at the marina is gorgeous!

View of Marina Through the Trees

Keewaydin State Park is located on the St. Lawrence River.
Many picturesque water views can be found, while walking in the state park.

In addition to the marina, beautiful stonework can be found elsewhere at the state park.

Stone Gazebo

Bob chose not to walk with me around the marina, opting instead to stay with the car.  Well, when I saw this gazebo, I telephoned Bob and told him there was something he HAD to see.  I directed Bob to a parking lot closer to the gazebo (he was parked at the marina).  Bob was impressed with the beauty of this gazebo, as was I.

It was not only the gazebo, though, that Bob HAD to see.  It was also what could be seen FROM the gazebo.

See the Victorian cottage in the distance, through the gazebo towers?

Bob and I had seen this Victorian cottage on our second day of vacation, during our Uncle Sam’s 2 Nation Boat Tour.

Uncle Sam’s 2 Nation Boat Tour
Victorian Cottage on Comfort Island

I thought it so cool that Keewaydin State Park provided another view of the Comfort Island Victorian cottage.  I knew Bob would feel the same way, and he did.

Comfort Island Cottage
(as seen from Keewaydin State Park)

This cottage was built in 1883 by industrialist Alson E. Clark of Chicago, IL
The Clark family owned the cottage for 130 years.
The cottage was sold in October 2013,
Restoration of the cottage began in May 2014.
Please see the blog “The Restoration of Comfort Island” for more information about this cottage.

This weather vane of a bear holding the sun weighs 700 pounds and is 91 feet in the air!

My next 1000 Islands Vacation blog post will provide details and photographs from our visit to Kring Point State Park.

1000 Islands Vacation Day 3: Tippetts Point Lighthouse

On Day 3 (Tuesday, June 21) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited places south of our home port of Alexandria Bay, NY. So far I have shared blog posts about Rock Island Lighthouse, Wellesley Island State Park, and Clayton, NY.  Today’s blog post, which completes our Day 3 activities, is about our visit to the Tippetts Point Lighthouse.

When we departed Clayton, we made a return trip to the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. I wanted a few sunny day pictures to accompany the picture that I took the previous evening.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
July 20, 2016

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse is located in Cape Vincent, New York.

The lighthouse marks the point where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.

The current lighthouse was built in 1854.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse was first put into operation in 1827.  In 1852 Tibbets Point Lighthouse was determined to be inefficient and long neglected.  Funds were requested to rebuild the lighthouse.  According to information provided on the Lighthouse Friends website, Congress provided $5,000 on March 3, 1853.  The work was completed on July 15, 1854. The following description of the lighthouse was printed in papers:

“The second Fresnel light on the great northern lakes has recently been erected at Tibbett’s Point, Lake Ontario. The shaft is of brick work, 47 feet high, and 12 ½ feet in diameter at the base. The lantern is an octagon, 6 ½ feet in diameter, and 15 feet high, comprising seven lights of French plate glass, 40 by 30, and 3/8ths of an inch in thickness, clear as crystal—the eighth, or remaining side of the octagon, being an iron door.”

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, Keeper’s Dwelling and Fog Signal Building

In 1877, according to the Lighthouse Friends website, it was noted that the “buildings at this station are old, much decayed, and too small to afford proper accommodations for the keepers. This light is at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River from Lake Ontario. It must always be an important aid to navigation and should be rebuilt. It is recommended that an appropriation of $10,000 be made for rebuilding this station.  A new two-story, frame dwelling was built for the station in 1880, replacing the old one…, and in 1882, the brick-work of the tower was rebuilt above the parapet-wall and the tower was provided with a new lantern having a wooden deck covered with copper.  The lighthouse now stood fifty-nine feet tall and tapered from a diameter of twelve feet at its base to eleven feet at the lantern room.”

The fog signal building was built in 1897.  The fog signal building is thirty-six feet long, twenty-two feet wide, thirteen feet tall, and is crowned by a hipped roof.

A second keeper’s dwelling was built in 1907.

The establishment of the fog signal necessitated the requirement for two keepers, along with their families, to staff Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  A new dwelling for the assistant keeper was built in 1907.  Tibbetts Lighthouse no longer requires lighthouse keepers, as the light is now automated.  The visitor center was closed during both of our visits; therefore, I am not certain of the following information.  I believe one keeper’s dwelling is now a hostel, and the other keeper’s dwelling is a museum.

This blog post concludes Day 3 activities.  Please check back often, as I have much more to share about our 1000 Islands Vacation.

 

 

 

 

1000 Islands Vacation Day 3: Clayton, NY

On Day 3 (Tuesday, June 21) of our 1000 Island Vacation we visited places south of our home port of Alexandria Bay, NY.  So far I have shared blog posts about Rock Island Lighthouse and our visit to Wellesley Island State Park.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to Clayton, NY.

From Wellesley Island we drove back over the Thousand Islands Bridge to the quintessential river town of Clayton, NY.  The blue waters of the St. Lawrence River provide a beautiful, soothing backdrop for this picturesque little town.

We ate lunch at Bella’s.

Bella’s Bistro

We seated ourselves on the deck,
at a window table that overlooked the St. Lawrence River.

I ordered a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with a green salad. Bob ordered a Greek Wrap with a green salad. The view was outstanding; our meals were delicious; service was excellent; and the price was OK.

After lunch we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the river.  We walked down Riverside Drive.

James St. & Riverside Dr. intersection
Bella’s Bistro is located on Riverside Dr., to camera left but outside this photograph.

Riverside Drive – Historic District
late 19th century commercial buildings

Riverside Drive
Simon Johnston House, c. 1880
built for local shipbuilder

Looking across Simon Johnston House grounds
to Riverside Drive

This is such a pretty view of Riverside Drive!

Monument Park on Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive
Village Docks and Park

All along the river is comfortable seating that invites one to sit, watch and relax. We walked alongside the boat docks and saw two men, with binoculars, who we believe were keeping an eye on boat traffic originating in Canada.

A short way from the Village Docks is Frink Park.

Frink Park

Frink Park was a former NY Central Railroad Depot and steamer landing.

We continued our walk along the river, past Frink Park.

Riverwalk

As I mentioned earlier, all along the river is comfortable seating that invites one to sit, watch and relax.

Bob is looking at a map, hoping to identify the island across the river.
He was successful in his search and identified the island as Calumet Island.

Calumet Island formerly featured one of the earliest examples of the large castles built in the Thousand Islands region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, of which Boldt Castle in nearby Alexandria Bay is a surviving example.  In 1956 a fire destroyed much of the castle.  Today, all that remains is the water tower (which has been converted to a light house), ice house, power house, skiff house, servant’s house, boat house, and the staircase that led up to the castle.

Water Tower on Calumet Island

In addition to the river views and the lovely architecture of this picturesque town, several murals drew my attention.  The large exterior murals were painted by Kelly Curry.  Each mural is a work of art!

Mural by Kelly Curry

Mural by Kelly Curry

Mural by Kelly Curry

From Clayton we made a return trip to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, located in Cape Vincent.  This second visit to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse will be featured in the next blog post in my 1000 Islands Vacation series.

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