planning first trip to thousand islands

JimS123

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When we take the boat, we stay at a waterfront "Motel" right on the river. 2022 price is $85. Not real fancy, but the rooms are clean and restaurants and such are 5 minutes away. The launch ramp is free and dockage is $30 a day, but if you park the boat in the lot it costs nothing extra. Ten minutes to either Clayton or Alex bay by car - 30 minutes by boat.

Two years ago we went to the "Antique Classic Boat Society" (ACBS) World International boat show and left the boat home. Then we stayed in Alex Bay at a waterfront luxury hotel with a view of the Castle. It was $200+ a day. We looked at the waterfront Clayton hotel and it was significantly more.

The low cost motels in either place are on the main highway with no view or water access. It all depends on your needs and how fancy you want to get.
 

matt167

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Were fairly simple. a nice motel would do. It would probably allow an extra day of stay within the same budget
 

aspeck

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Am following this thread because this is definitely on my "bucket list" of places to visit with the boat in tow. Some day ...
 

JimS123

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It totally depends on the day and weather conditions, before going take an update about weather conditions and other safety equipment.
A few days before with my friends, I generally boated between A-Bay and Chippewa Bay. Goose Bay (Kring Point State Park) is nice and protected.
The Narrows, between Fishers Landing and Goose Bay, are the calmest around. Travel a little bit north and the lake of the Isles or Eel Bay are other good spots. In our 32 years of vacations there was never a time that we were afraid to take our little tinny in those places. However, there were times that we couldn't get to the wide water areas around Clayton because of wind and waves.

Over the last 2 years we have not ventured further north because of the crazy Canadian laws. The international border is clearly marked on the charts

The weather up there is just too changeable to be able to plan ahead.

Our last 2 favorite venues required advance reservations and without them they were pretty full or completely full. One place we made the reservation for next year as we were checking out. The other place opened reservations in January and that's when we called them.
 

briangcc

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Here's my report - was up last week...

River is about normal water level. Carry/Use a good nav chart and have a decent GPS/Fish Finder to know where you are in relation to the Canadian border and all will be fine. #78 covers Abay up through Morristown.

Lots of shipping traffic - easily 3-4 freighters per day that we saw/heard.

Black Lake is down easily a foot from where it normally is this time of year - I was still able to launch and boat as normal. Just had to get the rear tires of the truck wet to float the boat off the trailer.

14' tinny should have NO issues launching either location.

Gas prices are up there...easily 0.10-0.15/gal more than my stomping grounds but you're in remote vaca land so its to be expected. Valero's seem to carry the Ethanol free gas, other stations not so much. Watch the pumps carefully as some ARE carrying 88 octane gas which is the 15% ethanol blend.
 

matt167

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I'm not sure if we are making it this year. We may postpone until next year and just do something in the finger lakes this summer
 

briangcc

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If you want another report, let me know as I'll be back up in the area in a few weeks.

Clayton was hosting the Pride of Baltimore II and Theodore the Tug - pretty sure both left for other ports Sun/Mon.

IF you postpone till next year, might I suggest over 7/1-7/4? Watch the Canada Day fireworks across the way (can't miss em honestly), and then the fireworks over Boldt Castle - awesome if you're on the water.
 

matt167

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I think the week of the 4th is our window of where we would be looking actually
 

JimS123

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I'm not sure if we are making it this year. We may postpone until next year and just do something in the finger lakes this summer
We are going up in 2 weeks.....again. It will be our 33rd trip. Not going to "The River" in the Summer is not an option. We have plied the waters in 9 different boats. From tent to camper to cottage to luxury hotel.

I think our most memorable vacation was at the height of Covid. We attended the Antique Classic Boat Society's WORLD Meeting. Our boat was in the show....virtually....LOL. It was the only time we didn't take a boat along.

I guess its obvious what we think of Alex and Clayton.
 

jimmbo

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**Other item to be aware of....the Canadian Border is not marked so be very well aware of where you are. I have heard that in years past that Canadian Border patrol can get a bit porky and have impounded boats that haven't declared properly.
Just trying to keep Illegal Guns and Ammo out of Canada, which includes Canadian Waters
 

briangcc

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Nope. They got porky on the immigration and not declaring being in Canadian waters - regardless of intent (fishing, transit back to US, anchorage, etc). Lots of news stories at the time about it warning boaters to either properly declare/report to nearest immigration port OR avoid the waters.
 

jimmbo

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I remember, a few years back a bunch of American Rafters ending up on the Canadian Shores of the St. Lawrence. There was no Harassment by Canadian Border Services, the Illegals were taken to Hospital for examination, fed, and taken to a US Border Crossing, Had it been reversed, I suspect Homeland Security would still have them in Custody.
 

909

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My girlfriend and I are considering going to the Thousand Islands this summer. Neither of us have been but it's something we both want to do. few days, up to a week.

What is the best way to do a first trip there? I have my little 14' Starcraft but think one or a couple of the Uncle Sam cruises might be better, considering we will want to visit Boldt Castle and other islands

Hotel / Airbnb + Public / Marina launch

Aim for a weekend (long weekend)

2-3 days no commitment

Weekend getaway w/ zero time off work
 
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