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The River’s Spell

When you talk about The River here in the Thousand Islands, no further explanation is required. Why? Because it might as well be the only one in the world.

We have such a reverence for the St. Lawrence we even have a statue of Saint Lawrence perched over The River between Rockport and Ivy Lea. And of course, we have River Rats (of the human variety) who make The River their home, some spending summers on islands while others remain on the mainland overlooking its shores year-round.

Signs with the words: "If You're Lucky Enough To Be On The River, You're Lucky Enough," "River Runs By" and simply "The River" hang on the walls of cottages.

The St. Lawrence is a majestic and epic waterway but the 50-mile stretch between Cape Vincent and Wolfe Island thru to Brockville and Morristown is breathtakingly beautiful. It wraps around an archipelago of 1,865 islands in two countries.

There's only one River and its waterscapes winding through castles, freighters, towering pines and granite are epic. But I love its quiet surprises, as fleeting as a monarch butterfly's visit to Fairyland Island, a deer emerging from an emerald green forest on Hickory Island and a rainbow's colours splashed against a grey sky over Channel Island after a storm. What a spell the River can cast. Its moments seem eternal. All you have to do is watch.

Enjoy The River, no matter where this holiday season takes you.

All Photographs by Kim Lunman / Island Life Magazine

[Click to enlarge and use arrow keys to proceed through slide show]

This idle canoe finds a lazy spot off The River's shores near Mallorytown.

This deer added a delightful surprise to a tour of Hickory Island near Gananoque.

This monarch butterfly dropped in at the inviting porch of The Folly, a charming summer estate on fabled Fairyland Island near Alexandria Bay.

The enchanting hiking trails on Grenadier Island near Rockport, or as I like to call it, “Greenadier Island.”


This sign hangs on a cottage on Prince Regent Island near Gananoque.

Raymond and Yelisa Pfeiffer, in their century-old St. Lawrence skiff, in the Punts Islands near Gananoque.

By Kim Lunman,

Kim Lunman is the owner/publisher of Island Life Magazine  A profile of the past five years was published in our November 2013 issue of TI Life.  Her company, Thousand Islands Ink, is based in Brockville. Lunman is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Boat U.S. Magazine, Lakeland Boating, Reader's Digest, Globe and Mail, and The National Post

To see all of Kim Lunman’s TI Life articles click here, and to read a more complete biography see our About page.

Please feel free to leave comments about this article using the form below. Comments are moderated and we do not accept comments that contain links. As per our privacy policy, your email address will not be shared and is inaccessible even to us. For general comments, please email the editor.


Wayne Strauss
Comment by: Wayne Strauss ( )
Left at: 10:54 AM Monday, December 16, 2013
This is lovely, Kim; I've been under "the spell" for 56 years. As of right now, my place opens up again in 4 months, 13 days, 13 hours, 6 minutes and 10 seconds!
Kim Lunman
Comment by: Kim Lunman ( )
Left at: 11:29 AM Monday, December 16, 2013
Thank you Wayne! I love the spell of Fineview and Thousand Island Park. What a magical place. Just think soon the days will start getting longer after Dec. 21 and before you know it the River will thaw!
Comment by: Alicia ( )
Left at: 11:00 PM Wednesday, December 18, 2013
There is no other place that I feel such peace. People who have never been don't understand the power of The River.
Rod Rahe
Comment by: Rod Rahe ( )
Left at: 4:57 PM Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Kim- your article reminded me of a favorite children's book- "The Wind and the Willows" and this great quote:
So -- this -- is -- a -- river!
“The River,” corrected the Rat.
And you really live by the river? What a jolly life! By it and with it and on it and in it, said the Rat. It’s brother and sister to me and aunts and company and food and drink, and (naturally) washing. It’s my world and I don’t want any other. What it hasn’t got is not worth having and what it doesn’t know is not work knowing. Lord! The times we’ve had together! Whether in winter or summer, spring or autumn, it’s always got its fun and it’s excitements.”

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