Secret Spots

The summer season can be busy on the river

It is not uncommon in the summer to have docking and mooring spots all taken by midday. But what if you want to go on a tour and don’t want to stop until late afternoon? Well, there are some lesser-known spots where you can anchor for the night. So here they are. We’ll start from the west and head east, pointing out some good secluded spots to anchor.

The crew at Houseboat Holidays will explain how to properly anchor your boat.

(We strongly recommend you download the Navionics app if you are going off the beaten trail to anchor. It gives your precise location and precise depths.)

Around Beaurivage

There are docks on Beaurivage but if they are full, you are still not out of luck. On the east side of the island between Lindsay and Beaurivage is a good spot to anchor. You have to be careful because it gets shallow in there (which is why it’s great for anchoring). There is also a good spot on the south side of Beaurivage.

Huckleberry Island, south of Hay Island

Travelling south from Gananoque, there is a channel that takes you around Hay Island and then onto a lane that goes southeast toward the Canadian Middle Channel. Instead of going south of Huckleberry Island, carefully swing around the north side of the island to access the sheltered east side of the island. This is a nice quiet place to stop for the night.

On the east side of Thwartway (Leek) Island

There are mooring cans on Thawartway but if they are all occupied, you still have an option. South of Huckleberry Island, on the northeast side of Thwartway, is another good spot to anchor.

Sugar Island

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of the 1000 Islands is Sugar Island. It is an island owned by the American Canoe Association (ACA) but it is in Canadian waters. It is just south of the Small Craft Route coming out of Gananoque or northeast of Camelot and Endymion. On the south side of the island is a small bay which is perfect for anchoring. Remember: this is a private Island and only members of the ACA are permitted to tie up on the docks on the north side of the island.

Navy Island Anchoring

Look for Stave Island on the chart (map). There are two ways to access this Navy Island cluster: You can approach from the south off the Canadian Middle Channel or from the north from a spur off the Small Craft Channel. There are a couple of places to anchor here: in the channel between Stave Island and Downie Island or north off Downie Island and just a bit west of Mulcaster Island (a 1000 Island National Park island). These spots are a favourite of sailboaters so be sure to be sure to leave room to pivot without hitting another boat.

Hill Island and The Lake of the Isles

Further east still there are some great anchoring spots. You will have passed Constance and Georgina Islands following the Canadian Middle Channel. Hill Island’s northeast side and west of Club Island provides well-protected anchoring.

If you travel a little further east past Club Island and turn southwest, you can find good anchoring on the south side of the Island.

Travelling further southwest you will see what looks like a large bay. This is south of Hill Island. This bay actually leads into a narrow entrance to Lake of the Isles. This is a well-protected spot and ideal for anchoring. You can anchor in the bay before the narrows leading into the Lake or inside the lake on the northeast side. Note that the Canadian/US border runs through this lake so stick to the northeast side if you wish to anchor in Canadian waters.

Always Remember

With the exception of the islands in the 1000 Islands National Park, the islands are private and while you are free to anchor off the shores you are not permitted to embark to the shores. Be respectful of privacy and enjoy your night in the lesser-known spots in the 1000 Islands!