Brockville Experiences

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
    • Explore. Play. Stay.

Tours

   

  • Year Round Ready Routes

    • Bridges of the Biosphere

  • Fall/Winter Ready Routes

  • Spring/Summer Ready Routes

    • Defining a Nation - Upriver

    • Defining a Nation- Downriver

    • Drive the High Points

    • Experience Arts East

    • Experience Arts West

    • FAB Signature Tour

    • Five Forest Tour

    • Wild About Water

  • RiverQuest Tours

    • Quest of History

    • Quest of the Gilded Age

    • Quest of the Great Outdoors

  • Cycling

    • Brockville West: Gan Coffee Run

  • Hiking

  • Harvest Festival

With so many rivers and streams on the Frontenac Arch, there are many, many bridges. And with a history that reaches so far back in time, many of the bridges have a unique story and architecture. This tour will let you cross those very fascinating bridges when you come to them! 

Along the way there are of course lots of heritage features, great places for food and refreshment, viewpoints and galleries to explore. Those close to or on the route are shown on your route map. 

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Even in the centuries before Europeans came to North America, the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes were natural boundaries between peoples before they became a boundary between nations. 

Through the 18th and 19th Centuries fortifications on both sides of the St. Lawrence River, from Kingston to Prescott in Canada marked this river corridor and natural boundary as a region that would be tested by the wills and militaries of nations as they sought power over trade and lands.

This tour will take you to the various sites of military installations and conflicts in this upper part of the St. Lawrence, and Thousand Islands. No war is a cause for celebration, but the sites have a tremendous value in learning and remembering their cause and effect.  

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Even in the centuries before Europeans came to North America, the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes were natural boundaries between peoples before they became a boundary between nations. 

Through the 18th and 19th Centuries fortifications on both sides of the St. Lawrence River, from Kingston to Prescott in Canada marked this river corridor and natural boundary as a region that would be tested by the wills and militaries of nations as they sought power over trade and lands.

This tour will take you to the various sites of military installations and conflicts in this upper part of the St. Lawrence, and Thousand Islands. No war is a cause for celebration, but the sites have a tremendous value in learning and remembering their cause and effect.  

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A bird’s eye view of a place you visit always gives you a better perspective. Around the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, there are a few very good high point view points. A couple of these are manmade and very easy to get to; a couple are an easy stroll; and a couple of others involve a good hike.

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See the Frontenac Arch Biosphere through the eyes of artists and artisans. Naturally rich, a history reaching 9,000 years into the past, and a rural charm that has escaped the feverish pace of this century - the Frontenac Arch inspires one of the highest per capita artist populations in Canada. On this tour, find artists at their galleries, in theatres, in their studios and at community hot spots. Note that some locations have business hours listed; others may be by appointment, advising you to call. One needs to be somewhat flexible - consider it a chance to get to know the artists, and art scene of the region. The route will take you off the beaten path, to the laneways leading to where art lives. Immerse yourself in the arts scene. Bring your brushes, have your camera ready. Inspiration awaits around every corner. The tour suggests places along the route where you may find inspiration of your own.

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See the Frontenac Arch Biosphere through the eyes of artists and artisans. Naturally rich, a history reaching 9,000 years into the past, and a rural charm that has escaped the feverish pace of this century - the Frontenac Arch inspires one of the highest per capita artist populations in Canada. On this tour, find artists at their galleries, in theatres, in their studios and at community hot spots. Note that some locations have business hours listed; others may be by appointment, advising you to call. One needs to be somewhat flexible - consider it a chance to get to know the artists, and art scene of the region. The route will take you off the beaten path, to the laneways leading to where art lives. Immerse yourself in the arts scene. Bring your brushes, have your camera ready. Inspiration awaits around every corner. The tour suggests places along the route where you may find inspiration of your own.

Download PDFAdd to Itinerary

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is big. New York City plus tow Torontos would fit inside, with room to spare. It’s half the size of Prince Edward Island—but the FAB programs involve people and communities for twice that area. 

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is very complex. Five forest regions meet here, the geology encompasses a quarter of the age of the planet, and people have lived here for 9,000 years.

Between the size of the region, and its complex story, seeing what it’s all about is more than a day trip—in fact, it may take several days to get an appreciation of why this is one of the most important natural and cultural regions of the planet. This tour is designed to give you a sense of place for FAB: it’s geography, community, environment, local food and arts scene. Other tours on FAB Experiences delve into each topic in much more depth. Enjoy the time it may take, and be sure to introduce yourself to the people you meet, as locals know all the “best spots”. 

Aristotle famously said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Nothing could be closer to the truth for the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

 
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The Frontenac Arch, especially at this midway region between the Canadian Shield and  Adirondack Mountains, has extremely rich natural environments and biodiversity. It was an ideal candidate for a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. 

It’s a classic case of “location, location, location”. The Frontenac Arch connects the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield to the Appalachian forests of the Adirondack and Appalachian Mountains. And here at the centre of the Frontenac Arch, the St. Lawrence Valley links the forests of the Great Lakes and Atlantic Coast. It’s an intersection of major natural migration routes, linking those forest regions. 

Forest types reflect their geology and climate. The Frontenac Arch and the river valley are corridors that link and intermingle them. The geological character of this landscape and the moderating effect of Lake Ontario created the niches and opportunities for the plants and animals more normally found in other geographies to coexist. 

Explore this subtle mix of forests and see the biodiversity first hand. Brockville sits at the eastern edge of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere, and this tour will take you from sandstone plains, to the rugged core of the Frontenac Arch. Wear your hiking shoes; bring along field guides and binoculars if you have them.

 
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Amazingly, 60% of all the lakes on the planet are in Canada. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is a sample of this Canadian fresh water landscape: over 30% of FAB is lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, lakes and bogs. There are near 3,000 islands, and close to 1,000 lakes and ponds in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

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RiverQuest is an initiative created and launched by Brockville’s Aquatarium. It’s focused on one of the most unique destinations in North America, the 1000 Island region of the St. Lawrence River. 

For more information about 1000 Islands RiverQuest, visit www.1000islandsriverquest.com

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RiverQuest is an initiative created and launched by Brockville’s Aquatarium. It’s focused on one of the most unique destinations in North America, the 1000 Island region of the St. Lawrence River. 

For more information about 1000 Islands RiverQuest, visit www.1000islandsriverquest.com

Download PDFAdd to Itinerary

RiverQuest is an initiative created and launched by Brockville’s Aquatarium. It’s focused on one of the most unique destinations in North America, the 1000 Island region of the St. Lawrence River. 

For more information about 1000 Islands RiverQuest, visit www.1000islandsriverquest.com

Download PDFAdd to Itinerary

Trail information: This longer 'out and back' ride starts and ends in downtown Brockville at the parking lot on Water St. adjacent to City Hall and the restaurant Bud's On The Bay. There is a full assortment of services and facilities in Downtown Brockville.

The route out of town follows residential streets to St. Lawrence Park and then turns west onto King St (Cty Rd 2).

Follow County Road 2 for 50 km, passing through Mallorytown (food/facilities at the general store at corner of Cty Rd 4), Escott, Waterton, Rapid Valley (food/facilities at the corner restaurant), past the 1000 Islands Casino, and into Gananoque.

Continue on Cty Rd 2 (now King St) through downtown to the intersection of Stone St (Cty Rd 32), just past which you'll see the town hall on your right, and the Socialist Pig coffee house on your right.  This is our destination.

For the return route out of Gananoque, either retrace King St or turn right (south) onto Stone St and follow it to the end, then picking up the Ontario Waterfront Trail signs to wind through residential areas back to King St just out of the downtown core.

Follow King St (Cty Rd 2) to the 1000 Islands Parkway exit.

From here, either bear right for the 1000 Islands Parkway route, or continue straight on for the Cty Rd 2 route back to Brockville.  See the cautions below regarding the 1000 Islands Parkway.

If following the 1000 Islands Parkway, do not miss the right turn onto Brockmere Cliff Rd, or you'll find yourself on the Hwy 401 on-ramp! For a more detailed description of the 1000 Islands Parkway corridor option, see the St. Lawrence Recreational Trail route.  

Follow Brockmere Cliff Rd to Cty Rd 2, then turn right onto Cty Rd 2 back to Brockville.

Entering Brockville, pass the cemeteries, the Country Club, and St. Lawrence Park before turning right onto Rivers Ave and retracing the residential route to downtown.

Terrain: A few moderate hills.  Generally relaxed terrain (mostly flat).

 

Distance: 52 km each way = 104 km.

Bike Suitability: Paved all the way - suitable for road, touring or hybrid bike.  

Notes and Cautions: As always in this area, exercise caution at railway crossings. It's a double main line with high speed trains in both directions. County Rd 2 between Brockville and the Hwy 401, and between Mallorytown and Gananoque, have no paved shoulders. However, traffic is light. Assert your presence as you cycle far enough from the edge in a straight line to avoid potholes and remain clearly visible to motorists.

The route can also be started/ended in Gananoque, with great coffee and treats available in downtown Brockville at Ogies, Tait's Bakery or Boboli.

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    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
    • Explore. Play. Stay.

Things to Do

   

  • Arts and Culture

    • FAB Artists & Artisans

    • FAB Galleries

    • Libraries

    • Museums

    • Theatre

    • Attractions

    • Antiques, Shoppes & Bookstores

  • Nature and Wildlife

    • World Heritage Sites

    • Parks & Conservation Areas

  • Water Activities

    • Boat Launches & Docks

    • Boat Tours

    • Canoeing

    • Marinas

    • Swimming Areas

    • Outfitters & Guides

  • Paddling

    • Paddle Routes

    • Public Access Points

  • Cycling

    • Countryside Cruising

    • Family & Casual Routes

    • Transit Routes

  • Walking and Hiking

    • Hiking Trails

    • Heritage Walking Tours

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
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Things to See

   

  • Architecture

    • Churches

    • Clock Towers

    • Government Buildings

    • Historic Homes

    • Lodges

    • Metal Shops

    • Schools

    • Shops & Stores

  • Historical Sites

    • Cemeteries

    • Forts

    • Historical Plaques

    • Mills

    • Myths and Legends

    • Railway Sites

  • Water Features

    • Boat Sites

    • Bridges

    • Canal Locks

    • Dams

    • Lighthouses

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
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Places to Eat

   

  • Dining Experiences

    • Restaurants

    • Cafés and Bakeries

  • Farms, Markets and Retail

    • Farms

    • Farmers' Markets

    • Local Food Retailers

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
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Places to Stay

   

  • Accommodations

    • Hotels and Motels

    • Bed & Breakfasts and Inns

    • Camping and Cottages

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
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Community Services

   

  • Transportation

    • Airports

    • Bus

    • Car Rental

    • Carpool Lots

    • Taxi

    • Train

  • Emergency Services

    • Clinic

    • Hospital

  • Health & Medical Services

    • Public Health Units

    • Pharmacy

  • Internet & WiFi

    • WiFi

  • Money & Mail

    • Post Offices

  • Spirits & Beer

    • Beer Stores

    • LCBO

    • Frontenac Arch Biosphere
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Events

  • Educational

  • Family

  • Food & Drink

  • Arts & Culture

  • Historical

  • Sports & Recreation

Help

To begin, choose from the options in the menu bar above – Tours, Things to Do, Things to See, Places to Stay, Places to Eat.

Select form the list of travel interests to the left of the map, and everything you pick will stay on your map during your online visit.

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