By Dorothy Mitchell — Have you ever wondered what you can do on Amherst Island? I have, and last week I made a visit to this beautiful piece of Lennox & Addington County.
My adventure began with a crossing over North Channel (Lake Ontario) by ferry. The ferry leaves from the Millhaven Dock each hour on the half hour mark. We took the 10:30am ferry, so we arrived at the parking lanes at 10am to make sure we were able to get on. The ferry only takes 30 cars so get there early to avoid disappointment. There is a $10 fee per vehicle, which includes the return trip.
After a short twenty-minute ride to Stella, we were ready to explore Amherst Island.
First we headed out hoping to spot some birds along the eastern edge of the island. You will see lots of birdhouses perched on the fence posts and in the fields. We parked and walked along the beautiful rock lined beach. Be careful getting down the little cliff to start your walk. There are huge rocks perched on the flat rock lined shoreline. You wonder how they ever got there!
We then followed the South Shore Road which gives great views of Lake Ontario and stopped at Lanes End Park for a little picnic. We set up at the one and only picnic table and had lunch. It is the perfect spot of for a picnic. It’s a great place to find flat skipping stones. It is fun to see who can make the stone skip the most times across the water.
After an enjoyable picnic our next destination was to Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area where we hiked the Beach Road Trail. The walking trail is 2.6 km return. It is an easy , flat trail and that runs parallel to the beach and includes an lookout over the wetlands. It’s important to stay on the trail so you don’t disrupt the natural habitat.
It is good to know there is an outhouse and good parking at this site. There is a beautiful sandy beach , however, as you first enter the lake it is rocky but then you quickly reach the sand bottom. It’s a great place for swimming. Be sure to bring your pool noodles and your water shoes.
After a couple of hours it was time to head back to the ferry and join the queue in plenty of time for the 3pm ferry (they depart on-the-hour from the island). Again, make sure you arrive at least thirty minutes early. It will give you time for a stroll over to to see the Dry Stone wall exhibit. It was created to demonstrate the type of stone walls that you will see all over the island as well, as commemorate the gathering of stone wall artists from around the world that was held in 2015.
It was a full day, so we plan to make a return visit to Topsy Farms to see the sheep farm and visit the Wool shed and walk the trails. Also if you love visiting old cemeteries there are many on the island. We’ll also make a point of stopping at the Back Kitchen. I’ve heard the food is delicious.
A trip to Amherst Island is a trip that will delight in many different ways. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did.
About Dorothy Mitchell:
Dorothy grew up in Ajax, Ontario and moved to Napanee in 2016. She loves to hike, bike, kayak and explore beautiful L&A County. She retired in 2009 after 33 years with Canada Post and enjoys travelling with her husband to exotic places around the world.