Wolfe Island, near Kingston, Ontario, is a farming community on it's way to being an energy centre. Wind turbines now dominate the horizon everywhere around the island but it still has a lot for visitors to see and do.
This pleasant island is twenty minutes ferry ride from Kingston -- and the ferry is FREE! It leaves from the dock at Kingston about every hour during the summer and docks at Marysville on the Island about twenty minutes later (see photo below). The schedule is different for winter.
The Island isn't very big, about 40 km long and 10 km wide at the western end, but it still manages to find room for two nine hole golf courses: Alston Moor and Wolfe Island Riverfront. Each course has its own character, Alston Moor is a links course with regulation length holes, greenside bunkers and 'tough roughs'. Players get a view of Kingston and the mainland from the course. Riverside is a groomed course with wide fairways and more manageable roughs. The view from here is out over the St. Lawrence. It may sound like these are easy courses -- not a challenge for a serious golfer -- but remember those windmills... This is a windy place!
For your first visit, a stop at the information centre (the smaller building to the left on this picture) will be a good investment. It's a hundred yards from the dock on the main street of Marysville, the Island's only town.
Marysville was founded in 1858/9 and this building of Kingston area limestone is one of the earliest remaining examples from the period. The fine church whose steeple dominates the town is another.
Grant Allan was Canada's first crime writer and the annual Scene of the Crime festival is held on Wolfe Island (his birthplace and home)in his honour. This mural, at the information centre, shows him 'hard at work' -- this is why I want to be a writer!!
The festival takes place each August and features world-famous writers of crime stories. Each year the festival honours different Canadian mystery writers.
Restaurants are fairly relaxed on the island, as you'd expect from a country place, but they aren't just burgers and fries. Brown's Bay Inn and the General Wolfe Inn, for example, do good food with a reasonable wine list. For live music and a more party atmosphere, the Island Grill in Marysville, is the place to go.
The Information place provides Cycle route maps. There are three that will take you around most of the island.
The longest route, The Foot Loop, is a 58km round trip, out to the eastern end of the island.
The middle route, Button Bay Loop, is 28 km and takes you around the widest part of the island, starting at Maryville on the northern side of the island and reaching Button Bay and Alexandria Point on the south.
The shortest is The Head, a pleasant 18 km ride that leaves Maryville heading due west, taking in views of Kingston, and Simcoe and Horseshoe Islands just offshore.
A word of caution here though, many of the roads aren't paved so take it easy. This photo shows the Llama farm and there's also a Bison farm to see.
Crafts and antiques are also an important part of the Island experience and, again, the Information booth can provide details or this Wolfe Island website.
And finally, Horne's Ferry to the US sails out of Alexandria Point at Button Bay on the southern shore. It's about 15 minutes drive from Marysville, past the bison farm, on a quiet day.
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