If you’ve ever been to Kingston, Ontario, you’ve probably looked across the harbour to Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island is the largest of the 1000 Islands, and located in Lake Ontario, Canada. It’s quaint and cute and easily accessible from city hub of Kingston. Kingston itself has lots going on, but if it’s a sunny day, hop on the free Wolfe Island Ferry (aptly named the Wolfe Islander III) and check out the island.
The ferry holds about 330 walk or bike-on passengers, and 55 cars. There can be quite a queue if you plan to drive on, so you may choose to arrive early to guarantee a car spot. The ferry has no cost though, and you don’t have to reserve in advance.
Try to choose a fair day to enjoy lovely journey across Lake Ontario. You’ll get great views of Fort Henry, the LaSalle Causeway, and the city skyline. You also get a chance to physically zoom in on the wind turbines often visible from downtown Kingston.
The island was a gem – home to Wolfe Island Bakery (have a cinnamon stick!), Wolfe Island Grill, a public library branch, and a beautiful Catholic Church. We only got to explore a small section of the island, really just the main drag from the general store to the church, and in the other direction from the ferry dock to Cycle Wolfe Island bike rentals, and in part this was due to a lack of transportation.
I would recommend renting or bringing a bicycle to expand the area you are able to explore, and I would even consider bringing a car sometime in order to see some of the beaches and sights that are further away from the ferry dock.
Wolfe Island Ferry Details
Departure: Kingston Waterfront, Ontario Street, on the block between the Shell Station and the K-Rock Centre.
Arrival: Wolfe Island Ferry Dock
Travel Time: 20 minutes
Departure times: Every hour, but not ON the hour. Check out the schedule here for departure times from both the mainland, and the island
Restrictions: Only 55 car spots are available, so plan accordingly. Bike racks are available if you want to take your two wheels over. I didn’t have any trouble getting a spot – in fact, I literally walked right on. But I imagine in the heat of summer this is a popular activity, and it could be rather crowded.
Logistics: Almost none. We walked from the other side of downtown to the terminal in under 15 minutes, and wandered on to the boat. Watch out for traffic on the mainland side, but really it’s surprisingly easy, in comparison to other ferry rides. For those with mobility needs or young children, you might want to arrive early. There seemed to be limited seating on the top deck.
*Definitely wear sunscreen!* I did not do this, and that was dumb. 20 minutes on the water plus the wait on either side = definitely enough time for a serious burn!