It is difficult to keep the Nimble Hiker “nimble” in the flat terrain of northern New York. But some research revealed a hiking trail along the shore of the St. Lawrence River on nearby Wellesley Island. So one day last week we crossed the Thousand Island Bridge to check out the hike.
If you have a fear of high spans this bridge is not for you. It’s a bit steep with only two lanes and no shoulder.
Once on the island we headed for the nature center in the Thousand Island State Park where the trail begins.
While its not like hiking the Rockies, there is some rock scrambling to this trail . . .
. . . and even some slick rock along the way.
At many spots there are great views of the river and some of the nearby islands
At one point we came upon what are called Glacier Potholes. The holes were created by retreating glaciers, but no one is exactly sure how. The one pictured below is three feet wide and fifteen feet deep.
As we approached a channel between Wellesley and another nearby island called the Narrows, we watched many boats of all sizes entering or leaving the channel.
At the top of a rise we found a great view of the Narrows with a Clayton Island Tours boat navigating the channel. This is the same tour we took earlier in the week.
The Narrows provided a great spot for “lunch with a view.”
We continued following the trail around the island. At one point it went down a steep grade into a ravine . . .
. . . and back up the other side.
More great views of the river and nearby islands continued to appear along the trail.
The water of the St. Lawrence is almost perfectly clear. The tree pictured below is completely submerged, but easily visible. The clear water is the result of the Zebra Mussel, an invasive species that first appeared in the river and the Great Lakes in 1988. While Zebra Mussels do filter the water, they are considered invasive because they disrupt the ecosystems and damage harbors and waterways, ships and boats, and water treatment and power plants. Water treatment plants are most affected because the water intakes bring the microscopic free-swimming larvae directly into the facilities. The Zebra Mussels also cling on to pipes under the water and clog them.
After about three miles the trail turns inland. Along the trail we saw evidence of beaver activity on many trees.
Approaching the end of the trail, we crossed a large wetland area.
Soon we were back at the nature center after hiking almost five miles. After all the great hiking we did the past year out west it felt good to get “back on the trail” for a while. We are soon leaving the Thousand Islands and moving to our former home town of York, PA for a long visit, so we plan to check out some hiking in that area.
More on that later . . .