Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hiking Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands - Wellesley Island State Park
1000 Islands #1000islands

We are pretty sure that almost every time we hike a new trail it becomes our new favorite.  One of the advantages to hiking at Wellesley Island State Park is that there are enough beautiful trails that one could have a new favorite on every visit.  After hiking on Wellesley Island for several years now, we have hiked almost all of the trails in this beautiful State Park. However, we also learned that the park has purchased some more land and is planning to add several more new trails in the near future. One of the features we appreciate about the trail system in addition to the trails themselves is how detailed the trail maps are, and how well marked the trails are. 

There is a delightful variety of habitats to choose from among the different trails so that one can essentially choose your own adventure on each visit (or choose a lot of adventures on the same visit). There are miles of river shoreline, deep woods, wooded wetlands, boardwalk marshes, granite outcrops, and several other features unique to this park. 

There are some fascinating glacial potholes to see on the Eel Bay trail, a seasonal screened Butterfly House, and a seasonal 16 passenger Voyageur Canoe (yes, you read that right - 16 passenger) that offers tours of Eel Bay. 

Also note that like the Otter Creek Trail System, Wellesley Island State Park has a quarter-mile accessible trail that includes access to picnic tables and the butterfly house. In addition to the trails, you should make a point to visit the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center which is essentially a nature museum filled with displays and interesting information for nature lovers of all ages.

It is hard to recommend just one favorite place to start but we love the Pond Loop which is accessed from the lovely Middle Trail, and also the breathtaking views along the Narrows.  

One can choose easy and well groomed trails or venture to a little more challenging hikes with moderate climbs.  But regardless of the path chosen, there is always plenty to see, natural beauty and wildlife to experience at Wellesley Island State Park.

Wellesley Island State Park Update: Well, it happened again. We have a new favorite trail at WISP.  We hiked the East Trail which takes the hiker on one of the most scenic paths we have hiked in the Thousand Islands. 

It is a good workout going up and down hills, with breathtaking overlooks of wetlands and fields, through deep forestlands and ending up at South Bay (and then back to the Nature Center). We figure makes for about a three mile loop, and it is definitely our new favorite!

Link to trail map:
Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve