A Houseboating Holiday – with Your Dog as Guest of Honour

July 28, 2019

A week-long Thousand Islands excursion is a Pawsie’s dream come true.

We’re houseboating through the Thousand Islands National Park, along the American/Canadian border in the St. Lawrence River. After picking up our prebooked floating cottage in Gananoque Ontario, we slowly glide from island to island bringing everything we need with us. The boats have kitchens, beds, showers and flush toilets. We supply everything else.

You won’t need a boating licence either. It’s not required. If it’s your first time steering a watercraft, have no fear. . A map is provided and navigation is reasonably easy. Docking this floating RV though can be a challenge. But there’s usually someone nearby who can help (especially if you’re alongside their boat!). So docking every day, swimming in the inlets and following the trails of MacDonald, Camelot and Georgina Islands are on the agenda. Dogs step out of their floating castle, immediately sniffing the trailside foliage. No car, elevator or crowds around. It’s lovely to see them so blissful.

Victor, Sherri’s dog, is ready for a swim.

Camelot Island is a marvellous dog-hiking option. The perimeter trail with boardwalks and stairs takes an hour or two to stroll. Like all the Parks Canada islands in the area, the trails are well marked, outhouses are clean and well equipped , and dogs are required to stay on a leash. Accessible only by boat, the islands are uncrowded, especially those further away from Gananoque. But there are ticks to worry about, so make sure your dog is protected, even if you think it’s the end of season. At 4°C and higher, ticks are active. So beware.

Boat rentals come with a Canada Parks pass, so you can use any docking point and stay overnight. Beau Rivage Island has campfire facilities with wood for sale.

The stuff you will need to bring is what you’d take to a cottage: towels, sheets, toiletries, groceries, garbage bags, paper towels, pet food, poop bags, harnesses and leashes, and dog life jackets. Pillows and blankets are on the boats and barbecues are gas-fired. Cooking on the deck is fun. Perhaps best of all, you’re on the kind of holiday where your dog is welcomed aboard – even during those sunset dinners on the dock.


Credits : Sherri Telenko
Cover : A stop at one of the Thousand Islands National Park islands, where dogs are fully welcome.


Your cart is empty.