Known as the “Limestone City” for the 19th-century architecture that dominates the downtown landscape, Kingston is far more than its reputation as a haven for history buffs. Nestled at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the lush forests and scenic waterways.
History on Parade
Whether it’s firing a muzzle-loading rifle, taking a guided tour from a costumed re-enactor or receiving a lesson in a Victorian-era classroom, history comes to life in new and engaging ways at Fort Henry, a one-of-a-kind museum that honors Kingston’s legacy as a strategic outpost during the 19th-century. It’s worth timing your visit to see the daily garrison parades that feature powerful artillery and infantry drills.
Setting Sail on Lake and River
Largely accessible only by boat, Thousand Islands National Park lies just east of Kingston in the St. Lawrence River. Consisting of islands of varying shape and size along with three mainland sections, the park is perfect for paddlers looking to explore serene inlets, rocky cliffs and towering pine forests. Some of the islands are among the most biologically diverse settings in Canada. Powerboat, canoe and kayak tours of the singular park are easily arranged along the Kingston waterfront. Fishing is another popular pastime, and anglers looking to break their personal records are in for a treat. Whether you launch your own boat or hire a charter, you can cast for trophy-size northern pike, muskie and largemouth bass.
Hike on Ontario Trails
Head to Lake Ontario Park just west of downtown for relaxing lakefront paths, picnic areas, a beach and boat launch before continuing to the city’s Marshland Conservation Area, where the Rideau Trail meanders through a wetland area teeming with wildlife. Both parks are perfect for birdwatchers as well as casual hikes. A bit farther afield, the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area boasts miles of hiking trails.
For More Information
Kingston Tourist Information Office