I stood waiting for the ferry, called the “Wolfe Islander III”. It runs hourly trips to and from Wolfe Island for the low cost of: free. The ferry is mostly a way of getting cars across Lake Ontario, but you might see the odd tractor or livestock trailer on the way as well.
You definitely need something more than your two feet to really explore the island. My trusty steed was a bike, but a car, a skateboard, a Segway or a scooter will help you get around and see more of the island. Your cool factor will definitely be affected by the last two options though.
The upper deck was absolutely freezing, but the view was something at least. From the upper deck you get some great views of the Kingston skyline as well as views of the historical buildings at RMC. People much smarter than I sat in their cars with their heat on while I stood out there in the wind. All in the name of adventure right?
Luckily for my freezing fingers, there was a tiny passenger lounge on the first deck of the ship. Spaces like these are where you can really contemplate life and wait out the half-an-hour-long ferry ride.
Hopping off the ferry was a bit of a culture shock for me. It’s hard to believe that this place is only a short boat ride from the parties of Aberdeen. The roads are ideal for cyclists, long, straight and free of cars. Stopping for a couple of minutes on the side of the road, I was taken aback by how quiet everything was, the only sounds were the wind and my breath.
Five minutes into my ride, I heard something on the side of the road and found a herd of cows who didn’t live up to the Island’s hospitality. Wolfe Island is dominated by farms, I passed at least five cattle farms as well as horse ranches and corn fields. Luckily for me there was a wire fence that separated the glaring cow from me and my bike.
After biking for about 20 minutes, I arrived in the town of Marysville, the only settlement on Wolfe Island. It consists of a cool rocky beach, cute restaurants, tea shops and a legendary bakery. People live on the island throughout the year, so the town is always inhabited, though it seemed deserted on the day I was there.
Despite it looking like a sleepy ghost town, there’s surprisingly a lot of things to do. Big Sandy Bay is a major tourist attraction in the summer, a large stretch of beach about a 15-minute drive from the docks. Because it was a Sunday, most of the restaurants were closed, much to the disappointment of my stomach.
Café Tenago is where you can get hot drinks and homemade ice cream. Unfortunately for me, shops don’t really open on Sundays in Marysville.
The legendary Wolfe Island Bakery was also closed for the day. You can find their stand Wednesdays at Union and University selling their homemade baked goods as well as Saturdays at the farmer’s market at Market Square. At this point I was running out of things to do in Marysville, everything seemed to be closed and it seemed like I was the only person walking around in the entire town.
Luckily for me, a nearby hiking group was arranging a tour of the “Old House Museum”, and I jumped at the chance to join them and get inside. Apparently, this is the oldest house on the island and it was taken over by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Cases upon cases of old documents, flags, glass medicine bottles and farm tools decorated the walls. I ventured into the second floor to find a makeshift classroom setup. I had to crouch in the four-foot high room.
I biked around for the rest of the day, following long and straight roads for what felt like hours without seeing a single person but enjoying the sense of freedom that I had. Until another (warmer) day, Wolfe Island.
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