If you have never visited the Thousand Islands Region of the state, you are really missing out on one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the area. The islands are tiny shining jewels, capped with magnificent pines and glittering streaks of granite that are scattered across the sapphire surface of the river. The unique homes and boathouses run the gamut from priceless historical castles (not one, but 2) to small shacks built for those who just long to enjoy the river’s natural beauty.
The Antique Boat museum in Clayton, New York is a treasure in and of itself. Filled to the hilt with classic wooden boats, a gorgeous landscape and even a 106 foot, fully furnished houseboat, the museum is a great place to spend an afternoon and learn about the North American Watercraft.
The museum also features 45 minute speedboat rides that depart every hour on the hour through the summer, and only cost a mere $25 per person. For Father’s Day this year, I promised my Dad I would treat him to one of these speedboat rides and this past weekend, I finally made good on my promise.
We made a quick reservation and arrived about 15 minutes before we were slated to leave. Our boat was a 1990’s replica of a 1920’s era triple cockpit runabout made of smooth, glossy mahogany. The Captain was extremely knowledgable and friendly, and gave us a guided tour around the Grindstone / Round Island area that lasted almost an hour. Riding along the river with a guide is a great way to learn about and see things you never knew existed. Our guide pointed out interesting and historical landmarks and gave us the background on some of the most interesting places in the area, like the “steamboat house” and a shipwreck off of Rock Island. The ride totally made my top ten list of the most fun ways to spend a Saturday, and judging by the huge smile on my Dad’s face, the present was a great success.
Open May through October, the Antique Boat Museum offers boat building classes, boat shows, regattas, programs, events and even activities for the kids. To learn more, visit their website: http://www.abm.org/