Does Rockport Sleep in Winter?


From huge, home-made skating rinks on the mighty St. Lawrence River, to ice-encrusted fishing holes in the many bays, to sleek airboats gliding across those bays to ‘neighbours’ living on outer islands. The Rockport area has much to offer the winter resident or visitor.

Sculpting out a skating surface and then continuing to maintain and manicure it as a gathering spot for friends and family to play shinny, do some curling or bring children to skate is one of the favourite winter pastimes in Rockport and area. An annual ‘big skate’ is always planned with a large bonfire, snow sports such as snolf ( a short golf course set out in the snow), a hockey game, followed by a house party and fireworks.

Ice fishing is another favourite winter activity. Local ‘river rats’ venture out in airboats or on snow machines to the spots they know are sure to have plenty of fish…cut a hole in the ice, build a fire on the ice and sit back with a libation for a leisurely afternoon in the sun to await the supper catch…or the supply for the fishfry promised for that skate party.

Winter river mode of transportation is usually snowmobile, but more and more airboats are being seen on the river. This method of winter river travel, although noisy and requiring earmuffs, is definitely the most luxurious. An airboat can skip over the ice and snow or glide easily into a watery spot if necessary. There’s no worry if an airboat breaks through the ice.

In many spots the ice on this river can be as thick as four feet so for those interested in cross country skiing or snowshoeing, there is another method of travel and a way to explore many of the over 1000 islands if one so desires.

Rockport also offers a well-attended winter carnival every February and an historic tavern, Cornwall’s Pub, right on the water’s edge. So if you’re looking for a unique winter destination, why not try Rockport…in the heart of the Thousand Islands.

Rockport DOES NOT sleep!