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A Bird’s Eye View of the 1000 Islands

Written by on May 21, 2015 in One in The Thousand
1000 Islands Helicopter Tours for Island Life Magazine

Kim Lunman, owner and publisher of Island Life Magazine, takes readers on an aerial photographic tour of the 1000 Islands aboard 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours for Island Life Magazine 2015.


There’s a new way to explore the 1000 Islands: By sky. 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours offers sightseeing flights above the St. Lawrence River to experience this amazing archipelago.

Located in Gananoque, “the Gateway to the 1000 Islands,” 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours is literally taking tourism in the region to new heights. Within seconds of taking off, the helicopter ride takes you above the River offering a panoramic view of the islands in the Admiralty and Lake Fleet Groups.

It’s an incredible way to discover the 1000 Islands. Seeing them by boat is spectacular enough. But seeing this unique water world by air is truly breathtaking. “People are just mesmerized by what they see,” said Ewelina Sobala,” Sales and Marketing Director for 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours. “They are in awe of the beauty.”

On a clear day, you can get a bird’s eye view the 1000 Islands International Bridge at Ivy Lea, castles, cottages, boats and hundreds of the 1,864 islands between Kingston and Cape Vincent and Brockville and Morristown.  Dave Kouri, the owner and president of Kouri’s Kopters Inc., started 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours at its heliport in Gananoque last year. Kouri’s Kopters Inc. had operated out of Kingston since 2008 but relocated to its new location last year in the heart of the 1000 Islands to expand its tours in the world-famous region.

Red Top Island - Island Life Magazine.

Red Top Island is home to a century-old cottage near Gananoque aptly named after its bright red roof featuring a captain’s walk.

Tourists from as far as China, France, Belgium, England and India as well as local residents  are experiencing the area by air through 1000 Islands Helicopters Tours. There are three tours offered. There’s a 1000 Islands tour that showcases the unspoiled beauty of 1000 Islands Parks, town of Gananoque and the 1000 Islands International Bridge for $99 per person. A Boldt Castle tour takes you above Heart Island’s opulent Boldt Castle built on the heart-shaped island near Alexandria Bay for $149 per person. The Two Castle Tour for $199 per person takes you above both Boldt Castle and Dark Island’s Singer Castle near Chippewa Bay. The castles, both major tourism attractions accessible by private boats and boat tours, were both built during the region’s Gilded Age in the early 1900s. George C. Boldt famously halted construction on the 120-room castle in 1904 after his wife Louise died suddenly. Frederick Bourne, a president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, built his castle as a 28-room hunting and fishing lodge. Unlike Boldt’s unfinished dream, Bourne’s River retreat is the only remaining lived-in castle in the 1000 Islands, remaining in his family until 1961.

Polaris Island - Island Life Magazine

Polaris Island is a stunning private summer estate in the Admiralty Group near Gananoque.

Gananoque is a vibrant coastal community with the 1000 Islands at its doorstep. Its name is an aboriginal term meaning “town of two Rivers,” where the Gananoque River meets the mighty St. Lawrence. Brennan Custom Homes is currently revitalizing the town’s waterfront with a new residential townhome and condominium project located on the town’s riverwalk. Riverstone is located in Gananoque’s Lowertown neighbourhood on the River close to world-class boating, shops, the 1000 Islands Playhouse, and restaurants including the renowned Riva Restaurant and the Ivy Lea Club as well as the Socialist Pig. The Riverstone project touts the 1000 Islands as a “hidden gem.”

A helicopter ride above Gananoque transports you above this historic town’s charm and natural beauty of the islands that lie beyond its shores in moments. 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours is a year-round business with custom charter flights during the winter months as well. Ice fishing excursions were available this past year with flights to fishing huts on Lake Ontario. Some passengers have taken advantage of the romantic setting to propose while hovering over Boldt Castle’s Heart Island, a popular wedding destination. “The possibilities are endless,” said Sobala, noting local residents take charter flights as a taxi service to Toronto and elsewhere or for the opportunity to take aerial photography of island and waterfront properties. For more information visit or call 1-855-855-HELI-(4354).

Carleton Island - Island Life Magazine

The Lost Channel near Ivy Lea.


Heart Island - Island Life Magazine

A ship passes Heart Island’s Boldt Castle near Alexandria Bay N.Y. The 120-room castle is open as a tourism attraction between May and October.