Wellesley Island
Wellesley Island
4.5
About
Wellesley Island is home to a state park, a nature center and museum – with trails taking you through marshland, forest and shoreline – and three golf courses.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles165 reviews
Excellent
94
Very good
57
Average
13
Poor
1
Terrible
0

caribbeantraveler91
Pennsylvania1,290 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
We drove across the bride to check out Wellesley Island. It’s a very small area with few restaurants. They appeared to have some B&B’s and rental properties. Of course it’s on the water; therefore this would be a great place to stay if you’re into fishing or boating. We saw a small playground for kids during our drive. Very quiet area. Seems like a nice vacation area for families. Barely any traffic.
Written August 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BarryKrb
Buffalo, NY31 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
We did not know that Wellesley Island was also residential and that the state park was part of. The experience was poor because this area has seen better days and the signage needs extensive replacing. I'm sure it is a beautiful place but for the little we did see I was not impressed.
Written August 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lee James
Cameron, NY14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Couples
We visited Wellesley Island to check the Island out and have a picnic. I was surprised at the shear beauty. The island is a mix of New York state park and local property owners. There is a shock of the poverty in the area, while riding behind luxurious travel trailers pulled by $50 K pick-up trucks.
Getting to the island requires that you open your wallet for at least $2.50 for the bridge toll. The toll is not covered by the Easy-Pass system like other Thruway expenses. The toll taker at our station was a pretty blond sour-puss that was hard pressed to answer the Easy-Pass question too.
Approaching the apex of the suspension bridge, the view alone was worth the $2.50. The entire St. Lawrence river was visible for several miles. It was "picture postcard perfect", as my Aunt Martha would say.
Our main reason for coming to Wellesley Island was for our picnic lunch. We drove through the Wellesley Island State Park. The park has a small entrance fee unless you have a NY state park pass. There was a variety of places for our picnic lunch from the lawns surrounding the marina and boat launch to trails passing between camping areas into the forest. There are several types of camping areas were available that we toured. Rustic tents, tents next to showers and bathrooms, RV sites with and without hook-ups, and cabins with propane and close to bathrooms. The camping areas had a variety of river views from hidden in the trees but on trails to the river and breath taking views from the tent site. No matter what site was selected, the views could be had by anyone.
There were small grocery/variety stores to supply the forgotten item or milk. If you wanted to keep in touch with the world, there was great cell service and old fashioned newspapers. The marina had pull in areas with fast food including clean bathrooms and Perry's Ice Cream.
For the golfing enthusiast there is a coarse I was told that was challenging. There are pretty big pine trees that would block seeing the street to say nothing about the flag. The kids can go to several areas for classes that sounded like fun to this "big kid". There were notices of activities on large white boards at the fast food sites. The park is very family friendly with many sites with paved side walks. Hiking on dirt trails however showed the budget issues plaguing many state parks. picnic tables are deteriorating with lots of vandalism in out lying areas.
There were many families out biking as well. Other activities included canoeing, boating and swimming. A beautiful sandy beach with lifeguard was available. There is a local diving area located on a finger projecting area adjacent to the marina. Down some primitive trail and a high and deep area was a discouraged diving area with a large rock for sun bathing. I imagine lots of other things happen there too.
Wellesley Island is also home to the Wellesley Island Lighthouse. It is the entrance to the great lake system with large and small boats passing close by. An International Hostel is present at the keepers home. The lighthouse is a functioning part of the Coast Guard system although there is no members present at the site. There is also a gift shop that is the headquarters of the non-profit that is restoring and maintaining the site. The history of the site is quite interesting and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The telescope alone is worth the trip. The telescope has sites clearly marked. While I was there I saw a vague stick at the horizon but with the telescope I watched a very large sailboat come and pass into the seaway. It was beautiful.
While I was on Wellesley Island for just the afternoon, I was impressed with the community commitment to maintaining the area's historic gifts. These folks are incredibly friendly and willing to share their knowledge about the sites and the area in general.
I couldn't give the island a five since there were needs for improvement to trails, signs and conditions due to the economy's impact on funding repairs and improvements for the handicapped and and very small children/infants.Issues such as changing stations and the lack of things such as first aid stations, public telephones (cells do die at the worst times) and obvious and dangerous trees that should be removed to protect roads and trails (many due to the pine tree beetle). I will return to this beautiful island in the future and look forward to seeing this beauty once again.
Written July 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dalem650
Clayton, NY32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
Wellesley Island is the 2nd largest of the 1,000 Islands. It is accessed by a large suspension bridge. A unique feature feature of the island is there is a lake within the island and small islands in the lake. The island hosts golf courses, a fabulous state park and campground. Be sure to take a slow drive through the Victorian community of T.I. Park at the west end of the island. It's easy to spend an entire day exploring Wellesley.
Written January 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne R
21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Family
There are actually two state park campgrounds on Wellesley Island. The huge Wellesley Island State Park has all the bells and whistles of a large campground with over 400 campsites and several cabins and cottages. About three miles down the road, on the other side of the island, is the much smaller Dewolf Point State Park.
My family stayed a few nights in one of the cabins at Dewolf. The campground has just 14 cabins and 14 campsites. It is located right off busy route 81. There are trees that separate the campground from the highway, but in most of the campground there is definite traffic noise.
The cabins are basic and feature three "rooms". They are separate areas, but there are no doors between the spaces. Our cabin had two bunk beds and a table with 4 chairs. In the kitchen area there was a long shelf with a microwave. It also had a fridge. There was also an odd porch-like room with a cement floor and a second, smaller table.
Overall it was functional, but the cabins are a bit dated. It was nice to have the kitchen area separate from the rest of the cabin. Our cabin was close to our neighbor. They were very friendly, but it was a bit awkward when it came time for the campfire. Their fire ring was about 15 feet away. Not all cabins are so close.
The bathroom building is a bit unique here. It is one long rectangular building with 8 individual rooms. These rooms are unisex and each has a toilet and shower. It provided a lot of unexpected privacy. Each individual bathroom space is quite large and clean and the building looks fairly new.
Water access at this campground is on the Lake of the Isles portion of the St Lawrence River. It is very calm and we saw lots of folks in kayaks and canoes. We didn't have a boat, but the fishing from the shore was excellent in the early morning. We saw a few catch large bass right at the campground marina. My young son didn't get a big one, but was quite happy to catch a ton of small pan fish.
There is no official swimming at the campground, but you can use the beach at Wellesley State Park for no charge. There is also an awesome olympic-size pool back over the bridge on the mainland at Keewaydin Point State Park. It's about 8 miles away.
I would not recommend the cabins for anyone with small children. All are on rocky soil and several are close to a drop off to the water. Some the of the farther cabins are quite a distance from the one bathhouse. Plus all the cabins are on a bit of an incline.The campsites however are level. There is also no playground or swimming here so families might better enjoy camping at Wellesley State Park.
Our cabin had a access to the shore down a steep hill. A bit hard to get to, but it was a lovely, private area. We spent quite a bit of time down there.
I would recommend this campground to those who want something smaller and quiet. Two cabins in particular have spectacular water views. Cabin 1 is located right next to the marina and is on its own rocky point into the water. Cabin 14 has a wonderful private view of the water, but it is very difficult to get to. You have to park several feet away and walk down a path and a flight of stairs to get to cabin. No pulling your vehicle right next to the cabin. If you can do the work, it's a great spot!
Overall these cabins give you a very different experience from the Eel Bay cottages at Wellesley State Park. Those cottages are amazing with everything included and your own private bathroom. However, there is no water access. You have to drive somewhere else in the park to get to the water. At Dewolf, everything is very basic but you get wonderful water access just steps from your cabin.
Written July 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sightseer11791
syracuse, new york1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Very nice but a little tame. T.I. Park is beautiful w/great homes but could use more restoration and better restaurants. Tennis Island is a beautiful spot but needs a better restaurant with better hours. The Thousand Island Yacht Club needs to be sold to someone who cares about the area, history, architecture and the visitors beyond just a cash cow and status of ownership. The food is poor to average. The service is mediocre at best. The bar is small and gets crowded. There should be some decorum as we do not need to see sun wrinkled boat cleaner girls; drunk and flashing their thongs while being loud and obnoxious.
Management? The business hours are not user friendly to boaters or visitors who come off the water late. The building is in serious need of repair. I do notice some improvement but it needs more. The white patio furniture needs to go as it is always dirty and a darker color would be good. Flowers; where are they? Umbrellas? The marina is okay.
The golf course is fine although not too challenging. The area has potential for someone who cares. One could do it right and still crank a profit as it would attract even more people.
Written June 28, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Libtrav
Slippery Rock, PA27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
We just finished a week-long stay in cottage E, which served us well as a home base for visiting the 1000 islands area. The cottage was simple, but had all we needed for our stay. The entrance to the cabin is through a screen porch that faces the bay; while we could see the water from the porch and cottage, the view is partially obscured by brush and trees. The kitchen was equipped sufficiently to cook and serve simple meals, the living area included a sofa, chair, and propane fireplace. The bathroom appointments reminded me of campground bathhouses I've used when tent camping: a pedestal sink and small shower--it could use more counter space. As for the mattresses, imagine summer camp bunkhouses. The cottage was clean enough, and was stocked with bath and kitchen towels, dish soap, and bar soap. You can exchange towels during your stay if you need more. Outside you'll find a fire pit and picnic table. I read the review below that mentioned a problem with mice in one of the other cabins and was concerned, but we saw absolutely no evidence of a similar problem in our cottage.
If you like to hike, you can easily walk from the cottages to the park's nature center, which is starting point for many of the park's trails. We especially enjoyed the large loop that started with the Eel Bay Trail and ended up on the East Trail. We also enjoyed walking around neighboring 1000 Islands Park.
Written June 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kiara K
Columbus, OH20 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Family
This is a big state park with over 400 sites. We were there during the week and it was at least 50% filled. Most people are respectful and not super loud or rowdy, which can not always be said for a state park. the bathrooms were surprisingly clean and very nice. There is a nature center about 3 or 4 miles away from the park (a long walk, a do-able bike ride) which is worth a visit. We enjoyed the butterfly garden, the hike up a large cliff (good for hikers), and paying to canoe in a large 20+ canoe that the park owns. The canoe rides go every week day around 9am...but you need to register ahead of time!

Another highlight of the park is beautiful beach. A 10-15 minute walk from any site in the park...so bring a bike if you don't have a car. There is soft sand and it is very close to the park store if you need a refreshment, or (like us) get caught in a summer storm. The beach is only open from 11am-6:45pm so don't expect to swim until dark!

The last highlight of the park is the marina. It has a nice bathroom nearby, cliffs were people (shouldn't) jump into the water, and plenty of big fish that can be seen right from the dock. We don't own a boat, but Clayton Island boat tours comes twice a day for a 3 hour tour that shows off the islands and takes you to boldt castle. The boat ride itself is $18 for adults (the castle is $8) but it is well worth it. Andy was our guide, and he has lived in the islands forever, and makes it well worth your dollar. I am so glad the boat tour comes to the state park to pick up people, because plenty of people do not own a boat, and don't want to drive to a mainland town to catch a boat.

I can't give this place 5 stars because it is simply too big. The beach, the nature center, the store, is all quite a distance away from the sites, and I walk a ton. But when you are in beach shoes, or wet, it can feel like the distance is forever. Because of this, people used the boat launch near own campsite as a beach. People sat out on floatation devices because the ground is too rocky. This may seem fine, but in the state of NY no one is to be swimming without a life guard present. Then you have to realize that is is boat launch, and it is really just unsafe for people to swim there. There was next to no supervision from the park over rule breaking...and they seem to turn a blind eye to it simply because the park is sooo big. People made tent cities on their site (when the rule is just 2 tents a site) and took over the boat dock as their own private swim area. People think they are entitled to this since they registered 9 months in advance for their sites, but they still need to follow to the rules.

Anyway, this state park was great and I hope you get the chance to go there!
Written July 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoeSetta
Rochester, NY80 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011
We went to Alex Bay for Pirates Weekend and took our RV to the State Park. The park was at capacity, it's such a popular weekend. The camping experience wasn't very pleasant. The sounds of the campers on the other side of the road traveled straight across to our site, so we were entertained by the young couple tenting across from us -- their camp fire smoke, music and conversation until well past midnight. They weren't doing anything unreasonable, but because of the way the sites are set up, anything they said, we could hear. Many of the camp sites were under a fully tree covered area and the smoke from those camp fires stayed under the canopy-- try to find a spot that's not in one of those areas. There are some great spots near the water; the full electric sites though are out in the open, only a few with shade.

You will find lots of kids here, unfortunately many are unattended in the play areas and on the roads. They have a nice play area for little kids (3-8 or so) but it had too many teenagers doing dangerous stunts around those little kids. If you let your kids go over there, go with them. The beach is small, but the area around it is pleasant; the recreation barn has some older arcade games, a pool table and ping pong. Again, more kids, no parents.

If you want to anywhere for dinner, you'll have to go back over the bridge to Alex Bay. There are a couple small diner-type restaurants near the campgrounds if you want something simple. The bridge toll is $2.50 to go to the island, no charge on the way back.
Written November 1, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Exploration10849
Rochester, NY1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Many of the previous posters complaints are resolved with the new management at the Wellesley Hotel restaurant in Thousand Island Park - it's super in all respects, including the food, service, and atmosphere.
Written July 14, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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