Leave your vehicle in Kingston and walk or cycle on the Wolfe Island ferry this summer. That’s the main message of the Ferry by Foot campaign being spearheaded by Frontenac County.
Wolfe Island welcomes thousands of visitors in the summertime, which often means there are more vehicles waiting to get on the ferry than it can actually carry at one time. During peak periods in the summertime, travellers going to Wolfe Island in their vehicle have to arrive and join the line-up well in advance of the ferry they actually want to take.
“Most days pedestrians and cyclists can arrive at the ferry dock just a few minutes ahead of the ferry they want to board,” said Alison Vandervelde, Community Development Officer at the County of Frontenac. “That obviously makes for a nicer trip than starting and ending your day by spending an hour or more waiting for the ferry in your car. The only exception is when large events are going on, like the Wolfe Island Music Festival. I would recommend planning ahead on those days,” Vandervelde said.
The Ferry by Foot campaign is intended to make visitors aware of how easy it is to visit Wolfe Island without their vehicle. The campaign includes a number of initiatives:
- The Wolfe Island Visitor Guide includes all the information a visitor needs to plan ahead for a wonderful trip to the island. The map of Marysville, business listing, and calendar of events will be especially useful to first time visitors. Guides are available at the downtown Kingston Visitor Experience Centre, and at the Wolfe Island Visitor Information Centre. It can also be downloaded at www.VisitWolfeIsland.ca.
- A free shuttle bus will transport visitors to Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday Monday through July and August. Visitors to the island’s biggest summertime attraction are encouraged to leave their vehicles in Kingston, walk on the ferry, and catch the shuttle bus at Town Hall. The shuttle is a standard school bus. It is not accessible, and cannot accommodate pets or bicycles. Passengers are allowed to bring strollers, wagons and coolers if they can get them on and off the bus by themselves. See www.VisitWolfeIsland.ca for the full shuttle schedule.
- Signage featuring the “walk on, wait less” message will soon be installed at the Kingston ferry dock in order to inform visitors about nearby parking options, and help them understand just how walkable the village of Marysville is.
- A robust social media campaign will regularly direct visitors to find more content on www.VisitWolfeIsland.ca so they can make good decisions when planning their trip to the island.
The Ferry by Foot program was identified as a priority in Frontenac County’s successful grant application to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Rural Economic Development Fund in 2016. The Big Sandy Bay shuttle bus is being supported through Regional Tourism Organization 9’s Tourism Partnership Program and with contributions from the Kingston Accommodation Partners and Tourism Kingston.
Communications Officer, County of Frontenac – Corporate Services