Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Autumn in the Thousand Islands

It’s the time of the year when Thousand Islands cottage dwellers close up their summer homes and say goodbye to the St. Lawrence River. While there are still the year-rounders who enjoy the crisp air and autumn beauty, they are few. Yet, the autumn colors in the area are simply spectacular and not to be missed!

Historically, people like the Bournes who built Singer Castle (then called The Towers) on Dark Island, the Emerys who built Calumet Castle on Calumet Island, and the Pullmans who built Castle Rest on Pullman Island, would often visit the islands in the fall, often to hunt and fish. The Bournes even had a duck blind on a separate nearby island.

Yet, I suspect, many of the Gilded Age families returned to enjoy the autumn colors on the St. Lawrence River in their beloved Thousand Islands. The grand cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and others simply couldn’t provide the abundance, wide-range, and intensely beautiful autumn scenery the area offered them.

Leaf peeping in the Thousand Islands is a memorable experience. The densely deciduous forests along the river and on the islands turn vibrant, awe-inspiring colors. Leaves fall into the water and paint an unforgettable tapestry. Bright reds, oranges, and yellows dot the landscape, with more subtle hues of pinks, purples, and peach filling in the autumn color wheel. If you haven’t been to New England in the fall, you won’t regret adding it to your bucket list.

But why is it so beautiful here? Cooler temperatures in late summer combined with plenty of sunshine, often leads to brighter colors. But freezing can kill the leaves prematurely. As you’ll recall from your biology classes, photosynthesis breaks down chlorophyll, yellow pigments in the leaves become visible, and the leaves lose their green color. Reds and purples come from the sugars trapped in the leaves.

Ideally, an early moist growing season, a dry late summer, and a sunny, warm fall with cool nights, create the most stunning colors of the autumn season. And here, along the St. Lawrence River, this is often the case.

The St. Lawrence River autumn usually peaks around the first of October, reflecting these colors on its clear water and multiplying the breathtaking scenery. You can take boat cruises around the color-bursting islands until mid-October to see for yourself. Though timing can vary from year to year due to weather and the increasing length of nights, you won’t want to miss it—at least one time in your life.

About Reagan’s Reward:

Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family and tending to eight-year-old mischievous boys brings trouble galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. When he tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, her insecurities mount as her confidence is shaken―especially when she crosses the faith divide and when Etta Damsky makes her life miserable. As trouble brews, Daniel sees another side of the woman he’s come to love.

Finalist in the 2020 Selah Awards, Reagan's Reward will touch your heart.

About Susan:

Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books.

Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma, and Katelyn’s Choice have each won multiple awards, and book three, Peyton’s Promise, comes out May 2022 with Rachel’s Reunion in November. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise, and Reagan’s Reward, are also award winners.  

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children's picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.


  1. Thank you for your post this morning! I bet that boat ride is amazing! I was born in Vermont so I well know the beautiful, almost fluorescent colors that the leaves can achieve in a good foliage year.

    1. It is, and if you haven't read my stories yet, check them all out at www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction