There’s nowhere else like it — and nowhere else its people would rather be.
The St. Lawrence River lures with a siren song that is impossible to resist. So we don’t. We embrace its beauty, its unpredictability, its quiet moments, its adventure and its possibility. It’s a River Rat thing.
It’s not for everyone. The current is swift, the climate often harsh. But for those who live along the shorelines of the St. Lawrence, from southern Ontario to Quebec to northern New York, the landscape isn’t a background to life: it is life. We’ve learned not to live with the challenges — but to love them.
Well-adjusted to the demands of our native or adopted home, the folks of the St. Lawrence communities fashion a life of work and play along the banks. We navigate the waters with confidence and know all of its hidden gems (but still go searching for more treasures).
Most importantly, though, we’re compelled to protect the river, the unique lifestyle it provides, and our fellow River Rats. Lending a hand — to an old friend, a neighbour, a boater in distress, a lost tourist — is simply what we do here.
In the past, people worked two or three jobs to earn a living along the St. Lawrence; if it meant they could stay by the River. The pull is that strong.
Whether their families have been living on the River for generations or they’re first timers here on a fishing trip, the stunning beauty and bountiful wildlife of the St. Lawrence is a magnet that draws people back time and time again.
That’s because there’s only one River. With wild waterscapes that wind past castles, towering pines, granite cliffs, and mighty freighters, there is only one word to describe it: epic. As dramatic as the St. Lawrence is, though, its quiet surprises capture the heart.
They can be as fleeting as a monarch butterfly’s visit to Fairyland Island, a deer emerging from an emerald green forest on Hickory Island, and a rainbow’s colours splashed against a grey sky over Channel Island after a storm.
What a spell the River can cast. All you have to do is watch.
The 775-mile River runs from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but only about 100 miles of it shares the border between Canada and the United States. Here, you’ll find that the people are just as diverse as the wildlife: Canadians, Americans, farmers, millionaires, locals, visitors…
And every one has a story. Or ten. Or a hundred. From hunting, fishing, and trapping tales to smuggling, bootlegging, and outlaw legends to ice storms, floods, and disaster dramas.
The new generation of River Rats grew up on these tales. They flow through us, as do memories of calm, unpredictability, fear, and peace that the river brings. We wake up eager to get out on the water and live more stories of adventure, adversity, serenity, storms, risk, and ample rewards from the River. Come join us!