Disclosure: This article may save affiliate links. We will make a small commission native these links if you order something in ~ no added cost come you.

You are watching: Boldt castle, heart island, ny


The thousand Island region of the St. Lawrence flow is well-known for its plenty of incredible exclusive island homes, but couple of are as well known together Boldt Castle.

Boldt lock is situated on heart Island just a quick distance from Alexandria Bay, brand-new York. In fact, this castle can be seen fairly well indigenous this riverfront community.

However, while this castle is very impressive and looks fit because that a king, that was never lived in and for many years sat abandoned. That’s since the story the Boldt Castle is among love and also heartache that renders the website significantly an ext remarkable.

*
*
Boldt castle is designed to look favor a castle along the Rhine flow in Germany.

George Boldt, manager of the Waldorf-Astoria in brand-new York City and also the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia purchase Hart Island in ~ the turn of the 20th century. For a while, Boldt, his wife Louise, and also their two youngsters lived in a home that was located on the island once they to buy it.

Soon, however, Boldt made decision to construct an superior castle, similar to those discovered along the Rhine river in present-day Germany. The castle was to it is in a monument come his love for his wife, and also the structure incorporated numerous hearts in that design.

In fact, Boldt also went for this reason far regarding blast the island to provide it a heart form and changed its surname from Hart Island to heart Island.

*
*
A close-up that the height of Boldt Castle.

However, in January 1904, simply one month prior to Boldt was going to existing this brand-new home come Louise, she passed away in brand-new York City. Heartbroken, George Boldt said the workers to stop, and also the castle satellite abandoned for plenty of years and also was never ever completed.

Eventually, the island to be sold, and tours the the castle were available over the years. However, without protection from the elements, the castle started to deteriorate. Fortunately, in the 1970s, the thousands Islands bridge Authority took ownership of the castle and both kept it and also worked in the direction of restoring that is grandeur.

Today, Boldt Castle is among the most influential landmarks that the thousand Islands region and a must-visit location while in the area.

*
*
The key dock on love Island.

While Boldt lock sits close come Alexandria just in Jefferson County, new York, the is located on an island, which way that it must be accessed by a boat. While over there are framework for private watercrafts to dock in ~ the island, most visitors opt to reach heart Island via one of the watercraft tour operators in the region.

The closest watercraft tours space run through Uncle Sam watercraft Tours. They offer both shuttles that operation throughout the day on the quick trip come the castle from Alexandria Bay, also as much more extensive tourism of the region that encompass a avoid at the island.

*
*
Uncle Sam boat Tours offers regular shuttles come Boldt lock from Alexandria Bay.

Once in ~ the island, tickets give visitors the chance to take it a self-guided tour of the grounds and a small portion of this 120-room castle.

To start my tour, I determined to head very first for the castle. This may or might not be the best decision depending on the variety of boats that have actually recently docked in ~ the island. Despite its place in the middle of the river, hundreds (if no thousands) of tourist visit the island daily, so points can acquire quite crowded.

It may be best to wait a few minutes before starting your tourism so you have the right to avoid the worst of the crowds.

*
*
The grand staircase is an remarkable sight within the castle.

While tours of Boldt Castle are self-guided there room audio travel guide you can rent ~ above the island or you have the right to download the Boldt Castle application which offers an excellent information top top the site. If you space just in search of the highlights, over there is signage in many rooms that both tells you a bit about the room and shows friend what that looked favor prior to restoration.

One definite protect against on her tour should be the 15-minute video about the background of the castle the is play on a rotating communication on the 2nd floor. On liven days, there might be a wait to check out the film. However, this yes, really is a great overview of the castle, island, and Boldt family members that is worth seeing during your visit.

*
*
The Billiards Room was one of my favorite spots within the castle.

The two reduced floors the the castle feature a series of rooms that you deserve to walk through and also look as they may have looked had the Boldt family ever stayed in the home. Each room has undergone considerable renovations, and they room beautifully decorated with period furniture.

The third and fourth floor that Boldt Castle has actually largely been left as it looked as soon as the thousand Islands leg Authority take it possession the the island in the 1970s (Though lock obviously undertook stabilization projects).

*
*
The top floors of the lock are mostly unchanged from as soon as the lock was abandoned.

These upper floors provide a an excellent contrast come the reduced floors and also give girlfriend an idea the how finish the lock was when George Boldt walked away from the after his wife’s death. In several rooms, you can likewise see some of the initial blueprints because that the castle, i beg your pardon is rather interesting.

A quick climb up from the fourth floor, over there is a balcony that you can head out onto. This provides great views the both the roof of the castle, as well as the St. Lawrence River and Alexandria Bay. Absolutely take a couple of minutes to gain the check out from this spot.

*
*
There are incredible see from the balcony near the top of Boldt Castle.

After touring the castle, take some time to check out the grounds and also outbuildings top top this five-acre island.

Alster Tower, likewise known together the Playhouse, is located on the southern end of the island and looks much more like a historic protective castle 보다 a modern-day one. Much of the building is closed as result of renovations however during my visit, i was able to enter the soil floor and also see a bit of the interior of this significant building, consisting of its historical bowling alley.

*
*
The Power house is one of the other an excellent spots on heart Island.

On the northeastern end of the island, the Power home was whereby the island’s power and water to be generated. Today, that is an ext of a museum the highlights exactly how this was done in the at an early stage 20th century. The exterior that the building is incredible and also has a clocktower that attributes a carillon that was when in the Wanamaker structure in Philadelphia.

Of course, it’s not simply the structures on love Island that are worth seeing. The five-acre island is extremely manicured and also spots choose the Italian Gardens room incredible to stroll through and think about the grand vision that Boldt had for this island.

*
*
The grounds of heart Island space fun come explore.

While it’s not attached to the island, the Yacht house is a short watercraft ride away. A little additional charge gets you a ferry ride to and from this historical building and the chance to watch the incredible boats housed inside, few of which to be owned by the Boldt family.

Boldt housed his tremendous two-story houseboat, La Duchesse, here until that sank if stored in the Yacht House. Today, it has actually been revitalized and is situated in the Antique boat Museum in adjacent Clayton, brand-new York.

*
*
The Yacht home is a short watercraft ride indigenous the castle.

Without a doubt, Boldt lock is precious the trouble and also crowds to see for yourself. I’ve visited plenty of homes, and even a couple of castles, in new York, and this stands as among the many remarkable areas I’ve had actually the privilege of exploring.

So, the following time you uncover yourself in Alexandria Bay and the Thousand archipelago region, don’t miss out on a tour of Boldt Castle.

A couple of Things to keep in Mind once Visiting Boldt Castle

*
*
The significant ceiling over the staircase within Boldt Castle.

Since it is on one island in the center of the river and also near the Canadian border, there room a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, your ticket to tourism the island walk not include a watercraft ride come the island. Several regional operators provide boat tours and shuttles that avoid at heart Island. Over there are additionally docks because that private boats on the island.

Second, the lock is located on the United states side that the border. Tourism from Canada carry out visit the island, yet you will require to have your passport if you want to action foot on the island. United state Immigration policemans are stationed top top the island to procedure international visitors.

Note: mine visit come Boldt lock was organized by the site. However, the opinions expressed space my own.

See more: Can You Trade In Amazon Gift Cards For Cash For Your Amazon Gift Cards

Looking for more places to visit nearby? examine out the Hawkins point Visitor Center, the Remington arts Museum, Wood watercraft Brewery, and also Salmon flow Falls.