Activities in St. Lawrence County
The largest county by land in New York State, St. Lawrence County has something for everyone year-round. You can spend the morning hiking, canoeing, kayaking or fishing in wild areas and finish the day with a performance by world-class artists in one of our many beautiful communities. Maybe you would rather go fishing on the St. Lawrence River, noted #1 by B.A.S.S Magazine, and watch ocean-going ships pass through the locks on the Seaway. Perhaps you like history and want to visit some of our many museums. Whatever your interest, it’s likely that you will find it here, where the rivers flow north and the land slopes up from the St. Lawrence River to the Adirondack Mountains.
Explore the Mighty St. Lawrence River Region
The St. Lawrence River is renowned for many things, but our fan-favorite claim to fame is definitely our world famous fishing! From summertime angling to winter ice fishing, you can go for flick year-round. You can also fish a huge range of lakes, ponds and streams throughout St. Lawrence County. Plus, enjoy all of the boating & recreation that comes with being on the water.
In addition to the St. Lawrence River with its many water-based attractions, the shore front’s main attractions include five State Parks (Cedar Island, Jacques Cartier, St. Lawrence, Coles Creek, Robert Moses) strung along the Seaway Trail, The Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, Singer Castle on Dark Island, Eisenhower Lock, the New York Power Authority’s Hawkins Point Visitor Center and the Nicandri Nature Center in Massena. Several municipal parks and boat launches complement these attractions along what is known as the United States’ “Fourth Coast”.
Family Fun in the Seaway Valley
The valley’s chief character is agriculture, with dairy farming the dominant feature on the rolling landscape, as well as a large Amish population and local farmers markets. Black Lake is a renowned fishing spot for warm species, with Bella Brooke Winery overlooking the lake.
Interspersed among agriculture lands are numerous State Wildlife Management and Forest areas. Most of the County’s 12 villages are to be found throughout the Valley portion. Of these, Canton, the County Seat, is home to SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University. Ten miles away, Potsdam claims SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University. These four institutions support a variety of high-quality theatrical and musical performances. The Crane School of Music is particularly noted for hosting international talent.
Some recent additions to the museum list are the popular St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid, the Nicandri Nature Center in Massena, and the North Country Children’s Museum in Potsdam.
Immerse Yourself in the Adirondack Foothills
Moving up into the foothills, agriculture gives way to forest, with brilliant colors for fall leaf peepers. Notable attractions in this zone include Wolf Lake State Forest, The Stone Valley Cooperative Recreation Area, and Higley Flow State Park and Parishville All-Terrain Vehicle Network. The rivers are cooler here with more waterfalls and fish species. A number of easily accessible waterfalls can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. An interactive trails site helps navigate trails heads and what to expect along the trail; www.STLCtrails.com. These trails are enjoyable year-round, with peak viewing in winter with skis or snowshoes, spring for birding, or in the fall when the leaves are most vibrant.
Be “Forever Wild” in the Adirondack Park
Approximately 40% of the County is located inside the Adirondack Park’s “Blue Line”. State-owned lands within the Park are designated “forever wild”, but there is also private land, some of which permits public access via easements with the state. Camp at the State Park and hike the Cranberry 50 around the Lake, visit the trails at the SUNY ESF Ranger School, experience a 360-degree view of the Adirondack Foothills from the Mt. Arab Fire Tower, and paddle remote waters.