Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Altmar, NY

  • Published 2022/09/27

Altmar is a community and a census-designated place in New York’s Oswego County.

The village had previously formed its own government, but residents voted for its dissolution on June 1, 2013.

Today, Altmar is part of the town of Albion and is home to 289 people, according to the 2020 census.

The famous Salmon River runs through the quaint village and gives the community a source of livelihood.

As a tourist, Altmar may not be at the top of your mind when thinking of a vacation spot in New York.

Here are the best things to do in Altmar, New York, that’ll give you a different perspective about this lowkey village:

Learn about Salmon Spawning Process at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery

Constructed in 1975, the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, located on Country Route, aimed to revive and enhance the Great Lakes fishery and now serves as a supplier to more than 100 public waters.

The facility specializes in raising Chinook, coho, steelhead, and brown trout species of salmon and helps sustain Lake Ontario’s multi-million-dollar salmon industry.

Inside, you’ll see displays depicting the hatchery operations, while you can catch adult fish during fall and early winter.

You can also see birds of prey, freshwater mammals, and waders within its premises.

You can do self-guided tours to observe how a working fish hatchery operates or arrange group tours by contacting the hatchery’s administrator.

Learn more about salmon when you visit the Salmon River Fish Hatchery.

Grab Dinner at Tailwater Lodge Restaurant and Bar

Located on Pulaski Street, Tailwater Lodge Restaurant and Bar offers excellent seafood dishes that make your mouth water.

Try their Blackened Catfish Tacos—blackened catfish fillet served in a white corn tortilla with citrus-Thai coleslaw cucumber pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, and Sriracha-lime crema.

A hit among diners is their Crispy Thai Shrimp served with a side of Asian coleslaw and Thai chili sauce.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is the Pan-Seared Red Snapper rubbed with a unique mix of spices and served with a carrot-ginger purée sauce and a side of lemon-scented roasted corn jasmine rice.

Cocktails, draft beers, and wines are available at their River Birch Bar in Barn Wing.

If you want delicious seafood for dinner, try eating at Tailwater Lodge Restaurant and Bar.

Experience Primitive Camping at the Altmar State Forest

Spanning 959 acres is the Altmar State Forest, located on Albion Cross Road, where you can enjoy hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor recreational activities.

It’s one of the many state forests acquired and reforested with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

The state forest is home to diverse flora and fauna, including game such as deer, wild turkey, and grouse.

There’s also an inland dune within the premises that adds to its unique biodiversity, and songbirds and raptors roam freely in its forests.

You may try primitive camping in designated campsites identified with yellow and black “Camp Here” markers.

Hunting, trapping, and fishing are also allowed, subject to rules and guidelines of the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Discover Altmar’s wildlife at the Altmar State Forest.

Grab the Seafood Platter at Altmar Hotel

Standing in a popular sportfishing spot near one of the Great Lakes has its perks, including access to excellent seafood.

Located on Mill Street, Altmar Hotel is famous for its seafood platter that has haddock, scallops, shrimps, and clams lightly breaded and fried to perfection.

The chicken wings are also a crowd-pleaser, paired with fresh-cut fries and a glass of cold beer for a perfect nightcap.

Altmar Hotel takes its wings seriously, with over 20 flavors to choose from!

Some interesting wing flavors worth trying are the Gingersnap, General Tso’s, and their own Brenda’s Sauce and Bottom of the Barrel.

The restaurant is popular among fishermen and ATV riders, but no need to fret because the friendly staff and atmosphere will make you feel just at home.

If you’re looking for the All-American pub experience with excellent food, consider dining at Altmar Hotel.

Fish on a Weekend with Salmon River Outfitters

If you’ve wanted to be an angler, Salmon River Outfitters is the place to go in Altmar.

The lodge is on Bridge Street, some 50 yards from the Lower Fly Stretch of Salmon River.

It has a full tackle shop, spacious rooms with TV and kitchen space, a bar and grill, and a fish cleaning station guaranteed to satisfy all your fishing, lodging, and dining needs.

A team of experienced guides can tour you around the river and give you some fishing lessons.

After a tiring day exploring the waters, enjoy some delicious homemade food and cold drinks at the bar and grill.

Learn the art of angling and catch fresh salmon with Salmon River Outfitters.

Get Your Fishing Needs from Malinda’s Fly, Spey & Tackle Shop

For casual or experienced enthusiasts, Malinda’s Fly, Spey & Tackle Shop is a one-stop shop for all your fishing needs.

Located on Pulaski Street, Malinda’s offers top-of-the-line supplies that will make your trip to the Salmon River worthwhile.

The shop has a knowledgeable staff that can guide you in all things fishing, whether tying classic-style salmon flies or selecting the right bait.

The owner, Malinda, will answer all your fishing-related questions, so don’t feel intimidated, even if you’re a newbie angler.

Visit Malinda’s Fly, Spey & Tackle Shop for professional guidance before heading out to the river.

Camp Out at Brown’s Campground

Brown’s Campground is a family-owned and operated camping and fishing ground along New York State Route 13.

Dugal and Sonja Brown founded the campground in the 1970s.

It originally stood on private land, but people kept asking the Browns if they could camp out in the area until word of mouth drew in more and more campers.

Today, the family has developed the land, adding facilities for anglers, including a tackle shop, cleaning station, and fish freezing service.

The campground also has a cabin if you don’t feel like sleeping in a tent.

Their guide service can tour you around the river and teach you the basics of fishing.

Book your stay at Brown’s Campground and live the fisherman’s life for a day.

Try the Smoked Salmon from Rob’s Salmon Smokehouse

New York is known as the home of bagels, and what better way to enjoy some but with fresh salmon smoked to perfection?

Rob’s Salmon Smokehouse is a local institution with a store at the Scholl House Inn on Pulaski Street.

Offering 15 flavors of smoked Atlantic Salmon, they use locally sourced spices to cure high-quality fillet, including secret recipes over 100 years old.

Rob’s uses hickory, apple, and cherry firewood, giving their smoked salmon a distinct taste.

Try the honey mustard and maple variants flavored using local honey and pure New York State maple syrup.

Get your lox fix from Rob’s Salmon Smokehouse to enjoy with your freshly baked bagels.

Get Locally Inspired Massages at the Spa at Tailwater Lodge

Are you tired after a day of fishing?

The Spa at Tailwater Lodge is the best place to rest your weary feet while getting treatments to relax your mind, body, and soul.

Located on Pulaski Street, the Spa offers locally inspired treatments that include access to a hot tub, a dry sauna, and a relaxation room with a fireplace.

Try their one-and-a-half-hour River Falls Invigorating Treatment, which consists of a two-step body polish and hydrating wrap, herbal infused oil scalp treatment, and a full-body massage.

They also have express treatments that last 25-30 minutes, like the feet enhancement package incorporating Egyptian reflexology and Native American spiritual concepts.

Book your slot at the Spa at Tailwater Lodge and experience treatments you can’t get anywhere else.

Go Snowmobiling on Autumn Lake

Autumn Lake is an eight-acre private lake with several cottages and summer homes along its shoreline.

One of these beautiful cottages is La Bella Vista, owned by Brian Klefbeck and his wife.

The couple developed the property in 2012 and now has fully furnished cottages available in all seasons.

La Bella Vista gives you access to hiking trails, kayak launch pads, and miles of trails fit for ATVs and snowmobiles.

You can also go fishing in the lake and catch smallmouth bass, trout, bullhead, and bluegill.

If you’re looking for a more secluded vacation spot, check out La Bella Vista and go snowmobiling by the lake.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Admire the Views at the Salmon River Falls

Scenic view of Salmon River Falls

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Just ten minutes from Altmar is the 110-foot-tall Salmon River Falls, located in the 112-acre Salmon River Falls Unique Area in Orwell, New York.

Access the comprehensive, flat trail via the parking area, taking you on a quarter-mile short walk to the viewing decks.

The first overlook will give you a distant view of the falls, while the second one is much closer.

Take the 600-foot Gorge Trail if you want to test your endurance for a bit.

Cascades of Salmon River Falls /

Its elevation drops down 100 feet into the gorge below the falls, making the trek back up quite challenging.

The 66-foot Riverbed Trail will also allow you to explore the top of the falls, but beware of the water levels and stay 15 feet away from the cliff edge.

Trek to the Salmon River Falls and marvel at nature’s beauty.

Learn the History of Oswego County at Half-Shire Historical Society

Founded in 1972, the Half-Shire Historical Society preserves and promotes the history and genealogy of northern Oswego County.

Housed in the former Richard School, the society’s headquarters has exhibits featuring agricultural life in the area from the 1800s to the 1950s.

Check out binders containing information about families that lived in nine townships of northern Oswego in the HQ, accessible upon request.

They can accommodate tours and host community events in the fully restored hall.

Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and sample freshly baked goods in their kitchen while talking about local history.

The Half-Shire Historical Society is a must-visit if you’re an aspiring genealogist or just a curious cat.

You can find the museum in Richland, New York, nine minutes from Altmar.

Try Sportfishing with Strike Zone Charters

Founded in 1976, Strike Zone Charters serves the needs of anglers and sportfishing enthusiasts looking to traverse the waters of Lake Ontario and the Salmon River.

If you’re looking for guided trips or just a captained boat to take you to the best fishing spots, they got you covered!

Located in Lacona, New York, just 12 minutes from Altmar, the charter deploys a fully equipped 31’ Morgan to help you fish for a trophy trout or salmon.

Bring your kids onboard and let Strike Zone’s knowledgeable guides teach them the basics of baiting, knotting, and tackling.

Book your tour, catch your first steelhead, and make your first fishing trip memorable with Strike Zone Charters.

Get Burgers from Kasoag Lake Tavern and Grill

Located along County Route 30 in Williamstown, New York, the Kasoag Lake Tavern and Grill offers a great selection of burgers, sandwiches, and wraps you can enjoy after a day of snowmobiling.

You can reach this place after a nine-minute drive from Altmar.

Strategically located near a snowmobile/ATV trail, the restaurant’s patio seating gives you a view overlooking Kasoag Lake.

Try their Boom Boom Chicken Sandwich with a side of “frickles” or fried pickles.

They also have a whopping 61 flavors of chicken wings that you can choose from.

The Smoke House Maple, Brown Sugar Mojito Lime, and Habanero Mango are worth trying.

Have your post-ATV meals at Kasoag Lake Tavern and Grill!

Final Thoughts

Altmar may be a small community along Salmon River, but it makes up for its lack of size with several fun activities that keep you busy.

Whether fishing, boating, or just admiring Oswego County’s flora and fauna, your visit to this village will be one for the books.

From sportfishing to snowmobiling, adrenaline junkies will enjoy the many outdoor activities it offers.

Try the best things to do in Altmar and see the beauty of this quaint neighborhood.

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