Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Oswego County, NY

  • Published 2022/12/29

Oswego County is a fun destination in the heart of New York State, bordered by the scenic Lake Ontario in the northwest and the tranquil Oneida Lake in the south.

Oswego County was established in 1816 when portions of its towns and cities were taken from Onondaga and Oneida counties.

This county’s seat is Oswego City, also known as “The Port City,” and was once considered to be “the jewel of the empire” back in the colonial period.

Apart from the city of Oswego, Oswego County also houses many more towns and populated areas that have played significant roles in history.

Oswego County itself had humble beginnings as one of the farthest frontier borders in the battles during the Revolutionary War.

With its colorful history, it’s no surprise that the county has a rich cultural heritage, making it a great destination for history buffs.

Apart from museums and historic sites, Oswego County also has a wide range of exciting recreational activities.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Oswego County, New York:

Watch Racing at Oswego Speedway

View of Oswego Speedway

Glennjjj, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the adrenaline rush of watching a car racing competition when you head to Oswego Speedway.

Oswego Speedway is a facility on Albany Street in Oswego where many racing competitions are held.

Since it opened to the public in 1951, this facility has hosted weekly races for all car and racing enthusiasts.

Racer at Oswego Speedway

Racer13126, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cheer for your chosen vehicle and driver as you watch different stunning cars speed down the tracks at this facility!

You’ll even get the chance to meet great racers and even request autographs from them.

If you want to spend the day watching an action-packed show, this is the best destination for you!

Read and Relax at the Fulton Public Library

If you prefer a quiet and relaxing day, get lost in the books at the Fulton Public Library.

Based on 1st Street in Fulton, this library features a wide range of literary works and resources you can use to widen your knowledge on different topics.

Aside from this, there are also books filled with great stories, and whether you prefer classic or contemporary authors, you’ll find your next great read here.

This library also regularly stocks up on the newest releases; if you want to read a book that was only recently published, you could probably find it here.

Treat your inner bookworm to an afternoon of reading at Fulton Public Library!

Indulge in Water Activities at Selkirk Shores State Park

Boat docked at Selkirk Shores State Park

Gray Cat Photography /

Bring your whole family and spend a day fishing or boating at Selkirk Shores State Park.

Selkirk Shores State Park is a scenic destination along State Route 3 in Pulaski.

Here, you can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities with your loved ones.

You can go hiking around the natural areas, fishing, or swimming in the pristine waters on the nearby beach.

You can also go birdwatching and try to spot unique birds and hunt if you’d like.

There are also picnic areas and pavilions perfect for families who want to have a meal together.

If you’re visiting during the winter season, you can even enjoy snowmobiling at this destination!

Explore a Historic Fort at Fort Brewerton

Step back in time as you explore the historic structures and see the old furnishings at Fort Brewerton.

Fort Brewerton is a well-preserved historic site that you can visit when you go to Central Square.

This fort was built in 1759 and served as a form of protection for the passage from the Oswego port to Albany.

It used to be surrounded by a moat, but it’s now long gone since almost 300 years have passed.

There is also a historic blockhouse that you can visit at this port.

Transport yourself back in time as you explore the blockhouse and museum at this fort.

You can check out artifacts and exhibits on local history that dates back to 10,000 years ago.

Glide through the Ice at Fulton Community Ice Arena

Go ice skating with your friends and family when you visit Fulton Community Ice Arena.

Located on Broadway in Fulton, the Fulton Community Ice Arena is incredibly popular among the locals, especially during the winter season.

If you want to cool off from the sun’s heat, lace up your skating shoes and spend a day gliding through the ice here.

You can also watch hockey players train and play sports on the ice on your visit.

Make sure to wear layers of clothing when you head here so you wouldn’t feel too cold while skating!

Step Back in Time at the Richardson-Bates House Museum

Facade of Richardson-Bates House Museum

Wirestock Creators /

Get a glimpse of history as you marvel at photographs, furnishings, and many other artifacts at the Richardson-Bates House Museum.

This house museum on 3rd Street in Oswego is managed by the Oswego County Historical Society and strives to preserve and share the history of the area.

If you’re a history buff who’s interested in uncovering the past of the area, this is the place to be.

Explore this museum and learn about the lifestyle of a prominent historic family who used to live in the area.

You’ll also learn about the history of different areas in the county, as well as significant individuals in history.

There are also educational programs at Richardson-Bates House Museum that you can join to widen your knowledge about the area’s past.

Shop and Learn about the Abolitionist Movement at Starr Clark Tin Shop & Underground Railroad Museum

If you’re interested in discovering more about the Abolitionist Movement’s history, you can do so while shopping for trinkets!

Starr Clark Tin Shop & Underground Railroad Museum is an extraordinary destination on Main Street in Mexico.

Named after an abolitionist who assisted several African-American slaves in this exact location, this shop and museum offer its visitors a journey into history.

The building at this destination was once the center of the movement in the county and continues to stand as an operating tin shop.

Explore Starr Clark Tin Shop & Underground Railroad Museum and see interpretive displays that reveal details of the abolitionist movement in the area.

You can also explore exhibits and even purchase memorabilia you can take home for your loved ones.

Stroll around Goettel Community Park

Gaze at the stunning flowers and lush greenery as you walk around Goettel Community Park.

Nestled along downtown Central Square, Goettel Community Park is considered the hub of fun activities.

Many public events are held here, including Tree Lightings, Arbor Day, and even 9-11 ceremonies.

Concerts and performances are also regularly held at this community park.

Despite this, many people frequent the park just to relax as they take in the beauty of nature.

This is because the park features numerous stunning trees that citizens donated to beautify the park.

There’s also a Butterfly Garden in the park that you can check out to see more beautiful creatures and flora.

Cast Your Line at Salmon River

Men fishing at Salmon River

Mahmoud Suhail /

If you love fishing, you must visit Salmon River at least once during your exploration of the county!

Salmon River is in Pulaski and stretches for a whopping 17 miles.

Within its length, there are 12 scenic miles that you can visit and fish.

This river is well-known for providing one of the finest sportfishing experiences in the whole nation.

Huge fish caught in Salmon River

J Edwards Photography /

At least two fish records have been set here: the Chinook salmon, which weighed 47 pounds, and the popular world record for the Coho salmon, which weighed 33 pounds.

When you fish here, you’ll also enjoy the scenic view of the waters and the gorgeous foliage of the trees around you.

Test your luck and see whether you’d catch a world record-worthy fish by casting your line at Salmon River.

Scenic view of Salmon River Falls

Wirestock Creators /

Explore Nature with Your Dog at the Great Bear Recreational Trails

Bond with your furry best friend by exploring the Great Bear Recreational Trails.

Accessible through Great Bear Road in Fulton, this set of trails is perfect for any fur parent looking to spend quality time with their furry little companion.

The trails at this destination are filled with a diverse range of both flora and fauna that you can encounter as you explore with your dog.

Enjoy the sights of the lush greeneries and the pristine waters of the beautiful Oswego River as you walk through the Great Bear Recreational Trails.

You and your dog will have a fun and memorable time when you walk them in this destination!

Take in the Scenic Water Views at Henley Park

Unwind as you stroll around and soak in the breathtaking view of the canal at Henley Park.

Henley Park is nestled along State Street in Phoenix and is a free dock used by locals who want to go boating.

The canal at this park is where three different rivers connect in the city.

This is the best destination to relax after a long and busy day since it’s a great spot to sit and gaze out into the waters!

You can also have lunch with a friend or your loved ones near the waters since there are also picnic tables around the area.

If you own a boat, you can launch it free here and glide through the waters for a chill boating day.

Dive into Maritime History at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum

Exterior view of  H. Lee White Maritime Museum

debra millet /

Get more details about the boating and maritime history of the area at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum is on 1st Street in Oswego.

The city of Oswego has a rich military history, and you can find out more about its naval forces here.

Various country flags flying high at  H. Lee White Maritime Museum

debra millet /

You can delve into the maritime history of the area and discover more about the harbor’s past and its role during the wars.

You can even tour the lighthouse and better understand the surrounding waters.

Whether you’re a history buff or an enthusiast of anything related to maritime operations, the H. Lee White Maritime Museum is a must-visit!

Ship displayed at  H. Lee White Maritime Museum

debra millet /

Hit the Links at Battle Island State Park Golf Course

Try to achieve a hole-in-one when you go boating with your friends or colleagues at Battle Island State Park Gold Course.

Based on Route 48 in Fulton, Battle Island State Park Golf Course is a popular destination, especially among golfers.

This is an 18-hole course and is considered to be a more challenging area for beginner golf players.

If you are not an expert yet, you don’t need to worry because you can still have fun in this course!

Since it lies along the beautiful Oswego River, you’ll enjoy playing while enjoying the magnificent scenery.

Whether you attain a hole-in-one or not, playing golf here would be an unforgettable experience for anyone.

Learn about the Stories of Jewish Refugees at Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum

Get a good grasp of the events during the Second World War when you visit the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum.

It is located on 7th Street in Oswego and was the only refugee shelter for Jewish people back during World War II.

Today, it continues to stand as a museum that preserves and shares the true stories of the refugees who were allowed to stay in the country.

Explore Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum and see artifacts like photographs and documents that reveal more information about the daily life of the Jewish refugees.

You’ll also learn about their negative experiences and how they escaped their oppressors through the exhibits here.

Soak up the Sun at Sandy Island Beach State Park

People enjoying their day at Sandy Island Beach State Park

Easchiff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bask in the warmth of the sun as you bond with all of your loved ones at Sandy Island Beach State Park.

Nestled along County Route 15 in Pulaski, this state park features a small beach where you can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy different recreational activities with your family.

You can also go swimming in the waters and build sandcastles with your kids!

If you want to spend the day relaxing, you can just lie down by the shore while reading a good book or take a quick nap while sunbathing.

This is the best destination if you want to experience some fun under the sun with your whole family!

Final Thoughts

Oswego County is filled with destinations that everyone will love.

Whether you love to learn about history and culture or spend time outdoors, you’ll find something fun and memorable to do around the region!

Keep these best things to do in Oswego County, New York, in mind to make the most out of your trip.

Start planning your exploration around this beautiful and historic county today!

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