Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in St. Lawrence County, NY

  • Published 2022/11/07

St. Lawrence County is a county in northern New York State, bordered by Ontario, Canada, to the northwest, and the St. Lawrence River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county’s current population is 108,051.

It is the most populous county in New York State among its 62 counties.

Incorporated in 1802, St. Lawrence County got its name from the Saint Lawrence River, named after St. Lawrence of Rome.

This beautiful county is a pleasantly rural juxtaposition of forests, farms, and small towns, with several state parks lining the St. Lawrence shoreline.

When going out of town, don’t forget to include this region and discover the best things to do in St. Lawrence County, New York.

Visit Singer Castle on Dark Island

View of Singer Castle on Dark Island from across the water

Danita Delimont /

Dark Island is an eye-catching feature of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, situated in the lower Thousand Islands region, close to Chippewa Bay.

This historical island landmark is a part of Hammond town and used to have the name “Dark Island Castle,” which later became “Singer Castle.”

This magnificent structure lies a couple of yards from the Canada-United States border to the south that runs along the river.

Exterior of Singer Castle on Dark Island

Victoria Lipov /

Due to the channel’s depth on one side and shallowness on the other, anglers won’t be able to resist fishing for northern pike and largemouth.

The castle features 28 bedrooms, a library, a kitchen, bathrooms, and a large Drawing Room.

The Singer Castle on Dark Island is open to the public and has a guided tour for those who want to learn the history of this century-old tower, along with its elaborate architecture, gorgeous furnishings, and mysterious secret passages.

Facade of Singer Castle on Dark Island

Bert Dunn /

Camp Out at Coles Creek State Park

Coles Creek State Park features wooded and open campsites close to a beach on Lake Saint Lawrence, which is perfect for fishing and boating.

On Coles Creek’s mouth is a pier north of the park entrance, which is also a good spot for fishing.

Located on NY-37, Waddington, the campground has a combination of shaded and open campsites close to the beach of Lake Saint Lawrence.

Coles Creek State Park is a beautiful place for the kids, allowing them to play in the playground and swim on the beach.

You can bring up to two pets only in the campsites and day-use areas unless disallowed by a sign or regulation.

Explore Jacques Cartier State Park

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you must visit Jacques Cartier State Park on Route 12, Morristown.

Located on the St. Lawrence River’s south bank, the park has a beach, playground, picnic tables, hiking trails, a boat launch, and marinas.

The park’s two most prominent attractions are handicap-accessible boating opportunities and incredible fishing.

Its enormous open lawns invite games, family picnics, and a playground to keep your kids busy while you prepare food at the nearby forested picnic ground.

Amenities include phone service, tent sites, RV sites, tent cabins, electric hookups, toilets, and more.

Jacques Cartier State Park also challenges hikers with their trails, including Apple Wood Trail, Hemlock Trail, Krooked Kreek Trail, First Falls Trail, Maple Trail, and Rock Ridge Trail.

Explore the Robert Moses State Park

Daytime view of Robert Moses State Park beach

James Kirkikis /

Located on Beach Marina Rd, Massena, this lovely state park provides a spectacular view of the Eisenhower Lock.

The vast sand beach offers a medium-sized swimming area and a kid-friendly playground with many picnic spaces.

Robert Moses State Park is a 2,322-acre state park that also lies north of the Massena Village adjacent to the Canada-US border.

Fishing at Robert Moses State Park

Michael Carni /

The park, also a nature center, got its name from former New York Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, who created several state parks in New York.

Robert Moses State Park boasts a wide diversity of flora and fauna you will see while you hike or cross-country ski across forests, wetlands, and fields.

Spend a Day at Higley Flow State Park

Settled among the Adirondack foothills on the Raquette River is the 1,115-acre Higley Flow State Park.

Located on Cold Brook Dr., Colton, the idyllic Higley Flow State Park provides hiking trails that double as cross-country ski trails during winter.

You will enjoy snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and fishing on the ice.

Dirt and grass cover the forest floor during spring, summer, or fall.

There’s no dull moment at Higley Flow State Park.

You can swim on the beach, hunt, fish, rent a boat, and spend the night in campsites, cabins, or lodgings, but no bikes are allowed on the trail.

Take note that there’s no entry fee during winter, but you will have to pay in summer.

Catch Fish at Cranberry Lake

Rushing waters of Cranberry Lake

Felix Lipov /

Cranberry Lake lies on the East branch of the Oswegatchie River in Adirondack Park.

The third largest lake in the park extends 55 miles of shoreline, 75% of which is a state-owned forest reserve.

This picturesque lake offers extraordinary fishing for small-mouth bass and brook trout.

Sunset over Cranberry Lake

Dan Lee /

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) constantly restocks the lake with 20,000 brook trout and a huge number of brown trout.

You’ll find a large volume of stocked browns and brookies at the Oswegatchie River at the lake’s aqueduct.

You can access Cranberry Lake at the campground, state launch, and handicapped-accessible fishing pier.

Go Fishing at Black Lake

In the northern part of New York and south of Saint Lawrence River, you’ll find the largest lake in Saint Lawrence County.

Usually called “Nature’s Fish Hatchery,” Black Lake became a natural glacier lake due to the same glacier that created the Great Lakes.

This breathtaking lake is the most extensive and diversified of the Indian River lakes.

Every year, thousands of anglers travel to the shores of Black Lake to catch channel catfish, crappie, yellow perch, brown bullhead, and large and small-mouth bass, to name a few.

Black Lake stretches more than 60 miles of shoreline bounded by many islands.

It offers anglers all types of fish domains, such as weed beds, rocky points and shoals, and deep waters.

Commune with Nature at Bog River Falls

The waters of Bog River Falls

Danita Delimont /

Bog River Falls has much to offer its visitors, like hiking, swimming, bird-watching, fishing, and more.

You’ll find this fascinating river falls with an elevation of 1555 feet pouring into the southern edge of Big Tupper Lake through a gorgeous set of falls in the Horseshoe Wild Forest in Piercefield.

The waterfall’s upper portion divides around a small island, while the bottom and upward portions traverse under an artistic stone bridge and then drop into Big Tupper Lake.

Families or groups can swim, hike, or spot plenty of loons, ravens, osprey, spruce grouse, or a bald eagle.

You can also fish for largemouth bass, brook trout, and brown bullhead.

Bog River Falls was a brook trout fishery with largemouth bass initiated in the 1980s.

Discover the Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center

On Robinson Bay Rd., Massena is where you’ll find the Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center, a modern center that opened to the public in May 2017 with free admission.

The nature center’s objective is to involve all visitors in advocating public awareness and developing environmental concern through discovery, education, and outdoor activities.

You’ll find an arched turtle tank and an indoor pond in the center with various fish species native to the North Country that also thrives in the St. Lawrence River.

Kids will marvel at the unbelievable life-like exhibits of beavers, foxes, birds, and other creatures.

Outside the Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center, the whole family will enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the trails.

There are also available picnic tables.

Enjoy Quiet Time at Cedar Island State Park

Beach at Cedar Island State Park

Sarah Mika /

Cedar Island State Park is the perfect place for quiet boating while fishing.

Located on County Route 93, Hammond, this state park occupies half of the island, featuring lightly-wooded campsites, a day-use area, and a nearby picnic pavilion.

Incorporated in 1898, the park became a part of the St. Lawrence Reservation, while the rest of the island became privately owned.

Many birds, such as scarlet tanager, song sparrow, and red-winged blackbirds, frequent the area.

Don’t forget your binoculars; get those cameras ready to take pictures and videos.

Visitors can reach the fantastic ten-acre Cedar Island State Park only by boat, and the amenities include dockage, grills, fishing, hunting, cabins, lodging, and campsites.

You can also bring a maximum of two pets to the campsite, including day-use areas, as long as it isn’t prohibited or instructed.

Bring Your Kids to North Country Children’s Museum

The North Country Children’s Museum believes learning is a minds-on and hands-on interactive experience.

It features exhibits that acknowledge North Country’s cultural and geographic resources, where you’ll also find play zones and tinker spaces suitable to keep kids thinking, creating, and doing.

The Maple Leaf allows you to make your digital maple leaf.

As you send it up into the tree, watch how the leaf transforms with the season right before your eyes.

Moreover, kids will enjoy running their businesses at the Kids Co-Op and Bakery.

On the other hand, the playspace enables children to delve into sensory activities, enhance gross motor skills, and motivate imagination.

Bring your little ones to the North Country Children’s Museum!

Admire Lampson Falls

Daytime view of Lampson Falls

Fleury9816 /

Nestled along the Grass River near Clare town in the Grass River Wild Forest is Lampson Falls.

It is the largest and highest fall in St. Lawrence County which stands approximately 40 feet tall and 80 to 100 feet wide.

The trailhead stretches for 0.5 miles along a wide and flat passageway to the peak of the falls.

View from the top of Lampson Falls

Fleury9816 /

Continuously passing the summit of the falls, the trail tapers and drops outrageously down to the beach below the falls, proceeding over a rocky outcrop across the waterfall.

During summer, the place becomes a favorite spot for visitors to sunbathe and pick abundant blueberries.

The Lampson Falls Trails are a section of the 54,000-acre Grass River Wild Forest and are an accumulation of public forest reserves stationed in Clifton, Fine, Clare, and Colton in St. Lawrence County.

Learn the History of Hammond Historical Museum

The Hammond Historical Museum has six buildings, a carriage shed, a mid-1800s barn, and a well-appointed Scottish family stone house.

Located on N Main St., Hammond, this historical museum features numerous artifacts, pictures, and an exhibit of Rob Elethorp’s wooden model and scenes.

Hammond town got its name from an early landowner named Abijah Hammond.

However, the earliest settler was William McNeil, who resided at Chippewa Bay.

You can check out the barn quilt trail and learn about Hammond’s historical culture and heritage.

Don’t forget to visit the farmers’ market for fresh produce, goods, and locally made craftsman wares.

Spend the day at the Hammond Historical Museum!

Trek the Stone Valley Trail

River and waterfall at Stone Valley Trail

Shelley Livernois-Hazen /

Situated in Colton, the Stone Valley Trail runs along both sides of the Raquette River.

It features miles of moderate trail along with incredible spectacles of many waterfalls.

Besides its significance in local history, it also provides excellent wildlife and waterfall viewing opportunities.

While on a trek, you’ll see renowned North Country waterfalls, such as “The Tubbs.”

Tall trees along Stone Valley Trail

Shelley Livernois-Hazen /

The eight-mile loop runs alongside the Raquette River, which includes the impressive 1.5-mile stretch beneath the dam in Colton.

If you’re seeking a different kind of extreme adventure, you can join whitewater kayakers who dare the turbulent waters every summer.

Don’t take your pets with you because they don’t allow it.

Final Thoughts

Going out with friends, especially with family, relieves stress, reduces stress, and keeps members close.

The trip or visit to different places is more enjoyable with your loved ones.

Escape the noise and heat of the city and experience the wonders of New York State.

Don’t forget the best things to do in St. Lawrence County, New York.

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