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

St. Lawrence County, NY

There's something truly magical about the crisp air, the scent of pine, and the tranquil beauty of St. Lawrence County in New York.

This Northern corner of the Empire State, which I've been lucky to call home for many years, is a treasure trove of natural beauty overflowing with scenic spots, remarkable landmarks, and vibrant communities.

From the early morning fog on the Grasse River to the fiery hues of sunset over the Adirondack foothills, every day unfolds a new spectacle that never ceases to amaze.

But what makes this place truly special is not just the breathtaking vistas.

It's the myriad of unique experiences that await you in every corner, every town, and every season.

Allow me to be your guide, showing you the best this spectacular region has to offer.

After all, who better to guide you through the hidden gems and local favorites than a long-time resident, a devoted lover of all things St. Lawrence County?

So get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to the best things to do in St. Lawrence County, New York.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the county for yourself.

Go Fishing at Lows Lake

The waters of Lows Lake
Mwanner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A chuckle escapes me when I think about reviewing a lake, but I just can't resist sharing my tales from Lows Lake.

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the quiet country, the lake has become my sanctuary.

I'm sure others would agree there's something profoundly calming about the gentle lap of water against the shore that you just can't find anywhere else.

My favorite pastime? Bass fishing. The thrill of the chase, the fight, and the eventual triumph, it's an unrivaled feeling.

And what's better is that Lows Lake is a bountiful home for bass.

Here's what sets Lows Lake apart for me - the lack of motorboats.

The absence of their noise and disturbance keeps the whole area tranquil. It's just you, the sounds of nature, and the splash of your fishing line.

Moreover, the fish get to swim around undisturbed, growing to lovely, healthy sizes.

The beauty of Lows Lake lies in its tranquillity and thriving bass population.

It's where you can disconnect from the world's chaos and rekindle your bond with nature.

For anyone who enjoys fishing or simply revels in the quiet embrace of nature, this place is a slice of heaven on earth.

Embrace Nature at Nicandri Nature Center

I couldn't believe my luck when I discovered the Nicandri Nature Center was in my local area.

It's truly a gem, unlike any other nature center I've ever encountered; it's conveniently located, and there's always plenty of parking, which is a big plus.

Taking the kids to the center is always a delight.

They can't seem to get enough of it, a perfect spot to explore and learn about nature.

Guided nature walks are a particular highlight, not just for the kids, but for us adults too!

It's always a fun and educational experience.

But what's even more impressive about the Nicandri Nature Center is its range of activities.

They've got everything from well-marked trails perfect for a peaceful walk amidst nature to family yard activities that promise a fun-filled day.

However, one of the best parts about the center has to be the live and taxidermied animals.

My kids couldn't get enough of them on our last visit.

Not every day, you get to see such a diverse collection of animals.

And the best part? It's all free! I was so impressed to see such an outstanding facility offered at no charge.

Whether you're looking to kill some time or are planning a day out with the family, the Nicandri Nature Center is the place to be.

I highly recommend a visit!

Spend the Day at the North Country Children's Museum

You know what they say about "all work and no play," right?

Well, I took it to heart and decided to break the monotony of my routine.

Once, I took the kids down to the North Country Children's Museum for an afternoon of pure joy and discovery.

I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the vast array of activities they offered.

From the moment we stepped through the doors, it was clear this was not your average museum.

Rather than being greeted by hushed silence and austere exhibits, there was a buzz of excitement and children's laughter.

Colorful displays and interactive exhibits caught the kids' attention straight away.

We spent the whole afternoon exploring the ten unique activities, each one a blend of education and fun.

My four-year-old couldn't get enough of the open-ended toys and building materials.

Likewise, my six and eight-year-olds were equally engaged, proving that the museum caters to various ages and interests.

Despite the museum's relatively small size, it packs a punch with the amount of fun and education stuffed into it.

The kids could have spent many more hours there, totally immersed in the world of discovery that the North Country Children's Museum has created.

It's so worth the reasonable admission fee, and if we didn't already live nearby, I'd seriously consider buying a membership.

It's a gem of a place, and we can't wait for our next visit.

Unwind At Bog River Falls

The waters of Bog River Falls
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

It's hard to resist the allure of Bog River Falls, a place that's been close to my heart for as long as I can remember.

I've spent countless days there, enjoying its picturesque beauty and the serene sounds of cascading water.

Packing up some picnic snacks and heading out to this enchanting spot for a day of relaxation is always a treat.

Getting there is a breeze, with ample parking available.

And nothing beats the first glimpse of the falls as you step out of your vehicle.

The falls are not just eye candy; they are a haven for a fun-filled day!

My friends and I grew up sliding down the falls, an adventurous activity that's still a thrill.

The water is cool and refreshing, perfect for a quick dip or a leisurely swim.

There's a spot for everyone, whether you're 5 or 50.

Moreover, the water isn't the only aspect of Bog River Falls that's a delight.

The picnic area, though small, gives a panoramic view of the falls.

I've spent many a lazy afternoon sprawled on the rocks, watching the water tumble over the rocks, listening to the tranquil sounds, and letting the world pass by.

The falls are a place for everyone, whether you want to soak in the breathtaking views, plunge into the water, or simply unwind.

It's a beloved spot for my family, and we find ourselves drawn to its pristine beauty whenever we find the time.

Indeed, Bog River Falls has been and continues to be, a cherished part of my life in Tupper Lake.

Unveil the Charm of Sylvia Lake

There's an air of mystery that surrounds Sylvia Lake, one that's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Nestled in the heart of nature, this hidden gem is a place of tranquility, a place of adventure, and a place of sheer beauty.

When I moved here years ago, I found it hard to locate this lake.

But the struggle was worth it, for the beauty awaited me was indescribable.

To anyone visiting, you might want to ask around for directions.

Trust me, it's worth the effort, and the locals are always eager to help.

One of my favorite pastimes at Sylvia Lake is fishing.

There's something therapeutic about the calm silence, broken only by the occasional splash of a catch.

The lake is home to large mouth, small mouth, and lake trout - a fisherman's utopia.

In all my travels, I have yet to find a place that matches the grandeur of Sylvia Lake.

The serene waters reflecting the glorious sunset, the lush greenery surrounding it, and the peaceful ambiance make it a paradise in its own right. And the best part?

This gorgeous destination is right at my doorstep.

Unveil Artistic Treasures at the Frederic Remington Art Museum

There's something inexplicably magical about stepping into the Frederic Remington Art Museum.

Nestled in the heart of Ogdensburg, New York, right on 303 Washington Street, the museum teems with cultural riches echoing the Wild West's enigmatic allure.

It's a typical weekend for me, strolling down the hallowed halls lined with Remington's Western-themed oil paintings: the rugged cowboys, the native tribes, and the untamed wilderness, all coming alive on canvas.

The bronze sculptures, chiseled to perfection, breathe life into the gallery, their silent narratives reverberating.

I'm always greeted by Remington's best-known works at the Albert Priest Newell Gallery.

The striking sculptures and oil paintings transport me to another era, another world, pulsating with raw energy and relentless spirit.

An occasional detour to the Addie Priest Newell Gallery presents a refreshing change of pace, with ever-changing exhibits of North Country and Canadian watercolors, sketches, and illustrations.

But the museum is also like a time capsule, preserving Remington's personal possessions, studio equipment, and memorabilia.

Each artifact tells a story, a fascinating peek into the artist's life and vision.

Even the house is a work of art, with its stunning architecture and charming ambiance.

And, oh, the thrill of having a resident artist right there!

The vibrant, life-like portraits they create are indeed a sight to behold.

Engaging with them, discussing art, and understanding the inspirations behind their work – it's like being part of a living, breathing artistic endeavor.

The free entrance with a Reciprocal membership is a nice perk.

Plus, the antique boat museum tickets at Clayton are an added bonus.

And I must not forget the gift shop – a haven for art enthusiasts.

It's like taking a piece of Remington's artistry home, from prints to canvases.

The Frederic Remington Art Museum is not just a place but an experience, a journey into the heart of Western art.

And every visit feels like the first time, unveiling new artistic treasures, etching memories to cherish.

It's not just part of my weekend routine; it's part of my life.

Go Hiking at Arab Mountain

View from the summit of Arab Mountain
Brandi Bruggman / Shutterstock.com

There's nothing quite like the moment when, after a good hike, you finally reach the summit of the Arab Mountain.

The moderately challenging trail can get a little steep at times.

But believe me, the views from the top are worth any effort you put in.

The trail is exceptionally well-maintained, and the peak warden is among the friendliest and most knowledgeable guys I've ever met.

He's always there to provide expert advice and ensure the safety of all the hikers.

But the real attraction of the Arab Mountain is the fire tower at the summit. It offers the most stunning view of the Adirondack range.

The climb is about a mile and not as difficult as some might think.

Once you're at the top, the breathtaking 360-degree view from the Fire Tower will leave you awestruck!

The magnificent Adirondack range touching the sky is apt to take your breath away, no matter how many times you've seen it.

Still, the view from the top is stunning.

Whether you're a hiking enthusiast or just someone who appreciates breathtaking views, I highly recommend trekking to the Arab Mountain.

Regardless of your age or fitness level, it's an experience you'll never forget.

Unwind at Black Lake

Waking up every morning to see serene Black Lake has a calming effect. It's not just the stunning view.

It's the promise of a day filled with endless possibilities.

From fishing to boating or simply relaxing by the water's edge, Black Lake always keeps my day interesting.

Picture this: a day that starts with casting a line on the lake, surrounded by breathtaking forested islands.

The abundance of fish in the lake makes this a popular spot amongst fishing enthusiasts.

I've spent countless early mornings here, exchanging fish tales with fellow anglers as we wait for the perfect catch.

When the sun shines, and the water is calm, you can see me cruising along the tranquil lake in my boat.

There’s something invigorating about feeling the cool breeze on your face while sailing through the sparkling waters.

And it's not just me. Plenty of boating enthusiasts find Black Lake to be their sanctuary.

Now, remember those forested islands I mentioned earlier?

They are home to various campgrounds and cottages, perfect for those seeking a restful weekend getaway.

Whether you're a fan of camping under the stars or like the comfort of a cozy cottage, Black Lake has got you covered.

I often head out to Log Cabins for a peaceful retreat on special occasions.

Their hospitality is unmatched, making every visit memorable.

Oh, I must not forget to mention the local attractions. They are the cherries atop our Black Lake sundae.

Across the changing seasons, our little local places become the perfect spots for a heartwarming break.

Just a heads up though, during certain times of the year, we do experience fires from Canada, making outdoor activities a little less enjoyable.

However, like everything else, it's a waiting game for the winds to shift, and everything returns to normal soon after.

So, don’t let that deter you from experiencing this northern paradise.

So, if you're ever in upstate New York and looking for a place that offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure, visit us at Black Lake.

It's one of the hidden gems waiting for you to explore.

Spend the Day at Lampsons Falls

Daytime view of Lampson Falls
Fleury9816 / Shutterstock.com

Living in such proximity to one of nature's best-kept secrets is what I consider a blessing.

I can't count the number of times I've walked the short trail leading to the majestic Lampsons Falls.

It's a sight that never fails to take my breath away.

The rushing water cascading over the edge, the sound of it hitting the rocks, and the cool mist that kisses my face is therapeutic.

Each season brings a unique charm to the Falls.

In the fall, the surrounding foliage is set ablaze with colors in a final fiery spectacle before winter.

The contrast of the autumn leaves against the backdrop of the rushing waterfall is a sight to behold.

After a long, cold winter, the Falls roar back to life in the spring.

The force with which the water crashes down is genuinely awe-inspiring.

It's a popular time for college kids to visit, so it can get crowded.

View from the top of Lampson Falls
Fleury9816 / Shutterstock.com

But if you're an early riser like me, you can have the Falls all to yourself.

My favorite activity at the falls, however, is building fairy houses.

It's a delightful pastime, shared with friends from Nature Up North, which adds a touch of whimsy to our excursions.

The Falls don't just offer a feast for the eyes, but it's also a hotspot for flora and fauna.

If you're a nature enthusiast, you'll have a ball exploring and identifying the species that call this place home.

Summers are for swimming. Though often chilly, the water offers a refreshing escape from the heat.

And the best part? You'll usually have the Falls to yourself.

I've frequented the Falls in the peak of summer, and more often than not, it's been a solitary expedition.

So whether it's a picnic, a hike, a swim, or a photo expedition, Lampsons Falls offers it all.

It's a gem hiding in plain sight, waiting to mesmerize anyone who stumbles upon it.

There's something magical about the Richard F Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University.

You wouldn't think that such a small town like ours would house such a world-class art gallery, but therein lies the surprise.

It's like stumbling upon a hidden treasure in the university's charming collegiate architecture.

Over the years, I've visited this gallery countless times, each offering a unique experience.

The array of visiting shows they host throughout the year is awe-inspiring.

I've witnessed artworks from across the globe, each piece telling its own story, each exhibit leaving a lasting impression.

The gallery's permanent collection is equally intriguing. From contemporary art to traditional elements, the collection is as diverse as comprehensive.

Moreover, the Richard F Brush Art Gallery is a gateway to a world of creative expression and cultural understanding.

A trip to our town wouldn't be complete without a visit to this remarkable art sanctuary.

Experience the Beauty of Coles Creek State Park

One of the spots I genuinely love is Coles Creek State Park.

Whether you're a fan of the great outdoors or just want a peaceful place to unwind, you'd be hard-pressed to find a spot more postcard-perfect than this.

The breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence Seaway never cease to amaze me.

I often find myself gazing at the large ocean-going ships that navigate the seaway, adding an extra dimension to an already stunning panorama.

It's not just about the views, though. This haven offers easy swimming, kayaking, boating, and fishing access.

I've had countless beautiful days out on the water, and there's nothing quite like casting your line into the sparkling river on a sunny day.

Coles Creek State Park is also a fantastic spot for camping.

The campsites are spacious, with options for both electric and non-electric facilities.

They're situated right along the water's edge, so you're never more than a stone's throw away from that beautiful view.

You should be aware, though, the service can be a bit spotty with AT&T and Verizon, but I've always found it an excellent opportunity to disconnect and immerse myself in nature.

The park is also family-friendly.

Children will love the lovely beach and playground, and there are swings and a sand area that my son can't get enough of.

The bathroom facilities are clean, and the showers are always hot.

Plus, they sell ice right at the booth, a small detail but one that shows how well thought out this park is.

As someone who has seen it many times, I can assure you it's the kind of place that leaves a lasting impression and keeps you coming back for more.

Explore the Beauty of Robert Moses State Park

Daytime view of Robert Moses State Park beach
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Thanks to the picturesque Robert Moses State Park - Thousand Islands, every day in my hometown feels like a vacation.

This place is the perfect blend of serenity and adventure.

I love to start my day with a peaceful jog amidst the forests, fields, and wetlands.

The trails here are amazingly well-kept and tranquil, offering a serene environment to connect with nature.

The park also boasts a fantastic beach where you can soak up the sun or enjoy a family picnic.

Moreover, the beach has lifeguards, ensuring safety for everyone, and the place is always kept clean, which I appreciate.

If you're into fishing like me, you'll find this place a paradise!

The river is teeming with various fish, and there's no thrill like catching your dinner.

Fishing at Robert Moses State Park
Michael Carni / Shutterstock.com

For campers, the park provides electric sites with asphalt roads.

The spacious area is perfect for setting up tents or parking RVs, with plenty of shade from the trees.

There's also a good balance of sunny spots if you prefer.

One of my favorite parts about living near this park is the opportunity to kayak in St. Lawrence's crystal clear waters.

There's even a spot that gives a stunning view of the Dwight D Eisenhower Lock.

The easy access to the water and the magnificent view is an experience that never gets old.

I'm blessed to have such a gem in my backyard, and I can't wait to make more memories here.

Explore Higley Flow State Park

Let me tell you about my treasured sanctuary, Higley Flow State Park.

Over the years, this peaceful haven has been my go-to place for relaxation and family outings.

There's something magical about pitching a tent on one of the numerous campsites, nestled among the lush greenery and tranquil landscapes.

One of my favorite spots in the park is site 98.

For those like me who prefer a little comfort in the wild, this site is perfect, being close to the bathrooms - which, I must say, are the nicest I've ever seen in a state park.

From here, a scenic trail leads you to the water's edge.

One of the charms of Higley Flow is the delightful ice cream truck making its rounds in the late afternoon - a tradition my family and I eagerly look forward to on our visits.

There's something incredibly nostalgic about enjoying a sweet treat amidst the breathtaking beauty of the park.

But what I genuinely love about this park is the countless miles of trails waiting to be explored.

With every step, you're greeted by stunning views that capture the heart of the wilderness.

Also, firewood is always readily available from the locals, adding to the authentic, rustic experience.

If you're bringing along your furry friends, you'll be pleased to know that Higley Flow is a dog-friendly park.

My dog loves the open spaces to run and play, making our camping trips more enjoyable.

Higley Flow State Park remains a cherished spot, a perfect blend of nature, adventure, and comfort.

Whether camping, hiking or just enjoying a peaceful day outdoors, this park has something for everyone.

So, if you haven't already, I'd highly recommend you experience this tranquil retreat.

Discover the Wonder of Eisenhower Lock

Having lived so close to the marvel of the Eisenhower Lock, it's a sight that never gets old.

Watching the raw power of water raising and lowering those massive lake freighters is astounding.

The anticipation is already building, waiting for the new observation deck to be completed.

I highly recommend taking the time to experience the Locks and the ships that traverse the Great Lakes.

One of my favorite pastimes is driving west down Route 131 to Hopsons Bay. It's about five minutes away, near the Alcoa Plant.

From there, I park my car and stroll a couple hundred yards up the path.

This gives me an up-close view of the ships on their voyage.

It's surprising how fast these giants move.

There's this extra thrill when the ships pass the bay.

They create a surge of water that rushes in almost like an incoming tide. It's a sight that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Each visit to the Eisenhower Lock offers a unique experience, making every trip as exciting as the first.

Explore the Singer Castle on Dark Island

View of Singer Castle on Dark Island from across the water
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

Since childhood, Dark Island has seemed to me like a place snatched straight from a fairytale.

Standing in the heart of the river, this small island houses the majestic Singer Castle, a structure that has stood tall over the years, silently watching the ebb and flow of the tides.

You can check out Dark Island and its castle for yourself, but trust me when I say an hour is hardly enough to take in all its splendor.

Over the years, the castle has seen many changes.

Exterior of Singer Castle on Dark Island
Victoria Lipov / Shutterstock.com

Apart from its historical significance, the island is also known for its rich waters, providing an excellent spot for bass and pike fishing, a pastime I have always enjoyed since my youthful days here.

And I feel so fortunate to have such a unique piece of history in our backyard.

A visit to Dark Island is about reliving a part of history, a dip into the rich tapestry of the past, wrapped up within the confines of this cozy, little island.

Facade of Singer Castle on Dark Island
Bert Dunn / Shutterstock.com

Experience the Rustic Charm of Eel Weir State Park

The charm of Eel Weir State Park can't be put into words.

It needs to be experienced firsthand.

Nestled along the pristine banks of the Oswegatchie River, it truly is a hidden gem in our community.

I've always had a soft spot for camping, and Eel Weir State Park offers the perfect location.

The perfect blend of tranquility and adventure, the park provides the ideal getaway from the daily grind.

Moreover, the grounds are always immaculately groomed, which makes camping here a real treat.

What I like most about Eel Weir State Park is the fishing.

The park's location on the Oswegatchie River makes it a prime spot for great catches.

Trust me when I say you'll be talking about the fishing trip for days after!

The park isn't just for camping and fishing, though.

It's a great place to relax and simply take in nature's beauty.

With impressive views at every turn, it's hard not to fall in love with Eel Weir State Park.

Discover History at Potsdam Public Museum

Exterior of Potsdam Public Museum
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

Every time I stroll down Elm Street, the Potsdam Public Museum, catching my attention with its striking red sandstone structure, beckons me to step in and dive deep into the history of our quaint town.

Nestled in the heart of Potsdam, this museum is nothing less than a treasure chest, brimming with artifacts and documents that trace the town's lineage.

Aside from being a hub for historians and genealogy enthusiasts, the Potsdam Public Museum is also a favorite spot for our local kids.

Once a Unitarian Church, the museum beautifully encapsulates the local village and town history.

It opens its doors to the public from Wednesday to Friday during summer.

It's always a delight to see the locals and tourists alike walking through the historic corridors, immersing themselves in the rich legacy of Potsdam.

Trust me; it's an experience you won't want to miss.

Final Thoughts

St. Lawrence County, New York, truly encapsulates the phrase 'there's no place like home' for me.

Despite all my explorations, I am constantly reminded that there are still many corners left to discover in this beautiful county.

So, here's to more days of exploring, learning, and making unforgettable memories in St. Lawrence County, a place that offers a little bit of everything.

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