Everyone has heard about the various ski resorts in the Adirondacks, but did you know a spectacular winter wonderland awaits in the northwestern corner of the park? When snow blankets St. Lawrence County, not only is the area beautiful, but a whole new world of activities opens up, including cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and more. Avoid cabin fever and make the most of this snowy season in St. Lawrence County!
After the first major winter snowfall each year, St. Lawrence County transforms into a top destination for cross-country skiers and snowshoers of all skill levels.
From state forests to nature centers, the region is full of varied terrain and groomed trails that let outdoorsmen explore snow-covered scenery.
Take a look at some of the county's most popular sites for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and plan your next adventure:
Compared to the rest of the North Country, St. Lawrence County has one of the longest (and best) ice fishing seasons, typically lasting from December through at least mid-March.
During this season, ice fishermen can catch game fish from the banks of the St. Lawrence River to the foothills of the Adirondacks. Northern pike, walleyes, crappies, lake and rainbow trout, and more are popular targets.
Eager to test your ice fishing skills in this corner of NY State? Here are some excellent places to start:
Before you walk on the ice, make sure you know how to determine if it's a safe thickness or not. Here are some essential ice safety tips »
In addition to ice fishing, why not try ice skating too? Winter is when a number of community recreation facilities begin to offer public ice skating. Most require a small admission fee, and some conveniently offer rentals if you don't own skates.
Hit the ice at these fantastic indoor ice skating rinks in St. Lawrence County:
While frozen lakes and ponds are also options for ice skating, if you don't want to worry about ice thickness and safety, then an indoor ice skating facility is the place to be.
One of the most exhilarating ways to see stunning winter landscapes is snowmobiling. Although NY State contains thousands of snowmobile trails, some of the best riding is found around the Northwestern Adirondacks in St. Lawrence County, where over 700 miles of groomed trails await.
What makes the region's snowmobile trail system stand out is its accessibility. Whether you're riding in from Canada, Franklin County, Lewis County, or another area along the county's border, you'll have no trouble accessing the trails.
Alternatively, you can begin your ride in the heart of St. Lawrence County. All you have to do is visit a local community, pick out a nearby trailhead, and then ride to your heart's content. The main trails are based around South Colton, Massena, and Cranberry Lake, while many secondary trails expand the system.
Gas, parking, lodging, and food are available along some of the main routes and secondary trails, which makes traveling much easier for snowmobilers who are new to the area.
Best of all, you can prepare for your trip by requesting a free snowmobile trail map from the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. Use it to plan your route and mark all of the places you'd like to stop at during your ride!
Don't own a snowmobile? No worries, there's another way you can travel quickly through the winter woods - dog sledding! This traditional winter activity is only offered in a handful of places throughout the North Country, and St. Lawrence County is one of them.
In South Colton, Call of the Wild is a family-owned and operated dog sled tour business with over 30 years of riding experience.
Although they offer tours year-round at their rural property, there's nothing quite like zooming across a winter wonderland while being pulled by a dog sled team.
Call of the Wild provides fun, educational, and customizable trips in winter. You can learn how to drive your own team, or you can enjoy the thrills of riding in a double sled. No matter what you choose, it's sure to be an unforgettable experience.
If you're planning a visit to St. Lawrence County for a relaxing winter vacation, then you'll want to do something to keep the kids entertained. Lucky for you, there are a couple popular sledding sites that are worth the drive.
Near the St. Lawrence River shoreline in Ogdensburg is the St. Lawrence State Park Golf Course, which in winter becomes an exciting outdoor recreation area. You can explore the cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails, or you can take the kids to one of the sledding hills.
Another popular sledding site is the Snow Bowl State Forest, located in the Town of Colton. This former ski area is now managed by NY State and is open for recreational activities year-round. Sledding, hiking, snowmobiling, and more are all possibilities in winter.
Ready to discover an exciting winter wonderland? Begin planning your winter vacation to St. Lawrence County!
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