By Jessica Allen
When it comes to winter, there are two types of people: those who prefer to hunker down in a cabin, preferably with a roaring fire and steaming cup of cocoa, and those who can’t wait to get outside to play – or ski, snowshoe or fish – in the snow. St. Lawrence County is ideal for both. Located on New York's northern border, the county offers plenty of opportunities to chill out with some frosty fun.
Wowed by Waterfalls
New York’s largest county owes its distinctive waterfalls to the last Ice Age, some 15,000 years ago. As the three-kilometre-thick sheet of ice receded, gorgeous gorges were formed. Today, well-marked roads and paths enable you to go up, up, up to watch the water come down, down, down – even in the winter. Among the most popular are Lampson Falls, a truly big boy at roughly 12 metres tall and 30 metres wide, and Rainbow Falls, with a gorge that creates majestic ice formations in winter and rainbows year-round. Both are easy walks of about one kilometre round-trip, made easier by an interactive trail site STLCtrails.com.
Fun in the Snow
St. Lawrence County receives no shortage of snow, making it a must-visit destination for devotees of winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center at Robert Moses State Park offers free cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals. Many of the county’s universities, including Clarkson and SUNY Canton, allow non-students access to their cross-country trails. Figure out the route that’s right for you on the county’s interactive map, searchable by level of difficulty and distance.
Calling all anglers! St. Lawrence County is renowned for its ice fishing, with a four-month-long season. Salmon, trout, walleye, perch, pike and more are yours for the catching in Black Lake, Lake Ozonia, and bays along the St. Lawrence River. And, of course, where there’s ice fishing, there’s skating. Strap on your skates and glide along these waterways or head to indoor rinks like Sandstoner Park and Canton Pavilion.
Trails and Tails
For an off-the-beaten-path experience, consider Five Ponds Wilderness. True to its name, this secluded area lets you cross-country ski, snowshoe and hike along structured and primitive trails with campsites and lean-to's for multi-day adventures, including the Cranberry 50, a "patch-worthy" experience. Bring your binoculars, as you might catch sight of river otters or bald eagles, among the other animals who make their home here. Listen carefully too, as the eastern coyote roaming these woods become especially vocal during their winter breeding season.
Dashing Through the Snow
If you’d rather ride, you can enjoy the more than 1,126 kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails. Some of the best trails crisscross Brasher State Forest and Adirondack Park, the largest protected area in the lower 48 states. The New York State Snowmobile Association produces a comprehensive map of where to go. Another option to rest your weary self is by taking a sled dog tour, available from Call of the Wild Kennel.
Plan your next trail-seeking holiday at VisitSTLC.com
or call us toll-free 1-877-228-7810