St Lawrence County New York

What to do in St Lawrence County New York

Lola’s still in the shop

BGM RV Repair reports that they are still missing a part from Winnebago.  This is a major delay in our schedule.  We are now expecting get Lola next Monday the 18th if all things go well.  That is par for the course.  It seems like most RV repairs take more time than expected.  As reported in our last post Lola’s in the shop – Watch your rearBGM RV Repair has everything prepped, so once this part arrives Lola will be in the paint shop.  We hope to have an update later this week.

Because of the delay, and since our daughters will be in Boston during the 3rd week of July, we have cancelled our trip to Bar Harbor Maine and will be heading directly to Sturbridge Massachusetts to go to Boston then the FMCA 94th Convention in West Springfield Massachusetts.

Fortunately, our good friends in Norfork New York are letting our pack (and us) to stay with them.  With their 2 dogs and our 3 the place has really ‘gone to the dogs’.  The dogs get along as good as us humans, so all in all we have a great time.  Thanks again Pat and Martha for sharing your home with us.

This has given us a chance to explore St Lawrence County, part of New York’s North Country and write our first true travelogue.

Exploring St Lawrence County

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St Lawrence Lake

The St Lawrence River flows from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic ocean.  From the farthest headwaters west of the Great Lakes it flows 1,900 miles before reaching the Atlantic making it one of the longest rivers in the world.  The river has provided power and navigation for centuries.  In 1902 the Pittsburgh Reduction Company – the predecessor to Alcoa – built an aluminum plant in Massena New York to take advantage of the hydroelectric capabilities.  This makes it the longest operating aluminum plant in the world.

From 1954 to 1957 a joint project between Canada and the US built a huge hydroelectric dam the completely cross the St Lawrence river.  In addition to hydroelectric power, the dam improved the ability to ship goods on the river by creating a series of locks so ships could sail from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic without having to be unloaded and barged over various rapids and through canals.

This dam created St Lawrence Lake – one of the big attractions in the area.  Fishermen from all over the world visit the area – especially for the Bass and Walleye.  It also changed the Thousand Island region expanding an existing destination spot with the huge lake that dam created.

You can check out current ship traffic and lock locations at the Seaway System website.  The Eisenhower lock in Massena has a visitor center.

From our cabin in Lousiville, ship watching was a blast!


Trails and Boat Trips

One of the great things about the Thousand Islands area of the St Lawrence river are all the trails you can go on.  They are great if you are interested in photography because this time of year it seems like every week different wildflowers are in bloom.  And of course nothing beats relaxing on the river in a boat with friends.  There are trails all around the Great Lakes and St Lawrence river on the US and Canadian side.


Quaint towns and villages

There are few large towns in the area so if you like to explore small towns and villages this is the place!  Traffic is no problem here and most towns have one or more treasure shops where you can find antiques and second hand values.  It seems like each weekend a different town has a town-wide yard sale.  Not to be missed is Alexandria Bay and Boldt Castle.


Cities and Capitals

Both Ottawa – the capital of Canada and Montreal – one of the major financial centers of Canada are within and an hour and a half drive from us in St Lawrence county.  Both towns are steeped in history and regional charm.  We visited Montreal on our last visit to the area, so we picked Ottawa on this trip and were able to see a couple of boats go up the Rideau Canal.  This canal was opened in 1832, mainly when the English were concerned about American interference of commercial traffic on the St Lawrence river after the War of 1812.



The St Lawrence County area has many small rivers that flow into the St Lawrence river.  Along with that are lots of waterfalls, most relatively easy to get to.  For outsiders, the best resource is the Northern NY Waterfall listing.  We visited Rensselaer Falls in the town of the same name on the Oswegatchie river., and Allen Falls outside of Parishville on the St Regis river.  It’s questionable whether Rensselaer Falls should actually be categorized as a ‘Falls’, but Allen Falls is spectacular.



Adirondack Park

It would be impossible to talk about the New York North Country without mentioning the great Adirondack Park.  We visited the park on our previous visit to St Lawrence county, and are planning to visit again this fall to capture some of the spectacular fall colors.

Just Exploring…

The area is full of farms – many dating back over 100 years.  If you are into old barns, tractors or anything else related to agriculture you will have fun driving around and exploring.  Pick up great produce from local Amish farms.

Thanks for reading our first true travelogue.  Leave a comment with your thoughts if you wish.

Happy Trails from the Trippin’ Engles

Jeff, Christine and the three dogs – Kadie, Sam and Danny