A Trail Challenge for the Family, From the Adirondack Mountains to the St. Lawrence River


© Photos courtesy of St. Lawrence County

Imagine a summer getaway with your family where relaxation, easy access, and the opportunity to experience nature await in one of New York’s newest trail challenges.

Home to waterfalls, rivers, and nature lookouts, the Great 8 Challenge on New York’s northern border is designed for little legs, limited ability, and low-stress outdoor exploration. Nestled between the northern foothills of the Adirondacks to the St. Lawrence River Valley, the trails are a great introduction to the great outdoors (#Great8Challenge). The challenge helps little ones or those new to hiking build confidence and grow an appreciation for fresh air and nature’s beauty.

Sneakers, a water bottle, a picnic lunch, and maybe a bathing suit are all you need for a walk in St. Lawrence County. The short excursions are still undiscovered, making trailheads and viewpoints in nature a more serene experience away from the crowds.

Whether you prefer to bike, hike, or run, the interactive trails site (STLCtrails.com) allows you to plan, pull up trailhead directions, and log your trails to earn your Great 8 Challenge Badge. A long weekend is all you need for the Waterfall Crawl, with trails nearby for a multi-day adventure. You can also check out the other two challenges—the Riverside Run, along the County’s five major rivers, and the Nature Nuts Challenge, where interpretive signs and lookouts bring you closer to nature.

For those who prefer a natural retreat without the exercise, St. Lawrence County is the perfect place for anglers. Wherever and whenever you are in St. Lawrence County, great fishing is only minutes away. With hundreds of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and streams to choose from during every season, there’s no better place to enjoy a peaceful fishing expedition.

Family riding bikes in St. Lawrence County
© Photos courtesy of St. Lawrence County
009-Global Heroes News St-Lawrence County
© Photos courtesy of St. Lawrence County

Choose your favorite way to get active, relax, unwind, and experience a no-stress vacation. A home away from home in a cozy hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or vacation rental adds to relaxation in St. Lawrence County. Switch up your plans with a mixture of museums featuring art, play, and nature. The Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg is the largest collection of Frederic Remington’s work, including famous western sculptures and paintings. The Nicandri Nature Center in Massena and North Country Children’s Museum in Potsdam provide fun opportunities for the whole family, engaging hearts and minds in the wonders of true play.

If your appreciation for local art is a feature of visiting a new destination, the TAUNY Center on Canton’s Main Street hosts exhibits, workshops, and a folkstore that embraces the talents and traditions of North Country artisans and musicians. The Iva Smith Memorial Art Gallery is home to seasonal exhibits and the start of the Hammond Barn Quilt Trail, which ends at Bella Brooke Winery, the perfect place to cool off with a refreshing drink. Or combine a relaxing walk with a cool beverage by tasting your way along the St. Lawrence County Wine Trail, an 80-mile trail that extends across the region, allowing visitors to explore not just the area but their wine palates too!

With options homegrown, home-cooked, and home-brewed around every corner, St. Lawrence County has something to satisfy every set of tastebuds. From small-town diners to swanky restaurants serving five-star fare, find delight in meals made from fresh produce and generations of perfected family recipes.

For family fun without the crowd, consider bringing dinner home with a visit to a local farmers market for an authentic taste of the North Country. You’ll find the freshest produce, artisanal cheeses, and locally raised meat and poultry.

© Photos courtesy of St. Lawrence County

Prefer to make dinner an experience for the whole family? Take a family-friendly cooking class at Maple Rock Bed and Breakfast in Potsdam. Whether your family wants to make homemade pasta or create and enjoy a gourmet meal together, they have a class that everyone will enjoy (even the pickiest of eaters).

After you’re done enjoying your culinary creations, be a guest for the night and relax in one of their comfortable guest rooms that will make you feel at home. The next morning, enjoy a delicious breakfast featuring local ingredients and head outdoors to enjoy their cross-country skiing or hiking trails right in their backyard. Maple Rock Bed and Breakfast is a family destination of its own.

Traveling to St. Lawrence County is a beautiful road trip, located on the northwestern Adirondack border, two hours north of Syracuse and just over three hours north of Albany. The new-to-you destination is perfect for a week-long getaway of making memories with your family.

Request a free visitors guide and plan your trip on New York’s Northern border at www.VisitSTLC.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-228-7810.

 ® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

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There’s fun to be had all year-round in St. Lawrence County. From summertime fun on the St. Lawrence River, winter dog sledding, autumn leaf peeping and spring hiking, there’s an adventure waiting for everyone!


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