Camping and Cottage Life on New York’s Northern Border, Land of 200 Lakes, Rivers and Streams


Top Image: Stone Valley Summer Hikers © A. Hill 

Along New York’s Northern border, stretching from the St. Lawrence River to the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, St. Lawrence County is a destination yet to be discovered. Small-town charm, uncrowded trails, local food, and music create a summer spirit off the beaten path.

Thousands of acres of state parks and forests, multi-use trails, waterfall walks, rolling road cycling routes and five major rivers make the area ideal for settling into a campground or a cottage for a home away from home vacation or destination reunion. The area can be accessed by the Ogdensburg – Prescott International Bridge or the Cornwall-Massena Bridge.

Whether trailering an RV or tenting in style, the beauty of campgrounds in St. Lawrence County (STLC) is that they are all by the water, with 200 lakes, rivers and streams across the region; finding a campsite with fishing, swimming, and boating is essentially guaranteed.

Along the St. Lawrence River, Robert Moses State Park, Coles Creek State Campground, Jacque Cartier State Park, Lisbon Town Beach and Campground host waterfront views with the best sunsets all summer. Attractions aligning with the River include the Eisenhower Locks, the Nicandri Nature Center, the Frederic Remington Art Museum, the Gallery at Lake St. Lawrence Arts, The Gateway Museum and Red Barn Preserve and a boat ride out to Singer Castle.

Travelling inland a bit to Black Lake (a top bass fishing spot!), several campgrounds and cottage colonies sit along the 32-km shoreline. Mini golf, boat rentals, Bella Brook Vineyard, the Hammond Barn Quilt Trail and nearby museums, farmers markets and trails make the destination family-friendly for all ages and interests.

Cranberry Lake, St. Lawrence County, cottage, new york,
Cranberry Lake sunrise © V. White

As you move through the St. Lawrence River Valley, up into the Adirondack foothills, the town of Colton boasts Higley Flow State Park and several private campgrounds, like Stowe Bay and Parmenter Campground. Nearby waterfall trails, mountain biking, whitewater and flatwater kayaking make this area an outdoor recreation dream. Small family restaurants, ice cream and wildlife top off the experience.

If you are looking for a more remote location in the Adirondack wilderness, Cranberry Lake State Campground has tent and RV sites along the lake famed for the Cranberry 50 an 80-km primitive trek along the perimeter. The little town of Wanakena hosts art and music opportunities and a chance to mingle with locals and summer residents. Easy access trails surround the area, including a few STLC trails on the Great 8 Challenge and several waterfall walks, perfect for toddlers up to seniors.

As a new-to-you destination, everything about St. Lawrence County can be found on, or A free visitor guide can also be sent with a request on those sites. For every campground noted, nearby cottage rentals are within the same communities, ready to host a simple getaway or a family reunion.

 ® 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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