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Summer Activities in Jefferson County, New York


Jefferson County is located in the northern area of New York and lies halfway between New York City and the famous Niagara Falls. Jefferson County experiences an average summer temperature of 68 degrees, with July being the warmest month. For visitors exploring Jefferson County during the summer months, the area offers an abundance of recreational activities, dining opportunities and visitor attractions that are suitable for everyone

Hiking and State Parks

Jefferson County offers a variety of hiking trails in the summer time at many of its state parks. The county offers five state parks that include Canoe-Picnic Point State Park, Robert G. Wehle State Park, Southwick Beach State Park, Wellesley Island State Park and Westcott Beach State Park.

Canoe-Picnic Point State Park is only reachable by boat and visitors can rent crafts that take them to the beautiful shores of the island. The state park offers guests excellent fishing opportunities, a picnic area, hiking trails and scenic landscapes.

Westcott Beach State Park is an excellent spot for hiking and also offers visitors playgrounds, campsites, picnic areas and a sandy beach.


Golfing enthusiasts can enjoy Jefferson County’s many golf courses. Two of the popular courses within the county include the Thousand Islands Country Club in Wellesley Island, and the C-Way Golf Course in Clayton.

The Thousand Islands Country Club features a 36-hole championship course that is challenging for both advanced and beginner golfers. Also offered at the club are lodging and restaurant opportunities, a marina and swimming pools, and tennis courts.

The C-Way Golf Course is located only two miles from the Lawrence River and offers visitors a variety of golf packages. Also operating as a resort, the golf course is an 18-hole, par-71 course with many challenging traps, water hazards and greenery.

Hot-Air Balloon Rides

Hot-air balloon enthusiasts can enjoy balloon rides around Jefferson County. Champagne Balloon Adventures is the main hot-air balloon operator in the county and offers guests a variety of rides that show off the best sights in the area. Each flight will take off two hours before sunset, or at sunrise, and will last approximately two and a half hours. The ride allows visitors to view different birds of the area and can also float you over the famous 1000 Islands.

Summer Visitor Attractions

Jefferson County is home to a variety of visitor attractions that offer spectacular photograph opportunities during the summer. Visitors can explore famous attractions that include the Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Old McDonald’s Farm and the New York State Living Museum at Thompson Park.

The Boldt Castle on Heart Island is located in the 1000 Islands region of Jefferson County and lies on the banks of the Lawrence River. The castle is the setting of a love gesture from George Boldt to his wife in the 1900s. Unfortunately, George’s wife died before the completion of the 120-room castle and he stopped all workers from completing the job.

Old McDonald’s Farm is located in an old historic village of Sackets Harbor. Visitors can explore over 4,000 acres of farmland that includes a 400-cow dairy and a grain-processing plant.


Jefferson County has an interesting history told through its variety of museums located throughout the area. Some of the more popular museums include the Historical Association of South Jefferson, the 1000 Islands Museum of Clayton and the Antique Boat Museum.

The 1000 Islands Museum offers an extensive history of Jefferson County. Provided with interactive exhibits, an extensive research library and a gift shop, visitors to the museum are able to go back in time and discover how Jefferson County was built.

The Antique Boat Museum is located in Jefferson County’s city of Clayton and features a four-and-a-half-acre campus on the banks of the Lawrence River. The museum offers guests a chance to view over 100 historic pleasure boats and tour a large, 106-foot houseboat.

Things to do in St. Lawrence County New York 

            If you are not familiar with  
St. Lawrence County NY, and love nature, clean air and water, and very few people, you will love this area. It is one of the best kept secrets of the North East.  If you look at the big picture, St. Lawrence County is surrounded by absolutely wonderful major recreation areas in and of themselves. To our south about 90 miles or is Lake Placid and the Adirondack National Park. To our west about 50 miles is Lake Ontario. To our North about 30 miles are the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence River sea way area. To our  east is Lake Champlaine. We are also only 10 miles away from Black Lake, rated as one of the best 5 fishing lakes in all of the US. Coupled with that, St. Lawrence County is one of the most underpopulated counties per sq. mile of any in NY state. 
    On the other side of the coin, St. Lawrence County has numerous streams, rivers and small lakes that are extremely clean and beautiful, because they receive so little human use. We have the larger rivers of the Oswegatchie, Grass and  Rackette in St. Lawrence County and the Indian and Black River in the adjourning Jefferson County. All these rivers come from the greater Adirondacks Park water shed with very few towns and almost no industry to pollute the water.  They stay basically clear even during bad storms and heavy rains because there is such little disturbed earth within their basins that create mud. The dark color of the water is from the tannins that come from the vast stands of pine trees that these rivers all flow through. St. Lawrence County also has miles and miles of forests and other smaller lakes and streams, including Beaver Creek.

   Our favorite is the Oswegatchie, noted as one of the cleanest rivers in NY, as we live on this river. We have a river site for our restored Airstream trailer and we spend the summers there. We have a stretch of river up stream from our farm of about 4 or 5 miles where you can't see a house and downstream for about 3 miles. It is all secluded and some of the best small mouth bass fishing I have ever seen. The water is very clear and the river bottom is very sandy and filled with fools gold (I thought we were rich). During kayak or canoe rides (I much prefer Kayak because they have high back rests which virtually eliminates back pain) there are many secluded places with sandy beaches to pull up on and take a swim. And how many people use this wonderful river for boat rides or floats? During an entire summer we saw 3 kayak/canoe groups and 2 inner tube groups pass our trailer. The rest of the time, it was like living in our own state park that has been closed to the public. This has been our experience with many other beautiful places in St. Lawrence County as well.  It is a paradise for the nature lover or recreationalist who enjoys quiet places away from large groups of people but easily assessable.  If you are a fisherman, these waters are full of fish and have very little pressure on them. We have just been here 3 years and we haven't begun to explore all the wonderful places this county has to offer.
Lake Ontario, New York abounds with opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hiking, canoeing, backpacking, birding, fishing, sailing, charter tours and more. It's all here... covering parts of 7 New York Counties. From this page you'll be able to get well-maintained event calendars, information about the local geography, driving directions, maps, lodging, etc. all brought to you by New York-based organizations dedicated to preserving and sharing our natural resources with people from all over the world.


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