Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
A long time ago, the Iroquois and Algonquin Indians occupied the land that is now called Upstate New York. Fishing and hunting were plentiful, there was plenty of water and the lands were uncommonly beautiful. In the modern age, not much has changed. This part of New York is as different from Manhattan as night is to day.
Visitors to this region can expect to find quiet getaway spots close to water and plenty of activities to interest even the most jaded local.
Utica is a city rooted in history, as it served as the base of Fort Schuyler during the French and Indian Wars. After this, it became incorporated as a city and thrived due to its position near the Erie Canal. Now, the Handshake City is a 21st century destination that retains that small town feel. There are many parks to take advantage of, and if you want to hear some incredible blues and jazz, check out Utica Monday Night, which is a club that features some of the best musicians in the area. The Utica Zoo sprawls across 80 acres, and has more than 200 animals of all types and species on display, and is a great place for kids of all ages.
Syracuse lies a little over 40 miles to the west, accessed via the Interstate 90. This route takes you along the Erie Canal, and when you get to Syracuse you’ll be able to tour the Erie Canal Museum. The museum is inside the Weighlock Building, built in 1850 to serve as a place to weigh the boats that sought to enter the Canal. Museum tours and an award-winning array of exhibits depict life around the canal. The area around Syracuse has many townships and sites of interest, and all are a short drive from the city itself. A 300-acre park can be found in Camillus, and Brewerton is a favorite among visitors because of its participation in the Revolutionary War. There are plenty of parks and campgrounds in Syracuse, with trails for hiking or walking.
Heading north on the northbound I-81, travel almost 70 miles until you come to Watertown, home to the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.
Watertown’s other claims to fame include the Sacketts Harbor Historical Society Museum and the Sci-Tech Center, which has many fascinating exhibits and interactive displays that showcase all facets of technology, from military applications to public transportation achievements. For some outdoor enjoyment, take a guided tour down the waters of Black River Canyon in a river raft, or seek out any of the local golf courses for a leisurely round or two.
As you venture up the northbound NY-12, you’ll run parallel to the St. Lawrence Seaway for nearly 30 miles, which brings you into Alexandria Bay. One of the more fascinating sites in the area is Boldt Castle, located on Heart Island. Originally intended by Waldorf-Astoria billionaire George Boldt as a gift for his wife, a series of events conspired to halt construction in 1904. The property lay dormant for more than 30 years, until the remains were restored and construction ultimately completed in 1977. Boldt Castle is a re-creation of a Rhineland castle and serves as a popular tourist attraction in Alexandria Bay.
Continuing north on the NY-12 for 12 miles, you’ll come to the exit for CR-6, which you’ll take for 24 miles into Ogdensburg. For those who have a particular liking for the rugged Western art of Frederic Remington, you’re in for a treat since Ogdensburg is the location of the Frederic Remington Museum of Art. The museum contains a very impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, sketches, and personal effects that combine to give us a comprehensive view of this fascinating artist, whose work continues to captivate new admirers to this day.
The last stop of Massena is best accessed by leaving Ogdensburg on the eastbound CR-28 and following it 15 miles to the NY-37-E junction. Take the 37 for 18 miles into Massena’s city limits. There are several Indian casinos in the area, as well as several parks and lakes for fishing and camping, but one sight the ship lover may want to take in is the Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway. This is an excellent place to watch ships pass and has several observation points for this very purpose.
All things considered, upstate New York is a perfect place to experience something truly unique.
Other Area Sponsors in New York:
Association Island RV Resort & Marina
Lake George/Schroon Valley Resort