Sipping History in the Thousand Islands
Located on Main St, the St. Lawrence County Historical Association and Silas Wright Museum houses genealogy records for the county as well as the homestead of NYS Governor and Senator Silas Wright. (315/386-8133)
Sample various fruit infused wines in the tasting room of River Myst Winery, located in Red Mills on Rte 37 alongside the St. Lawrence River; there's a gift shop too.
Just one block from the Frederic Remington Art Museum is Lighthouse Point. This historic landmark, now Ogdensburg Harbor Light, is the site of the last physical battle of the French and Indian War, and Fort de la Presentation once stood on these grounds. The fort was also used during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
Lunch in Morristown. About 10 minutes south of Ogdensburg, on Rte 37, the Bedrock Café (315/375-4230) features a wide selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And don’t miss their homemade soup, pies and potato chips!
The McConnell's Windmill, also known as Morristown Windmill and Stone Windmill, is located off Rte 37 on Main St in the village. It was built c. 1825 in Chapman Park by Hugh McConnell, a miller from Scotland. It served as a local jail and an Air Warning Post during WWII.
Wilkinson Point, a scenic overlook located on Rte 37 includes an interpretive panel about the Seaway Trail and is the only point along the highway where Singer Castle on Dark Island in the St. Lawrence is visible. (Accessible by boat weekends through Columbus Day.)
At Otter Creek Winery (315/642-0622) on Rte 37 in Philadelphia, sample your favorite wine while enjoying the beautiful views from the tasting room overlooking the vineyards.
The 10th Mountain Division Historical Collection at Fort Drum (315/774-0391) offers exhibits portraying local military history and conflicts the 10th Mountain Division has participated in. Visitors are welcome with proper identification (drivers license, vehicle insurance and registration must be presented at the gate).
Spend an overnight in Watertown.
Built in 1801, the Burrville Cider Mill (315/788-7292), open from Labor Day until the week before Thanksgiving, is one of Jefferson County’s oldest establishments. Tour the mill, sample the best freshly pressed apple cider and fried cider donuts, and take breathtaking photos of the autumn leaves and the waterfalls.
Jefferson County Historical Society (315/782-3491) at Paddock Mansion is a 19th-century mansion with Victorian-styled gardens. Enjoy its collections of Tyler coverlets, Native American artifacts and a 1910 Babcock automobile made in Watertown.
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site (315/646-3634) was the site of two battles of the War of 1812. Tour the furnished commandant’s house (c. 1860) and Navy Yard Grounds, and visit the exhibit “Life on board the Jefferson.” Enjoy the interpretive trail and scenic views of Lake Ontario.
Lunch suggestion: Sackets Harbor Brew Pub (315/646-BREW), housed in the former historic railroad station, is a fine restaurant offering craft beer brewed onsite, including their award winning 1812 Ale.
A visit to Yellow Barn Winery (315/782-1824) offers fine elegant American wines, with grapes that are of the cold, hardy variety suited to our North Country climate. Relax in barn-style ambiance and visit the production area and learn what makes Yellow Barn different from most other wineries.
Old McDonald’s Farm & North Harbor Dairy – Fall Pumpkin Patch (315/583-5737) is an educational agricultural adventure for the entire family. Take a musical hayride, visit animals in the barns and in the fields, pick pumpkins in the region’s largest pumpkin patch, tour the modern 1,000-cow dairy.
Salmon River Fish Hatchery (315/298-5051) on Rte 22 is owned and operated by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The hatchery is the major stocking source for several strains of salmon, trout and other fish in Lakes Ontario and Erie. More than 3 million salmonids are produced here annually and there are many fascinating displays and exhibits. Egg collection takes place weekdays during Fall salmon run.
Salmon River Falls Unique Area (315/298-7467) features a 110-foot waterfall on the middle reaches of the Salmon River that offers a spectacular view any time of year. There are walking trails along the top of the falls, scenic overlooks that are handicapped accessible, and hiking trails to the bottom of gorge are open May 1 – Nov. 15. It's owned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
Spy Island, Mexico Point State Park – Silas Towne gravesite and monument honors the Revolutionary War patriot, Silas Towne, who overheard St. Leger’s plans to attack Fort Stanwix at this site. Towne was able to warn the Americans of the impending attack and prevented loss of Fort Stanwix to the British.
Behling Orchards (315/963-7068) offers retail and u-pick apples, fruit, cider, pony and wagon rides and a corn maze.
Ashley-Lynn Winery and Leon’s Farm Market (315/963-3262), 11 varieties of fruit wines are pressed, aged, blended, and bottled onsite. Wine tastingsc are conducted daily and you'll also find pumpkins, flowers, home and garden products, gift baskets and more.
Ready to make dinner plans? Try Hanabi Sushi, one of the few authentic Japanese restaurants in Central New York (315/343-1500); Canale’s Restaurant (315/343-3540); Patz On The River (315/207-0370). You could stay overnight in Oswego at King Arthur's Suites if you like.
Safe Haven Museum and Education Center (315/342-3003) commemorates the 982 Holocaust refugees from World War II who were allowed into the United States as guests of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These refugees were housed at Fort Ontario from August 1944 until February 1946.