Lewis County is within an easy day's drive of most major cities in the Northeast; with Interstate Routes 81 and 90 about a half hour from the county lines.
Tug Hill Plateau
Tug Hill's 2100 square miles create a truly unique landscape with
clear water streams and rivers, spectacular gorges and gulfs, extensive forests,
productive farms, and vast open space. Together these elements contribute to
a land of charm and rugged beauty where logging, hunting, fishing, trapping and
winter recreation shape the region's way of life.
Tug Hill is known as the snowiest place east of the Rockies, with snowfalls of
200-300" annually as a result of local lake effect storms. The New York State
record snowfall occurred during the winter of 1976-77 in the Town of Montague
on Tug Hill. They recorded 466.9 inches of snow — nearly 30 feet! Because of
the abundant snow and terrain, no place is better for winter sports than Lewis
County. There are hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails, state and county maintained
cross-country ski trails,and the Snow Ridge Ski Center for down hill skiing.
Expansive forests, isolated marshes and swamps, steep gorges combine with limited
public roads and few human inhabitants to make for a special homefor wildlife
including white tailed deer, beaver, mink, muskrat, otterfisher, coyote and fox.
Abundant wetlands are home to mallard, wood duck, hooded merganser and black
duck. There are seven plants and twenty-nine rare animal species recorded on Tug Hill,
including birds-eye primrose, Jacob's ladder, and the red-shouldered hawk. For
the adventure seeker orthe naturalists, for the hunter, biker or bird watcher
the wild, remote beauty of New York's "lesser wilderness" is unparalleled.
Nestled between the Adirondacks and the Tug Hill
Plateau, the Black River Valley is the heart of Lewis County and home to a thriving
dairy industry. There are miles and miles of productive farmlands, with more than
400 commercial dairy farms — and more cows than people!
The Black River offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the North Country,
including walleye, small mouth bass and northern pike. And for the canoeist,
the smooth waters of the river provide endless hours of relaxing paddling. Canoe and
boat launches, and picnic launches with interpretive signs that include river
maps and historic and recreational information dot the Black River Canoe Trail.
Running along Rte 12 and Rte 812 through the county is the Black RiverTrail,
one of New York State's designated scenic byways. Traversing 111miles of beautiful
scenery, this driving tour takes you to historic locks, museums and historic
sites such as Constable Hall, the Gould Mansion, and to Lowville, the county
seat and home of one of the oldest county fairs in the US. Since Lewis County
is the state's top producer of maple syrup, you'll find many road side stands
along the way where maple syrup and farm fresh produce are sold.
The western portion of the nation's largest forest preserve, the
Adirondack Park, is located in Lewis County. Charteredover one hundred years
to be "forever wild," the Adirondack Park is a six million acre natural sanctuary
of public and private land protected under the state constitution. In these forested
foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, you need not be a mountaineer to enjoy
this Great American Wilderness. There are miles of back country trails for mountain
biking, and the Otter Creek Horse Trails offer over 65 miles of diverse winding trails
along flats and woodlands. Scenic seaplane flights soar over tree tops,
while down below golf courses abound, offering some of the area's most beautiful
settings. At every turn you'll find a picturesque family picnic spot or a short
safe nature trail to explore.
The many lakes, ponds, river and streams provide an endless source of recreation.These
waterways that once provided the only transportation routes through the Adirondacks
have become a mecca for canoers, kayakers, and white waterrafters. In springtime,
the Moose River swells with rushing waters from the mountains melting snow creating
a Class 5 rafting river — challenging even for the best rafters in the country.
In contrast, the pristine beautyof the Beaver River offers canoeists one of the
Adirondack's most scenic routes, with riverside camping along the way.