Running alongside the Great Lake Ontario and the mighty St. Lawrence River, this stretch of New York's 454-mile Seaway Trail connects sophisticated cities, quaint villages, picturesque bays, and rolling farmland. There are endless scenic lookouts, dozens of historic sites, and some of the best fishing anywhere.
Look for the green-and-white "footprints and waves" Seaway Trail signs to guide you on your journey. Brown-and-white sailing ship signs point out the sites related to the trail's role in the War of 1812. The trail kiosks, many with brochure racks, offer a large area map and information about local points of interest. Seaway Trail Inc. in Sackets Harbor and several retail and museum gift shops along the way offer trail tour books. These guides offer information on historic lighthouses, War of 1812 sites, and natural resources, such as bicycle and hiking trails.
Fair Haven to Sandy Creek
Begin your journey in Fair Haven, a village at the bottom of the Eastern Lake Ontario Basin, on Route 104a. Stay overnight at one of the charming bed and breakfasts, explore unique gift and tackle shops, or charter a fishing expedition on the big lake. Nearby, you will find great opportunities for camping, golf, cross-country skiing, water skiing, windsurfing, and canoeing. If you are in town during July and August, stop in at the Sterling Renaissance Festival. The Sodus Bay Historical Lighthouse Museum is a short jaunt to the west. Photographers will find exciting opportunities along this stretch, with its scenic wave-cut rock formations and outcroppings along the shore.
Follow Route 104a east to Oswego, where great fishing and bicycling tours of Erie Canal and auto racing await your enjoyment. Walk in the footsteps of British, French, and American soldiers at Fort Lake Ontario. Birdwatchers will flock to the Derby Hill Bird Observatory for the spring and fall migrations of the hawk and other migratory birds. Just offshore, there are many incredible shipwreck sites for scuba divers to explore.
In Scriba, Route 104a becomes 104B. To remain on the Seaway Trail, turn left onto Route 104B to Mexico Point. At the state boat launch, you can begin your pursuit of Lake Ontario's trophy-sized salmon and lake trout, and prolific walleye. Just before Port Ontario look for the picturesque Selkirk Shores State Park. Take time to see the Selkirk Lighthouse where the Salmon River flows into Lake Ontario. Cyclists can jump on the Seaway Trail bike loop here. Follow Route 13 to Pulaski, then to the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. Pulaski hosts many art shows and festivals throughout the year. Continuing north, Route 104a becomes Route 3. Cross-country skiers will find some great trails in the Village of Sandy Creek, and there are nearly 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in Oswego County. On the North Bank of South Sandy Creek, a few miles west of the Seaway Trail, there is an anglers' parking lot.
Henderson's Harbor to Clayton
Nearing Henderson Harbor, look for historic buildings dating back to the early 1800s. Photographers will find some more great photo-ops at the harbor lookout. Campers should look for the scenic Southwick Beach State Park. Anglers know Henderson Harbor as the home of the PBS television series Rod and Reel. Just inland, you can pick berries in Adams Center and enjoy fresh Great Lakes Cheese in Adams.
In Sackets Harbor, you will find history at every turn. Three National Register Historic Districts draw visitors to Sackets Harbor: the downtown with its 150-plus historic structures, the Sackets Harbor Battlefield, and Madison Barracks. Ulysses S. Grant slept here as a young lieutenant during the 1830s and 40s. Begin your visit at the Cultural Park Visitors' Center with its knowledgeable staff and many striking exhibits. Ask for an orientation map and directions for the village walking tour.