Adirondacks Tug Hill Region

The Adirondacks Tug Hill region's picturesque farmland, meandering rivers, rolling hills and scenic river valleys lay just outside of the Adirondack Park's Blue Line. Famous for receiving record breaking snowfall each winter, the Tug Hill Region - located within Lewis County, NY - offers year-round outdoor recreation, unique Adirondack attractions and special events.
Discover the scenic Black River Valley, rolling pastures and pristine wildlife habitats of the Adirondacks Tug Hill Region - home to extensive snowmobiling and ATV trails.

Rising more than 2,000 feet at its highest point, and spanning 1.2 million acres, the Tug Hill Plateau offers commanding views of the Adirondack Mountains and the rolling farmland of Lewis County. Charming villages border the expansive, scenic playground, offering miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe tracts. In pristine, undeveloped forests, wildlife flourishes and visitors may glimpse deer, rabbits, beaver, turkey, fishers, bobcats and coyote.

Each season offers a new perspective on the Adirondacks-Tug Hill Region. Summer's lush greenery gives way to majestic fall foliage, and winter's bountiful snow melts into a rushing spring. Spring ushers in whitewater rafting on the Black and Beaver rivers, farmers' markets throughout the farming community and mountain biking on maintained trails. From kite-skiing to horseback riding on designated equestrian trails - adventure awaits in the Tug Hill region.

In winter, Lake Ontario's close proximity to the region translates to greater lake-effect snowfall than anywhere else in the northeast - averaging 200 inches each year. Snowmobiling is a huge draw to this "snowbelt" of New York. ATV riders can take advantage of a vast network of more than 450 miles of trails that connect to Quebec and other Adirondack snowmobiling trails.

Outdoor Recreation in the Tug Hill Region

The Black River, once a main shipping artery to the bustling port of Carthage, offers a true Adirondack paddling experience, as well as birding opportunities. The river's scenic shores are home to nesting Mallards, Wood Ducks, Baltimore Orioles, Cedar Waxwings, Flycatchers, Ravens, Kingfishers, and Herons. At least 35 species of fish live in the Black River - from Bass to Northern Pike, Brown Bullhead and Brown Trout. More than 45 streams, rivers, ponds and lakes flow throughout the Adirondacks-Tug Hill Region.

Additional Adirondacks Tug Hill recreation opportunities include:

  • The Otter Creek Horse Trails stretch for 65 miles along the Independence River Wild Forest Unit of the New York State Forest Preserve. These beautifully diverse trails and well-marked routes are perfect for day riding, offering year-round access. Find stalls and water at the Assembly Area on the Blue Jog Road, as well as primitive campsites.
  • Paddle the Beaver River Canoe Route, a 14-mile passage from Moshier to High Falls that flows through Lewis County's scenic backcountry. Along the way, find primitive camping spots, as well as nearby campgrounds with modern amenities. This placid river is perfect for a day trip excursions, and launch sites can be found along the canoe route.
  • Lake Bonaparte, named after the former king of Naples and Spain who was brother to the Holy Roman Emperor, offers boating and swimming in the summertime, and ice-fishing in the winter. With 24 miles of shoreline and incredible fishing - it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy an afternoon at the lake.
  • Adirondack Camping in the Tug Hill region offers classic outdoor adventure. Brantingham Lake, known alternately as the "Jewel of the Adirondacks" and the "Snow Capital of the East," is a vacation destination perfect for families who want to get away and relax in the splendor the region's natural beauty. Explore the lake's two islands; enjoy Lewis County fishing, boating and horseback riding in the summer, and snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice-fishing in the winter.
  • Find whitewater rafting on the Black River, a favorite destination for rafters, kayakers, and paddlers. Most sections of the river offer Class II-III rapids, as well as calmer sections. In spring, melting snow and ice can cause the river to swell, so additional caution is advised.

Lewis County Culture

Farming is a way of life for many in Lewis County. During the summer and fall, Farmers' Markets offer locally made cheese curds, Croghan Baloney and Amish and Mennonite baked goods. Sugar bushes produce sap for Adirondack maple syrup production - a tradition that is rooted in the farming community of the region. Check out the American Maple Museum in Croghan, and discover the history of maple sugaring in the northeastern United States. Learn about production, sugar making techniques and more.

For more information about the Adirondacks-Tug Hill Region, visit

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