Here at Clarkson, we are all about unique and enriching experiences, and that theme carries beyond the classroom. You may be thinking that Clarkson is located in the middle of nowhere, but, actually, the campus is surrounded by many places to visit and explore!
As you may know, Clarkson is close to the Adirondack Park and all of its mountains and trails. In addition to all of the outdoor activities located near Clarkson, there are many unique towns to visit. This summer I had the opportunity to explore this beautiful area, and I am going to give you a list of some of my favorite places!
Postwood Park in Hannawa Falls has a beach that is visited by lots of Clarkson and SUNY Potsdam students! It’s usually pretty busy after students get out of classes and on fall weekends when students still cling to the warm weather that Potsdam offers early in the semester. It’s a popular spot in the summer as well and is filled with families and kids, as well a few college students who stick around for the summer. But if you get the chance to hang out there on a quiet day, you won’t regret it! It’s so peaceful and has a great view of the water and the restaurant Jake’s On The Water. Plus, Postwood Park is only 10 minutes from campus!
Lampson Falls is a quick thirty-minute drive from campus. You could have a beach and hiking day by visiting both Postwood Park and Lampson Falls. It is less than a one-mile hike through the woods to reach a popular spot to see the falls. The hike in was my favorite part because of all the trees — some standing and some fallen — and flowers I saw. It’s a really beautiful, quick and easy hike! It’s not hilly, and the trail is smooth and well tended, so it wouldn’t be too tough for those who are not big into hiking!
Tupper Lake has been one of my favorite places to visit this summer! The town of Tupper Lake feels so homey and woodsy and has a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and pubs! There are also a few hikes for people looking to hike without much of a challenge, such as Goodman Mountain. And then there is The Wild Center — a cool place to spend a day exploring! There are indoor interactive activities and displays — check out the indoor duck and turtle pond!! There is also an outdoor turtle pond, located next to the cafe, so you can sit outside, eat your lunch and watch turtles swim by! There are also many walking trails; some lead to the Raquette River, while others take you into the iForest, an immersive sound experience. It was surreal; I couldn’t pinpoint where the music was coming from because it surrounded me.
It was as if I had walked into a movie or a different world! But the main attraction at the Wild Center is the Wild Walk. Visitors get to walk above the treeline and see amazing views of the Adirondacks. The Wild Walk also has bridges and a tree house to explore, as well as a bird nest to climb into and a web hanging above the ground that visitors can walk across like spiders!
Lake Placid is a must-visit while living in the North Country! With the hiking spots, skiing/snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain, 1980 Olympic memorabilia, lots of shopping and all of the unique breweries and restaurants, there is always something to do! Lake Placid is only an hour and thirty minutes from campus — perfect for day or weekend trips! Many Clarkson students have passes to Whiteface and spend a lot of time skiing and snowboarding there. Lake Placid is a great spot to explore, hang out with friends, get some good food and make new memories with friends. The Clarkson Golden Knights Hockey team will be playing against rival St. Lawrence University in Lake Placid this winter the perfect excuse to make the trip!
The Thousand Islands, a group of more than 1,800 islands in the St. Lawrence River, is another gem to be found up here in the North Country. The towns of Alexandria Bay and Clayton offer a variety of restaurants and shops and plenty of boat tours and beaches to visit. Many of the boat tours travel around some of the islands, explaining the history and allowing visitors to tour some of the castles! I’ve been visiting the Thousand Islands ever since I was little, and I’ve always loved touring the castles! The history is so rich and amazing; you really feel immersed in a completely different world. There are lots of events going on in this area; one of the most popular, Pirate Days in Alexandria Bay, offers many activities for the entire family.
In addition to the unique towns in the area, there are also many lakes that offer amazing views of Northern New York and the Adirondacks and loads of activities. Some of the most notable, smaller lakes are Cranberry Lake, Star Lake and Silver Lake, all located on County Route 3 between Potsdam and Tupper Lake. Cranberry Lake is much bigger than the other two and has campgrounds and other activities. If you’re anything like me, spending a day sitting by the water (or on it) is my favorite way to unwind and relax!
Clarkson is in the perfect location — surrounded by beautiful lakes, interesting towns and other attractions — and all without being too touristy!