After a job well done in your classes, it's good to give your mind a rest and enjoy some time with your friends doing something fun and relaxing. I know I have had a difficult time adjusting to online courses. Increased screen time and coursework can be tiring, and sometimes you need a mental break.
As a part of St. Lawrence University’s Laurentian pact, students are to remain in St. Lawrence County. This made me a bit worried. Last year, I did many things outside of the county, like hiking in the Adirondack Park and visiting family in Syracuse. When returning to campus, I thought to myself, “I wonder what in St. Lawrence county will help me relax and be a good way to spend my free time?”
While a quick trip to Lake Placid may no longer be an option, St. Lawrence County has some amazing things to offer for a weekend or a free afternoon to take your mind off your studies and make some awesome memories!
The following activities feature a little bit of everything. A reminder that it's important to follow all health and safety guidelines when venturing out into the community. Wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands frequently—you know the drill.
Without further ado, here are 10 awesome activities that you can do with your friends to have fun, decompress, and stay safe at the same time!
Go for a walk or run in a beautiful North Country park
The county is home to some fantastic parks with so much wilderness surrounding us. Higley Flow State Park, where our Nordic ski team practices in the colder months, is a great place to visit! With over 1100 acres of land, a beach to swim, and some beautiful trails, Higley Flow is a great day excursion located in nearby Colton. There are so many more parks in the county, such as Jacques Cartier State Park, Robert Moses State Park, and many more! If you're looking to stay even closer to campus, we have some beautiful trails all around as well!
Putt on over to do some mini-golfing
Located just minutes from St. Lawrence University, Swing Time Mini Golf is a great quick trip right up the road. Show your friends what you can do on the putting green before you impress them with your driver on the Appleton course.
Take out the clubs and show off your drive at the Oliver Appleton Golf Course
With 18 holes located right on campus, walk or drive the short distance to the clubhouse and play some golf with friends! Rent a cart or walk onto the course, starting at $10. If you’re the kind of golfer I am, maybe get some lessons and bring a few extra balls.
Take a stroll into Canton for a bagel and some outdoor shopping
Located right on Main street, The Bagelry has some delicious breakfast options for you and some friends to pick up for an outdoor distanced meal. After you eat your delightful morning dish, maybe pop on over to the farmers market right across the street on Tuesday and Friday mornings through the end of October and see what the wonderful, creative people of the area might be selling!
Reel in some fish on the Grasse River
The Grasse River is located entirely in St. Lawrence County and is home to many different types of fish. Grab your rod and catch anything from stocked brown trout and native brook trout to walleye and smallmouth bass. With the south branch beginning in the nearby town of Colton, it’s a quick trip for anyone that loves to fish!
Head on over to the drive-in movie theater
Downtown Canton is home to the American Theater, which is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but a safe alternative is the 56 Auto Drive-In, located in Massena! The drive-in shows movies every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7:30, so get a group of friends in the family unit together and pack into the car to watch some fun flicks!
Hop into a canoe down at the canoe shack
Our Outdoor Program runs the canoe shack on campus, which is open to students on the weekends from 12-6 p.m. and weekdays from 3-6 p.m.. Students with a valid SLU ID can get a canoe, paddles, and life vests to take out on the Little River for a beautiful afternoon paddle!
Rip up the trails on your mountain bike
The surrounding areas are full of great trails to ride on your mountain bike. Are you feeling like a mellow ride on a bike path? Take your bike out on the Kip or Saddlemire Trail right on campus. Looking for a bit more, maybe some enduro and a jump or two? Head on over to Colton and ride Lenny’s loop, but don’t forget a helmet!
Take a trek up the beautiful Mt. Arab
Mt. Arab in Piercefield is a quick hike and has a beautiful view! With a trail that is about one mile long and an elevation gain of 750 feet, this trail is a fun little hike up to the top of the 2,525-foot mountain. Topped by a steel fire tower that offers stunning views of the surrounding area, this hike will have you struggling to figure out which picture to post on Instagram.
Grab the whole family unit for some good old-fashioned competitions
While interaction with students from other family units is still limited for safety, there are still some super cool kids living with you, so why not play some games? The student center is lending out games for people to use, or have someone grab their spike ball set, football, Monopoly board, or any other game and have a blast! Get some competition going and see who the real champions of the family unit are.