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Photo Credit: Mike Saccente, D.R.A.G. of Speculator

Lewis County Getaway Guide

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Lewis County top banner Lewis County top banner’s Lewis County is an experience to treasure!

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By Anne Merrill, Executive Director
Lewis County Chamber of Commerce

Lewis County has a unique geography. In a drive of 30 miles you can travel from the Tug Hill Plateau, home of the greatest snowfall in the eastern United States, through the Black River Valley's fertile farm lands, and into the western edge of the Adirondack Mountains. In a short drive you will find over 600 miles of snowmobile trails, the only permitted ATV trail system in the state, and ample places to ski, horseback ride, bike, canoe, kayak, fish, and hunt. We invite you to stray a little from the beaten path and visit us here in the Adirondacks Tug Hill Region. We know that breaks from your busy life are rare, so our innkeepers, restauranteurs, and guides strive to provide you with everything you need to leave your daily world behind.

Averaging about 200 inches of snow annually, Lewis County is the place for winter enthusiasts! Lake-effect snowstorms cover this area in a canvas of white, waiting to capture the traces of your winter adventure.

Lewis County is known for some of the best snowmobiling in the Northeast -- with over 600 miles of trails and no permit required.

If you prefer a quiet ride, visit the northern part of Lewis County. It remains undiscovered by the masses. There are many lodging and dining businesses located on or near the trails.

You can reach Lewis County from many trail systems. Connections to Redfield, Oswego, Plattsburgh, Old Forge, Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, the Champlain Valley and New York and Quebec corridor trails may allow you to travel here entirely by snowmobile.

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Brief History of Lewis County

Lewis County is located in northwestern New York State, slightly east of due north from Syracuse. A good portion of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the western part of the county and the county is home to the Black River Valley. The eastern part of the county is in the Adirondack Park.

Early settlers from Connecticut first started arriving in 1794 when Lewis County was still part of Oneida County. Both Lewis and Jefferson Counties were formed from Oneida on March 28, 1805. The County is named for Morgan Lewis who was the Governor of New York at that time.

It was the Black River Canal, which opened to traffic in 1855 followed by a branch of the New York Central Railroad in 1868, that opened the door to settlement and export of regional products. The two major industries of Lewis County are and have always been lumbering and dairying. Lewis County also produces more high-grade maple syrup than any other New York State county.


The beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams have attracted city dwellers such that recreation and tourism have become a major industry in themselves.

The trails in the Tug Hill Region are diverse. On the higher elevations you’ll find wide and flat trails with stops spaced conveniently in 20- to 30-mile stretches. On the edges of the plateau, there are gentle rolling hills and gradual rises and declines of elevation. On the northern edges, there are large tracts of farmland that provide some field riding. Going through the Black River Valley and up into the Adirondacks, the trails wind through the woods and provide a nice scenic ride. First time riders will benefit from the advice given by local blogger, Erica Lemke, found here:

Parking and Maps

Parking is readily accessible throughout the trail system, and maps to help you plan your trip are available on each club’s website. Paper maps are available from clubs or from local businesses. Most establishments allow you to park in their lots and there are trailhead parking areas distributed throughout the region. For accessible parking off Interstate 81, Barnes Corners is a popular spot in the northern area. Osceola is a popular location in the southern area. Another major access road is NYS Route 12/26.

There are multiple areas along Route 12/26, such as Lyons Falls and Constableville. In the central portion of the Hill, there are parking areas around Turin. there are many areas in the northern end of Route 12, in West Lowville and Copenhagen. Check and our free phone app for parking, trail conditions, and more!

Rent a Sled!

With so many other winter activities available, this area is a great place to take family members who don’t ride, and to easily introduce your sled-less friends to the sport! The following list includes several businesses that have snowmobiles for rent:

Flat Rock Inn and Camping Resort, 4100 Flat Rock Rd., NY 13367. Phone 315-376-2332. Lodging/Dining

Ridge View Lodge, 7491 State Route 12, Lowville, NY 13367 Phone 315-376-2232. Lodging/Dining

For more information about riding in the Adirondack Tug Hill region, contact the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, 7576 S State St, Lowville, NY 13367
Phone: (315) 376-2213

Respecting private property and closed trails; Understanding how much work goes into creating and maintaining a snowmobile clubs trail system; Always ride Safely and within your own limits on a well maintained machine; Tread lightly on state, public, and private lands with a sense of Stewardship; Ride with a sense of Honor amongst your fellow snowmobiliers.

Use our FAQ page...

LEARN HOW-TO find club trails, trail ID’s, trail conditions, webcams, parking, club houses, businesses (where to stop), snowfall, intersections, PLAN routes, SAVE routes (to your own private account, or to make public), PRINT ROUTES, import routes to your free no-reception-needed “Snowmobiling NY” trail app on your smartphone, and more! How-To Videos also available.

Lewis County FAQ Map