by Teresa Farrell
The Lake Ontario area offers a unique blend of attractions: a rich historical background, a variety of gorgeous parks and wilderness areas, unparalleled fishing, and a relaxed , farm-country atmosphere that puts visitors at ease the moment they arrive. The variety of things to do means that every member of the family can unwind in their own way. This area has a long tradition of historical significance. During the Revolutionary War, it served as the western frontier of the state. Today, with over 20 historic sites, from museums to lighthouses to historic societies, it’s easy to find something interesting to explore. Area museums include focuse on war, local waterways, firefighting, railroads, fishing, and town histories. The National Historic Register recognizes 11 churches, shops, and houses in Oswego County as Underground Railroad sites, and visitors may experience the Freedom Trail firsthand, either on foot or via a driving tour. Of course, on-water recreation is popular. Anglers can try their luck on the lake or one of the many rivers and streams that flow into it. The Salmon River offers excellent fly-fishing opportunities, and all of the area waters are full of fish waiting to be caught. Species include Atlantic, Chinook and Coho Salmon; Brook, Brown, Lake and Rainbow Trout; Steelhead; Large and Smallmouth Bass; and Walleye, Northern Pike, Chain Pickerel, Black Crappie, Bullhead, Panfish, Sheepshead and Carp. Non-fishermen can try their hand at boating, canoeing, kayaking or whitewater rafting. The density of rivers, lakes and other waterways provide excellent options for everyone from the beginning to expert. You can get outside and enjoy nature at one of the many State Parks (7 from Fair Haven to Chaumont Bay), State Forests and Wildlife Management areas. Enjoy swimming, hiking, picnicking, or just lounging around in the sun at any of these places. Fabulous shopping, dining, and special events add to the fun. Take in a movie or shop at stores, boutiques, farms and flea markets for everything from novelty gifts to handmade treats. You’re sure to find those one-of-a-kind perfect souvenirs. Antiques are also a hit here; shop at the many stores to find a hidden treasure. Before you call it a day, visit an ice cream shop or bakery.