You may have heard that Fort Drum, New York is one of the coldest places in America, but don’t let that scare you away! There are a lot of fun, exciting things to do there year-round — not just a place to endure a snowmageddon. In spring, things start to heat up, the snow melts, and Fort Drum, NY becomes a beautiful place!
If you recently moved to the area, or if you’re planning on it, here are 10 things to do near Fort Drum, NY, that you and your military family will love about your new hometown!
1. Explore Boldt Castle
Located on Heart Island near Fort Drum, NY, Boldt Castle is one of the major tourist attractions in the Thousand Island region of New York.
You can take a ferry over to the castle or you can get a private boat tour. Boldt Castle is open to guests from middle of May to the middle of October. It is filled with luxurious historical pieces, rooms, and tunnels you can explore on your own.
2. Go on One of Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours
Whether you want to see Boldt Castle or you want to enjoy the waters, Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours provide a variety of regularly scheduled sightseeing cruises. You can cruise the St. Lawrence River, explore the famous Thousand Island, and so much more. Uncle Sam’s Boat Tour even offers cruises with luncheon and dinner options, a Sip ‘n Sail, and a Craft Beer and Wine Tour cruise. According to their website, “It’s not just a tour; it’s an unforgettable experience!”
3. Get a Thrill While White Water Rafting
Once it’s warm enough, the Black River right outside Fort Drum, NY provides all-day fun for all ages. If you or anyone in your family has wanted to go white water rafting, you’re in the perfect area for it. There are plenty of places around that rent out rafts and kayaks.
4. Visit a Drive-In
While you might be used to watching your favorite movies on your TV at home, there are two drive-ins near Fort Drum that make for a fun summer evening. There’s one in Alexandria Bay (about a 45-minute drive) and Black River (a 5 minute drive) for you to try out. Check out what features they’re playing before going, then pack a picnic blanket, some snacks, and arrive in time for the show!
5. Take Your Shot at Mountain Biking
While you might not be an expert cyclist, you could try the trails near Fort Drum for an eventful afternoon. Some trails can be challenging, especially for new riders, so be sure to take it easy at first. That way everyone gets a hang of bike riding without any falls! Remember to bring helmets and get ready for a day of fun.
6. Check Out Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Skiing and ski resorts aren’t just for the winter months, though during snow season, they surely provide a lot of fun.
Check out Snow Ridge Ski Resort’s spring and summer events. Be sure to ask for a military discount and see what deals they have for young kids when you go.
7. See New York State Zoo, Thompson Park
There are few things kids love more than visiting the zoo. Luckily, the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park isn’t too far from Fort Drum, NY. Stretching a full 32 acres, the zoo is home to a wide variety of native New York State species including but not limited to black bears and turtles. There are other animals here, too, such as the Canadian lynx, which have earned the endangered or threatened animal status.
8. Visit Old McDonald’s Farm
The only thing better than seeing a bunch of animals at the zoo is getting to feed, pet, and even ride them at the farm. At Old McDonald’s Farm, you can experience over 200 friendly farm animals up close.
Enjoy the hayrides, mini-golf course, bouncy houses, pony rides, and more. Old McDonald’s farm also has a full gift shop so you can take home a souvenir.
9. Go Shop at the Farmers’ Markets
During the spring and summer, you might be surprised at how many different kinds of vendors show up to all the local farmers’ markets with fresh veggies, fruits, baked goods, and more. You can sometimes even find unique crafts and gift items like handmade candles, soaps and lotions, woodworking, jewelry, and other art.
10. Don’t Miss Out on the Splash Parks on Base
There are two splash parks for your kids to cool off in and enjoy on base. New York can get pretty hot and humid in the summer months, so feel free to let them get rid of their energy with water buckets, fountains, and squirt guns.
Whether you prefer water fun, some mountain exploration, or interesting historical sights, Fort Drum has something beautiful to offer every member of the family.