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There is plenty of fun to be had in St. Lawrence County

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There is nothing to do around here. I hear that phrase all the time, and it drives me nuts.

I hear it from people of all walks of life, but no matter how different their backgrounds, they must all have a common need to find their fun indoors.

Those of us who don’t burst into flames when sunlight touches them know how wrong those people are. There is a lot to do around here.

Spring is here, so I have obsessively been thinking about one thing: getting outside. I love — and I mean LOVE — the great outdoors. Camping, hiking, sitting on a beach, picnicking, getting out on the water in a boat, canoe, whatever can hold a fishing pole and a bucket, I love it all.

Over the years, I have collected some favorite spots: Higley Flow State Park in South Colton, Lampson Falls in the town of Clare, the Stone Valley trail behind the Colton Fire Station, and Bear Mountain at the state’s Cranberry Lake Campground, to name a few. But we have so many publicly managed areas for hiking, fishing and camping that my list of favorites will probably change once I get to explore the many, many areas on my list of places still to check out.

Even if camping or hiking isn’t for you, there are hundreds of waterside cabins available to rent a week at a time or for the whole season all over St. Lawrence County. You don’t have to go to a tropical location for your family to have a memorable, good time. You can find lasting family memories within a stone’s throw of where you live.

When I was a kid, my family rented a cottage for three weeks every summer on the St. Lawrence River just outside of Ogdensburg. Those times gave me the best memories of my childhood, and though it was only 20 minutes from my parents’ house it felt like a different world.

You don’t have to go far to find a good vacation spot or even just a good time for the day for your family.

If you need help finding a day trip, check out the Laurentian Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club’s outing schedule online at http://adklaurentian.org. The club holds outings year round. The state Department of Environmental Conservation also has a comprehensive listing of public recreation areas online that tell you where you can picnic, swim, camp or just enjoy the day reading a good book outdoors in peace and quiet. Its website is located at www.dec.ny.gov. Camping opportunities are listed via the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website as well: www.nysparks.com.

There is actually so much to do that the options can get overwhelming. If you need help making a choice, give the nice folks at the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce a call at 386-4000, and they can help point you in the right direction.

If you want to enjoy summer and you’re not into camping or hiking, that’s fine, too. Our newspapers publish a series of vacation guides starting in late spring highlighting the plethora of community festivals, museums, attractions, concerts and anything else going on over the summer. Keep your eyes peeled for our first one, which should be coming out in late May or early June. We can help keep you busy.

You say there’s nothing to do around here? I scoff at you. Plan to get outside with your family this summer and make some memories.

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