One of the first towns to be settled in St. Lawrence County, Massena lies just south of the Three Nations Crossing on the Canada-United States border. It’s named after a general to Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars, André Masséna, and flourished with the commerce of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Massena is still home to the Eisenhower and Snell Locks, which allow vessels to pass through the St. Lawrence River en route to the Great Lakes. The city’s industrial heritage combined with its proximity to the parks and reserves of northern New York makes it the perfect place to rent an RV.
The Great Outdoors
Book an RV rental in Massena and follow the tunnel that leads below the Eisenhower Lock to the Robert Moses State Park. It forms part of the Thousand Islands that scatter the St. Lawrence River and is named after the New York Parks Commissioner Robert Moses who was responsible for the creation of many of the state parks. Check in at the nature center to see what outdoor educational activities are planned or follow one of the hiking trails that lead through the park’s woods and wetlands.
Head south from Massena, and you’ll arrive at Adirondack Park, which was established in 1885 and encompasses the rugged Adirondack Mountains, together with its associated towns and villages. It’s home to golf courses, ski areas, and fishing lakes, as well as a network of hiking and snowmobiling trails. Rock climbers can tackle its dramatic cliff faces while experienced trekkers can summit each of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks. If you’re visiting with kids, head to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake where you can learn about the natural history of the region and its native species.
Not far from Adirondack Park is the Deer River State Forest, a 12,273-acre protected area that is blissfully undeveloped. It centers around the Deer River and its array of interconnected wetlands, with waterfalls, rapids, and expansive marshes adding to the state forest’s wild character. Follow the short Beaneville Trail that winds along the banks of the Deer River or explore by canoe along the waterway itself.
Pick up your travel trailer rental in Massena and pull into one of the RV sites at the Massena International Kampground. They offer full hookups with either 30 or 50-amp service, as well as a children’s playground, swimming pool, and complimentary cable TV.
Alternatively, book one of the 68 RV sites at the Hillside Motel & Campground, which overlooks the Grass River. There’s a swimming pool, and cable TV is available, and the campground is within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
Another nearby option is the campground of the Robert Moses State Park, which occupies Barnhart Island on the St. Lawrence River. There are around 50 back-in sites available that offer access to the park’s nature center, picnic area, and playground, as well as miles of hiking trails and a range of sporting courts.
Exploring the City
Book an RV rental near Massena and drive to the Eisenhower Lock, which is one of seven canal locks on the St Lawrence River leg of the St Lawrence Seaway. The Seaway Visitors’ Center features observation decks where you can watch the commercial vessels and cruise ships coming and going, with guides detailing the history of each of the ships. Learn about the variety of cargoes that include iron ore, coal, steel, and grains, then pick up maritime-inspired memorabilia from the gift shop.
If you’re interested in how energy is created, head to the Hawkins Point Visitors Center on Barnhart Island. It features a range of hands-on exhibits where you can discover how electricity can be created by bicycles and how power plants use solar energy, wind, and biofuels. A highlight of the center is the Van de Graaf machine that was invented in 1929 to generate particle and x-ray beams in nuclear medicine.
Need some retail therapy? Visit the Harte Haven Shopping Center in the south of Massena where you’ll find large-scale retailers and fast food eateries. It’s also home to a movie theater where all the latest blockbusters are screened, and the Massena Arena ice hockey arena is also on-site. The Harte Haven Shopping Center is just a short stroll from the family-friendly Springs Park on the banks of the Raquette River.
Massena is home to a number of supermarkets where you can shop for groceries, as well as restaurants and fast food eateries if you want to dine out. There are also gas stations if you need to fill up your camper rental in Massena.
Whether you’re visiting St. Lawrence County for its rugged forests or historic locks, book an RV in Massena and start planning your next adventure.