Recreation & Entertainment
Hunting, jet skiing, hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and other outdoor activities are popular throughout the county, which features a number of state parks and wildlife preserves. Known for “lake-effect” snowy winters, the area is also known for snowmobiling, ice climbing, sledding and dog sledding.
Beach lovers will enjoy Sandy Island Beach State Park, Selkirk Shores State Park and Mexico Point State Park; hikers and snowshoeing enthusiasts should check out the Winona State Forest on the western edge of the Tug Hill Plateau, the Three Mile Bay state wildlife area, the Happy Valley wildlife area, the Rice Creek Biological Field Station and the Oswego County Recreation Trail.
The county features several historic libraries and more than two dozen museums, including the historic Fort Ontario and the H. Lee White Marine Museum, not to mention 11 Underground Railroad sites. Summers are known for the Thunder Island water park in Fulton and active farmers’ markets and festivals in a number of county cities and towns, including Harborfest in the city of Oswego, a festival and carnival drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each July. Oswego County is also a bustling artistic community, with galleries, studios, music halls and theaters in Oswego, Fulton and elsewhere.
While the area features a number of state and county highways for good country driving, locals and visitors can also drive the fairways of a dozen golf courses scattered throughout the county in Oswego, Fulton, Phoenix, Pulaski, Sterling, Sandy Creek and Scriba.
The county is also home to both SUNY Oswego — one of the area’s biggest employers along with two nuclear plants and Novelis, an aluminum manufacturer — and a campus of the Cayuga Community College.
Downtown Oswego itself is in the midst of a boom with emerging small businesses and eateries, popular events, free concerts and live music at a number of upscale bars and restaurants.
The sports community is also thriving, both at SUNY Oswego and the county’s many middle and high schools. The area also draws racing fans with the Oswego Speedway and Fulton Speedway.