Massena is located in the upper reaches of the County and is home to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Massena claimed the International Rapids on the St. Lawrence River for many generations and historical photographs show skilled riverboat captains navigating their cargo vessels through the treacherous waters. When the St. Lawrence Seaway was built in 1959, the Rapids were flooded for power generation and a series of “locks” was put in place to allow ships to transit the waterway easily. Massena has the first set of U.S. locks where vessels coming from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes must traverse. The Visitor Center at the Eisenhower Lock is open May through the first week in September and allows visitors the opportunity to see how a lock works.
After visiting the lock, the Robert Moses Nature Center is just up the road, across from the entrance to the State campground and marina. The Nature Center offers interpretive and children’s programming throughout the year as well as miles of hiking trails that double for cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter. Also located on Robinson Bay Road is the New York Power Authority’s Frank S. McCullough Hawkins Point Visitor Center and Boat Launch. Here visitors can learn more about how electricity is generated by the Robert Moses/Robert Saunders International Power Project, as well as see the full Seaway on a giant interactive map. Budding engineers will be able to see how much power they can generate with one of the interactive displays, others can take in a special movie presentation in the Center’s theater.
Many great events take place in Massena throughout the year including Heritage Festival, Robert Thompson Blues Bash, Concerts in the Park, car who, Harvest Festival and Winter Carnival, just to name a few. International carp and national bass fishing tournaments take advantage of the bountiful waters of the St. Lawrence River. In July, a Civil War Weekend culminates with hundreds of re-enactors, with regiments from Canada and across the Northeast.
Massena is also a shopping area for the County with the St. Lawrence Centre Mall, with anchor stores of Sears, JC Penney, and Bon Ton. There is also year-round skating at the Mall’s ice arena – anyone can rent a pair of skates and have a cool time. There are many retail stores around town including unique gift shops like Season’s Specialty Gifts located across the street from the Quality Inn, 10 West Orvis Street. Motels and restaurants are within walking distance. From clothing to home furnishings, and fine dining to breathtaking sunsets, it’s easy to have a great time in Massena.
Only about 20 minutes east of Massena is the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. The Akwesasne Cultural Center is located at the Library on Route 37. Take in a large collection of sweetgrass baskets, as well as displays, photos and dioramas showing the Mohawk way of life.
The Territory is also the home of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Mohawk Bingo Palace, offering thousands of Vegas-style slot machines, as well as table games such as Three and Four-Card Poker, Black Jack, Texas Hold-‘em, Roulette, Craps, Spanish 21, and Let it Ride.
Whether on vacation, shopping or simply playing a round of golf next to the beautiful St. Lawrence River, there is much to see and enjoy.
For more information visit the Masesna Chamber of Commerce.
Massena is about 21 miles north of Potsdam, and 32 miles east of Ogdensburg.
<< Back to Local Communities