With 44 lakes and 74,832 acres of wild forest, Fulton County has a lot to offer. From history to hiking trails, to fishing and boating, there’s something for everyone in every season at this nearby getaway destination.
Lakeside sites and attractions
With so many lakes in Fulton County, there are many opportunities for fishing, boating and all sorts of aquatic activities.
The biggest and arguably the most famous lake is the Great Sacandaga Lake. At 29 miles long and 6 miles wide, it offers marinas, beaches, fishing and more. (Keep in mind that you will need a fishing license.) If you have a boat, there are plenty of boat launches from which to set sail.
At the Northampton Beach State Campground on the northwest corner of the Great Sacandaga Lake, amenities include a boat launch and rentals, 223 campsites, hiking trails, a beach and swimming. The Junior Naturalist program is a great way to encourage children to explore the surrounding environment. Check the DEC website for opening and closing days and camping fees.
In the center of Fulton County, Pecks Lake Resort contains a rustic, sprawling complex of 15 cottages and lakeside campgrounds. Owned and operated by the Peck family for more than a century, the campgrounds are available for long- and short-term rentals. On the water itself, there’s fishing, waterskiing and a boat launch. Open May through October.
At the Caroga Lake State Campground & Day Use Area, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing and hiking. Rowboat, canoe and kayak rentals are available at the campgrounds, as well as an exercise course with 18 stations, a trailer dump station and a recycling center. Click here for opening and closing days and camping fees.
Fulton County history
Do you like history? Museums? Fulton County has plenty of both to document its rich history, including early colonial settlements, women’s suffrage and the longstanding local leather and tanning industries.
The pioneering women’s rights activist and abolitionist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born and raised in Johnstown. She was the first to call for the woman’s right to vote in the United States and helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention.
The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Hometown Association offers a cell phone tour around Johnstown tracing the important sites in Stanton’s early life that shaped her activism, including her 1815 birthplace, school and other historical markers around the city.
Want to learn about the foundation of Johnstown? Start with Johnson Hall State Historic Site. This estate, built in 1763, was the home of Irish immigrant Sir William Johnson, Mohawk Indian Molly Brant, and their eight children. Johnson was the largest single landowner and most influential individual in the settlement and development of the Mohawk Valley, and he served as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the British government. Guided tours are $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students, and free for kids 12 and under. Open May through October.
From 1890 to 1950, 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States were made in the aptly named Gloversville, which is why the Fulton County Historical Society and Museum features a leather and tanning exhibit with a representation of a glove shop. The museum is also home to the Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame, along with exhibits that pay tribute to the military, Native American history, and the local railroad. Open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday to Sunday from Memorial Day Labor Day, and on weekends until Columbus Day. Admission is free.
Although only open July through August, the Caroga Museum in Caroga Lake is a fun summer day trip. Explore their 1905 farmhouse, 1870 cobbler shop and old-fashioned games from the Sherman’s Park Arcade, or check out one of their public barbeques or classes.
Seasonal activities in Fulton County
While the summer months have camping, boating and swimming, the winter snowfall provides opportunities for snowmobiling, skiing and more.
There are 200 miles of trails for snowmobiling maintained by local clubs, as seen on this map, and many areas for skiing within Fulton County. Royal Mountain, for one, has 40 skiable acres on 12 alpine trails. And at Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, they have a cross-country skiing trail designed by former U.S. Olympic skier Olavi Hirvonen, an ice skating pond, sledding and snow tubing.
For those into ice fishing, there’s the annual Walleye Challenge on the Great Sacandaga Lake. Now held the on the third Saturday in February, the most recent edition welcomed 1,750 fishing enthusiasts to catch fish and compete for prizes.
Even more in Fulton County
Why not catch a ballgame at Parkhurst Field, one of the oldest baseball grounds in America? MLB legends Cy Young and Honus Wagner have played here. Now it hosts travel teams and the Gloversville Little League. A museum is open on game days.
And if you plan on visiting in the fall, you should know that Fulton County is a prime location for fall foliage viewing. See the changing leaves on one of the many hiking trails, which range from brief excursions to the beginning of the 135-mile Northville Lake Placid Trail.
Want to hear about even more places to visit Fulton County? Visit 44lakes.com to learn more about the activities, events and attractions.