About St. Lawrence County

Characteristics

We begin with an overview of St. Lawrence County and its residents, nestled between the St. Lawrence River, the Thousand Islands region, and the Adirondack Mountains. This section provides information about the physical land and climate, the most recent demographics of its inhabitants, and the available housing in the County.

Location and Size

St. Lawrence County is located in Northern New York along the Canadian border. The Adirondack Mountains lie to the east, the Thousand Islands region to the south, and the St. Lawrence River to the northwest. The total land area of the County is 2,685 square miles. It comprises thirty-two towns, thirteen villages, and one city. The County Seat is in the town of Canton, which is near the geographic center of the County.

In close proximity are the Canadian cities of Ottawa and Montreal. Lake Placid, home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games, is a short drive through the picturesque Adirondack Mountains.

Interstates 81 and 87 are within easy reach, and access to ocean shipping routes is as close as the St. Lawrence Seaway. Highway 401 is just over the Canadian border; this roadway connects the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Montreal, and Windsor and continues across Canada.

Topography

Physiographic Regions
 
St. Lawrence Valley
Adirondack Foothills
Adirondack Mountains
Length
70 miles
50 miles
Approximately 40 miles
Width
22 miles
5-12 miles
Approximately 20 miles
Area
1,540 square miles
250-600 square miles
973 square miles
Elevation
158-600 ft.
600-1,000 ft.
Over 1,000 ft.
Land
Level to gently sloping; wetlands, shallow lakes, slow streams
Hills, ponds, fewer wetlands, rapid rivers, rapid streams
Mountains, marshes, bogs, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds
Ground Water
High quantity and quality
High quantity and quality
High quantity and quality
Soils
Heavy
Poor drainage
Marine clay
Lighter
Good drainage
Sandy deposits
Thin
Rock underneath
Pockets of peat
Precambrian bedrock
Special Notes
50% of County excellent for agriculture, extensive hydro-power
4 major rivers, little flooding, extensive hydro-power
County’s highest point: Mt. Matumbla 2,688 ft

Principal Bodies of Water

All of St. Lawrence County is within the watershed of the St. Lawrence River. Approximately 12% of the North American continent is drained by this system. There are numerous minor watersheds in the County, all of which run north to the St. Lawrence River. Approximately 93% of the County is drained by one of four major rivers: the Raquette, the Oswegatchie, the St. Regis, and the Grasse.

St. Lawrence County
Rivers
Principal Rivers Drainage Area
(sq. mi.)
Flow
(cu. ft./sec.)
Measured at Length*
(mi.)
St. Lawrence   242,800 Massena 76
Oswegatchie 1,609 2,660 Ogdensburg 133
Raquette 1,204 2,089 Raymondville 163
Grasse 637 607 Pyrites 112
St. Regis 910 1,034 Brasher Falls 77

* Length within St. Lawrence County only

St. Lawrence County
Major Lakes and Reservoires
Black Lake
17.2
Cranberry Lake
10.7
Carry Falls Reservoir
10.1
Rainbow Falls Reservoir
1.1
Blake Reservoir
1.0

Climate

The delightful four-season weather of the North Country is an endless source of pleasure to its residents and visitors. Cold winters are offset by the gradual transition to spring, warm, sunny summers, and breathtaking autumn days. The following information describes the year-round climate found in St. Lawrence County.

Growing Season
Annual Average
163 Days
Last Spring Frost
April 30 – May 10
First Fall Frost
September 30 – October 10
Temperature
July mean 70° F 21.1°C
July maximum 100° F 37.8°C
January mean 18°F

-7.8°C

Annual mean 46°F 7.8°C
Precipitation
Annual mean 32 in. 81 cm.
Growing season 8-16 in. 20-40 cm.
Annual mean snowfall 66 in. 168 cm.

 

Source: St. Lawrence County Planning Department

 

The following table compares the weather in Massena, a St. Lawrence County village, with representative communities in North America. The first table, comparing temperature, is measured in degrees Fahrenheit (° F), and a dash (-) indicates that information was unavailable.

Temperature
 
Massena
New York
Montreal
Quebec
Rochester
New York
Chicago
Illinois
Stockton
California
WINTER
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
Mean
 
         27.8
 
           9.1
 
         18.5
 
              -
 
              -
 
         16.4
 
         33.1
 
         20.9
 
         47.0
 
              -
 
              -
 
         26.7
 
         55.4
 
         38.5
 
         47.0
SPRING
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
Mean
 
         55.9
 
         33.8
 
         44.8
 
              -
 
              -
 
         42.2
 
         58.4
 
         38.0
 
         48.2
 
              -
 
              -
 
         49.0
 
         72.9
 
         46.4
 
         59.7
SUMMER
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
Mean
 
         74.4
 
         53.4
 
         63.9
 
              -
 
              -
 
         68.0
 
         76.6
 
         55.8
 
         66.3
 
              -
 
              -
 
         73.3
 
         92.4
 
         59.5
 
         76.0
AUTUMN
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
Mean
 
         54.6
 
         36.0
 
         45.3
 
              -
 
              -
 
         47.6
 
         57.8
 
         39.9
 
         48.9
 
              -
 
              -
 
         53.7
 
         77.1
 
         50.1
 
         63.7

Source: St. Lawrence County Planning Department

Precipitation includes sleet, hail, etc., but the most common forms are rain and snow. The figures in the table below represent precipitation in inches and a dash (-) indicates that information was unavailable.

Precipitation
 
Massena
New York
Montreal
Quebec
Rochester
New York
Chicago
Illinois
Stockton
California
WINTER
Rain
Snow
 
          2.33
        12.00
 
          2.45
          N/A
 
          2.55
        14.20
 
          1.90
          N/A
 
          2.49
          N/A
SPRING
Rain
Snow
 
          1.55
          4.00
 
          2.45
          N/A
 
          2.45
          3.80
 
          3.30
          N/A
 
          2.45
          N/A
SUMMER
Rain
 
 
          3.88
                
 
          5.50
                
 
          1.04
                
 
          3.73
                
 
          0.07
                
AUTUMN
Rain
Snow
 
          3.95
          3.00
 
          3.17
          N/A
 
          3.53
          2.50
 
          2.60
          N/A
 
          0.87
          N/A

 

Source: St. Lawrence County Planning Department





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