Situated along the shores of Lake Ontario in Jefferson County lies a quiet little area settled in along the shores of Chaumont Bay. The towns of Chaumont and Three Mile Bay make up the heart of the area known as the “Golden Crescent”, which runs from Cape Vincent to Sackets Harbor along the lakeshore. This is one of the most locally famous on-water sports spots of the region and is known for some of the best fishing in New York State. The bay’s rocky shores and shoals provide the prime places for the best catches: bass, perch, pike, salmon, lake trout, pickerel and bullhead are all likely to make the menu after a day of fishing in Chaumont Bay.
Whether fishing, camping, a scenic drive or a picnic is on the agenda, a jaunt to nearby Long Point State Park lets relaxation take a front-row seat. Nearby Shangri-La and Hidden Harbor offer more options for campers to take advantage of as well. The town of Chaumont offers a public beach on the lake and a boat launch a few miles down the road, providing a great starting place for a day spent on the lake. Two of the local yacht clubs are widely regarded as being amongst the best in the business, and marinas make it easy to pick out a craft and sail away for a day for those without a boat of their own.
Back on land, visitors can discover a different kind of plant and animal habitat at the Chaumont Barrens, one of the only wildlife areas of its kind in the country. This unique area sits atop 450 million year old bedrock that was once the floor of a prehistoric sea, and there are fossils to be found for those with a keen eye. The barrens are part of a chain of “alvar communities”—natural areas characterized by their flat, rocky, prairie-like terrain and a combination of grasslands, woodlands and cedar forests. They are home to many rare plant and flower species, some of which can’t be found anywhere else in this part of the country, as well as short-eared owls, sandpipers, porcupines and coyotes, amongst other birds and woodland creatures. A self-guided hiking loop offers the opportunity to explore on foot amongst prairie grass and bedrock fissures, provided you watch your step on the varied terrain and don’t forget your camera.
During the warmer months, the Chaumont community caters to its athletes. In May, Le Race De Chaumont 5K and 12K starts the season off right. In July, the three-day Willie Putnam Memorial Baseball Tournament highlights the achievements of local Little League players, and in August the surrounding town of Lyme holds its annual triathlon.Cyclists gear up for the Tour De Chaumont Bay Bike Race in September, where 25, 50 or 100-mile ride options allow participants to wind through farm country or along local waterways and create a memorable race day. And the schedule doesn’t stop at athletics, or at the summer season. Craft fairs, community days, a fall festival, a classic car cruise-in, and holiday events of every variety all contribute to the rich roster of events that last all year long.
For more information, visit www.chaumontchamber.com.