The main reason to make a stop in the small industrial city of Massena is to get a good look at the giant St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes. A joint project of the United States and Canada, the Seaway can accommodate ships up to 730 feet long and 76 feet wide. The public-works project was formally dedicated on June 26, 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II and President Eisenhower.
Atop the long, spare Eisenhower Lock (Barnhart Island Rd., off Rte. 37, 315/764-3200) is a viewing deck from which you can watch ships being raised or lowered 42 feet as they pass through the Seaway. The process takes about 10 minutes and displaces 22 million gallons of water. Ships pass through regularly, except in the winter when the St. Lawrence freezes over, but the viewing deck is only open June–September. Below the lock, a small interpretive center (315/769-2049, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily June–Sept.) offers exhibits and a short film.
Adjoining the Power Project, Robert Moses State Park (315/769-8663, http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks ) is spread across the mainland and Barnhart Island. It is accessible through a tunnel beneath Eisenhower Lock and includes a swimming beach, bathhouse, boat rentals, picnic tables, playground, and great views of the river. The park also offers a 168-site campground; for reservations, call 800/456-CAMP.
The Festival of North Country Folklife (315/769-3525) takes place in the park every August. Featured are traditional music concerts, dancing, and storytelling, along with crafts and ethnic foods.