Great Lakes Seaway Trail – NY


  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1996)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationNY, PA
  • Length454 of 518 total miles
Byway Visitor Information
New York Byways Map
Statewide Byway Partners
New York Department of Transportation
New York Department of Economic Development
This aerial view of the verdant landscape around Boldt Castle demonstrates the large scale of nature
Public domain Photo


The Great Lakes Seaway Trail runs right along Great Lakes Erie and Ontario to provide the most gorgeous views. This Byway takes visitors through so many different towns and cultures, lighthouses, harbors, rolling farmland, and much more. With plenty of activities and picturesque views of nature, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a perfect trip for just about anybody.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

It is hard to find waters more pristine and perfect than the Great Lakes, and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail is able to capture the endless beauty of Lakes Erie and Ontario. Travelling over 450 miles across the northern border of New York, this road is by far one of the most gorgeous and significant rides in the entire nation. Not only is the scenery and nature beautiful along the road, but the history of the area is rich, and a lot can be learned along the way. Designated as a National Scenic Byway in 1996 for its outstanding intrinsic qualities, this Byway is a must for anyone looking to see the Great Lakes, and much more that can be found along the way.

There is no proper way to describe the beauty of the area that this Byway runs through without seeing it for yourself. The waters of the Great Lakes Ontario and Erie are so vast and seem like they never end, which gives visitors so much opportunity to experience its beauty. There is plenty of recreational activities that are available along this route as well. Boating, jet skiing, hiking, fishing, and much more are all possible along this Byway. Experiencing these activities with the backdrop of the Great Lakes will create memories that will last a lifetime for anyone who is interested. There is also a chance to see Niagara Falls along this Scenic Byway. Niagara Falls is a true natural wonder and words cannot do it justice in describing it. The massive falls leave visitors in awe, and all they can do it just watch in amazement. The entire Byway travels parallel along the Saint Lawrence River, so at any point on the journey visitors can stop by to enjoy the pristine, yet powerful, waters that this river provides.

There is also a rich history of the area that this Scenic Byway covers, and visitors can see the significance. The architecture alone of some of the local towns and villages along the way are proof of how historic this area is. A lot of the land has been untouched for generations and its beauty has been preserved. Along the way there are a total of 29 lighthouses, all of which have history tied to them with their own unique story. There are also multiple sites that have history in them from the War of 1812 including farms, nature sites, and more!

The Great Lakes Seaway Trail is a true gem of not only the state of New York, but the entire nation. It is rare that a road like this that connects so many natural wonders exist, and visitors should really take advantage of it. Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Niagara Falls are some of the most amazing natural wonders in the entire world, and this one road can connect you to all three of them. This route is a must travel for a family vacation and will create memories that last a lifetime.

Driving Directions

The Great Lakes Scenic Trail runs right along the northern New York Border. This route also runs parallel to the Saint Lawrence River and borders Great Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Points of Interest

  • Niagara Falls

    One of the most iconic locations in North America, Niagara Falls is a must visit for any traveler along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

  • Lake Ontario

    One of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario is an absolute wonder of nature and must be seen in person to understand its glory.

  • Thousand Islands

    This beautiful area on the border of the U.S. and Canada has plenty to offer for visitors. Its beautiful views and opportunitites for recreation and relaxation make it a great destination to spend a day or two at.

  • Rochester

    Rochester has so many activities and ammenities to offer just about anybody who visits!

  • Boldt Castle

    Located on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River. Buiilt by millionaire George Boldt, now open to the public seasonally.


  • Drive along the Coast of the Great Lakes

    Day 1
    Starting on route 37 in Massena and heading west, you have officially begun your journey along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. After travelling for about 25 minutes, take a stop in the city of Ogdensburg and take in the culture of the area at sites like the Frederic Remington Art Museum. Continue southwest along the Byway and stop at notable sites like Jacques Cartier State Park and Singer Castle. After stopping there, you have the opportunity to just drive and enjoy the beauty of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area. After about an hour and a half of driving you will reach Sackets Harbor. This quaint and wonderful village is the perfect place to stop and grab a bite to eat before you continue your journey. After you eat and take in the beautiful scenery, drive south along the Byway, and stop by some of the gorgeous state parks, you can end your long day by stopping in the city of Oswego. There are plenty of lodging options here, so you can relax and recharge for the second day of your journey!

    Day 2
    When you wake up, you can grab a quick bite to eat and instantly get back on the road. You will soon reach Sodus Point, where you can take in the great view of the Sodus Point Lighthouse and the Wreck of the St. Peter a little bit down the road. Continuing west, you can stop in the incredible city or Rochester and grab some food while taking in the rich history. After that, the best part of the journey is only an hour and a half away, Niagara Falls. This natural wonder is one of the most significant formations in the entire world, and you cannot travel this Byway without stopping here. After experiencing its beauty, you can end your trip here by spending the night in this wonderful area and reminisce about your great journey.

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