Teaching in NY

North Country Region

The North Country is the largest of New York's regions in area (almost 10,000 square miles) and the smallest in population. It is a place of extraordinary beauty, bordered by Lake Ontario on the west, the Adirondack Mountains to the south, Vermont and Lake Champlain to the east, and the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canada, to the north.

Mean Daily Temperature:
  January 14.5° F
  July 69.0° F


Labor Force: 248,500
Households: 152,996
Total Personal Income: $9.2 billion
Per Capita Income: $21,957
Median Home Sales Price: (Region) $83,590


Population 418,646
Clinton County 80,358
  City of Plattsburgh 19,156
Essex County 38,725
Franklin County 51,025
Jefferson County 110,212
  City of Watertown 25,581
Lewis County 26,941
St. Lawrence County 111,385
  Village of Massena 10,992
  City of Ogdensburg 12,040

Business and Industry
The North Country Region's economy is based primarily on the development of its abundant natural resources, including vast stretches of timber and valuable mineral deposits like zinc, talc and dolomite. Three industries - dairying, paper manufacturing and aluminum products - account for nearly half of all the manufacturing jobs in the region. Other major industries include wood products, pharmaceuticals, apparel manufacturing and plastics.

Tourism plays a central role in the region's economy, and is a major employer. The Thousand Islands, the Champlain Valley and the Adirondack Park are destinations for thousands of visitors each year.


  • Highways: Two major interstate highways provide access. The eastern part of the region is served by the scenic Adirondack Northway, I-87, which connects Albany and the New York State Thruway with Canada. I-81 passes through the western part of the region, connecting it with Syracuse and the New York State Thruway to the south, and Canada to the north.

  • Air Service: Passenger service is provided at Watertown, Ogdensburg, Plattsburgh, Massena and Saranac Lake.

  • Rail Service: Commercial rail service is provided by CSX and Canadian Pacific; Amtrak operates passenger service on the eastern portion of the region from Montreal south to New York City.

  • Bus Service: Regular service is provided by Greyhound Bus Lines and Adirondack Trailways in several communities throughout the region.

Higher Education Institutions
The region's colleges and universities enroll close to 30,000 students, including two SUNY four-year colleges. Major institutions are listed below, with those offering teacher preparation programs with an asterisk.

Clarkson University
Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences
St. Lawrence University*
SUNY College of Technology at Canton
SUNY College at Potsdam*
SUNY College at Plattsburgh*

Health Care-major hospitals
Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Plattsburgh
House of Good Samaritan Hospital, Watertown
A. Barton Hepburn Hospital, Ogdensburg
Adirondack Medical Center, Saranac Lake
Massena Memorial Hospital, Massena

Quality of Life
The North Country Region is an area of outstanding physical beauty. Natural attractions include the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River, Ausable Chasm, the Adirondack Park and its 46 "high peaks," and Lake Champlain. The region is a four-season outdoor vacationland, with world-class alpine and nordic skiing, challenging hiking and backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, fishing and golf. Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, is a major four-season resort area. The Crane School of Music in Potsdam and the Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg are two of the region's unique cultural offerings.

Information obtained from numerous New York State sources (1/24/2007).

Last Updated: August 31, 2009