Scents of St. Lawrence County, NY

Sniff the behind of a beaver? Icky. Gross. Ewwww! No thank you!

But, take a whiff of excretion we did and, guess what, it’s not half bad. In fact, the fragrance reminded me of vanilla flavoring with a hint of spicy incense.

Apparently, the castor sacs near a beavers’ anal glands hold castoreum, an extract used for centuries in perfumes and leather upholstery.

Animal odors native to St. Lawrence County are just one of the many eccentric factoids you’ll discover at the new state of the art Nacandri Nature Center in Massena, NY.

This long overdue showpiece features an indoor aquarium, ponds, interactive displays and educational exhibits. It’s a unique destination for seeing live turtles, snakes, insects and fish up close – all collected from the local ecosystem. There’s also some incredible lifelike displays of foxes, birds, bears, beavers and more.

Come winter, the Center encourages visitors to make use of a room full of free snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals for children and adults. Guided hikes near bald eagles nests and the mud fortresses of busy beavers are available year round. Cozy up near the wood-burning fire pit after the fun.

Not surprising, the beautifully designed building is a living example of the architecture of the future.
It’s completely LEED-certified made up of geothermal walls, sustainable flooring, energy-efficient lighting and recycled materials in the counter tops, window sills and drywall.

For more information on this nature center and the majestic St. Lawrence River, visit the Nicandri Nature Center website and the North Country Guide website.

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Sonja Stark

The only thing domestic about me is that I was born in this country. Now, lets TRAVEL!

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