Meat Platter at Pond Pit BBQ in Sandy Creek, NY
Upstate New York

5 Things to Do in and around Sandy Creek, New York

While the village of Sandy Creek may be one of the smallest in Upstate New York, it still boasts several great activities. From local markets and hidden gems to nature trails and vintage finds, there is something for everyone to enjoy. After some adventuring around the quaint village, I put together a list of things to do in Sandy Creek. It’s the perfect itinerary for your next weekend day trip.

Devour Smoked Meats at Pond Pit BBQ

If you’ve ever scrolled through the Facebook group Where Syracuse Eats, you’ve seen countless people rave about the food at Pond Pit BBQ in Sandy Creek. So the hubs and I finally made our way there last week, and… it’s good! The rustic BBQ joint features a variety of meats, all smoked over a wood fire for several hours.

While the menu features a variety of smoked meats, burgers, dips, and appetizers, the platter is what really stands out. Head over to the kitchen window (there is no table service) and order one of the platters. The Homestead ($45) features 1/2 rack of ribs, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 pound of pulled pork or brisket, cornbread and two sides. It easily feeds 2-3 people. For $79, the trough doubles the amount of food you get.

Pond Pit BBQ is definitely worth the drive for some good brisket. Try to go early in the day as they do sell out of certain dishes as the day goes on.

Go for a Swim at Sandy Island Beach State Park

Like the rest of New York State, Sandy Creek is no stranger to state parks. Spanning 17 miles along the shores of Lake Ontario is Sandy Island Beach State Park. The park features swimming, picnic pavilions, and fishing access. It’s best known for its wind-created sand dunes and birdwatching opportunities.

The park is dog-friendly. Admission is $7 or included with your NY Empire Pass.

Fun fact: The state park is also home to one of the locations in NYS Park’s 2023 Central Region Geocache Challenge.

Sandy Island Beach State Park Sign

Explore New Trails and Waterways

With so many waterways – canals, rivers, and streams – there is so much natural beauty to behold in Sandy Creek and the surrounding area. And with scenic Upstate areas, there are always trails to be explored. The most notable area for hiking near Sandy Creek is Deer Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Maintained by the NYS DEC, the management area covers 1,771 acres of land between Route 3 and Lake Ontario. Various types of marshland, sand dunes, and beach are there to be explored. Visitors can enjoy hiking the trails, traveling the waterways, hunting, or wildlife viewing.

As the name would suggest, Deer Creek runs through the land before emptying out into the lake. A newly renovated boat launch is accessible from the parking lot along Route 3. From there, people can kayak or canoe along the creek.

Love fishing? Head to nearby Pulaski in the fall for prime salmon fishing opportunities.

Discover Some Treasures at a Flea Market

Sandy Creek has multiple flea markets that are fun to explore in the summer months. Each has their own unique treasures to be discovered. Antiques, dishes, furniture, art, tools, you name it and I bet you can find at one of the markets.

Located on Route 11, Angus Hill Flea Market can’t be missed. In addition to a huge building of treasures, there are sheds upon sheds of more unique collections outside. And since each of the sheds outside is owned by a different vendor, they each have their own flair as well. You’ll find sheds full of gardening decor. Musical instruments. Kitchen supplies. Old farming equipment. Stoneware crocks and milk crates.

Just a little further south, on Route 3, you’ll find Deer Creek Flea Market & Campground. The space features an indoor/outdoor flea market, seasonal campground, and a snack bar. It is open weekends only from Mother’s Day through the end of September.

Explore more flea markets and antique stores in Oswego County.

Spend a Day at the Oswego County Fair

Friday – Sunday, June 30 – July 2

The amount of people in Sandy Creek skyrockets every summer during the Oswego County Fair. And for good reason. Both admission and parking for the county fair are FREE. While smaller than the upcoming NYS State Fair, there is plenty to do to keep the family entertained at the Oswego County Fair. Visitors can enjoy food, rides, local businesses and artists, animals, shows, games, and races. The fair is held every summer at the end of June/beginning of July.

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