Question: I have family in both New York City and Boston. How far is the drive from Fort Drum to these cities, and is it difficult to drive there during the winter months?
A: It is approximately six hours driving time from either New York or Boston. The most convenient route from both cities is the New York State Thruway – Interstate 95 (westbound from Albany). New York drivers will take I-87 North to Albany and then merge onto I-95. Boston drivers will take the Mass Turnpike to Albany and likewise merge with I-95. Your relatives can exit at Utica and follow NYS Route 12 North to Watertown or continue to Syracuse and follow Interstate 81 North to the Black River/Fort Drum exit. There are food and gas services on the Thruway but all services are “off the highway” for the Route 12 and I-81 trips. Most drivers from either city should have no difficulties in any season until they proceed north of the Thruway. Particularly in the months of November to February lake enhanced snow squalls (Lake Ontario) can often pop-up and reduce visibility dramatically. Forecasters have become much better at recognizing the potential for these squalls and weather reports have become remarkably accurate in warning motorists to avoid the “snow belts” in any given period of time. The “snow belts” run from approximately 15 miles north of the Thruway to 15 miles south of Watertown. The belts are approximately 30 miles wide.