Ontario County Park At Gannett Hill
Believe it or not, Ontario Country Park at Gannett Hill is home to more than 600 acres of woodlands and vast meadows that provide visitors with some of the best views in the Finger Lakes.
And although there are upwards of 12 multi-use trails that are just waiting to be explored, the Ontario County Loop is easily my fave and one of the best hikes in the Finger Lakes.
After all, this somewhat up and down hike takes you to the single highest viewpoint in all of Western New York the Jump Off overlook at Gannett Hill and features unparalleled panoramas of the Finger Lakes and all of Ontario County.
Youll also love that all of the best Finger Lakes hikes in this park are well-marked and color-coded to denote difficulty based on intensity in elevation gain.
So, take some time to explore the incredible network of loop trails here that occasionally interconnect with one another.
Pro Tip: You can also use one of the best hiking trails in the Finger Lakes to catch the intense, 50+ mile, Bristol Hills Trail through the region.
Location: Naples, NY
Rim And Gorge Trail In Robert H Treman State Park
Located just fifteen minutes from Ithaca, NY, this is another one of the best hikes in the Finger Lakes that feature waterfalls, waterfalls, and, oh yeah, more waterfalls.
And that makes sense since this popular hike takes you through the 1100 acres of glory that is Robert H. Treman State Park and to a stunning, 115-foot tall waterfall known as Lucifer Falls.
Therefore, if you want to try out this iconic trail for yourself, stop by between April and November and begin your journey with the 2-mile Rim Trail.
From here, youll meander your way through Enfield Glen and to Lucifer Falls itself. If you can, beeline it to the top for even better views of the waterfall below.
Youll then need to descend via the Gorge Trail since this route only goes in one direction. Its not bad though since the views on the way down are pretty dang awesome.
So, after all is said and done, youll go to the bottom of the gorge, ascend via a set of natural stone steps, and then continue to the top of the rim marveling at 12 unique waterfalls along the way.
Just try to bring plenty of water and snacks in addition to wearing a pair of decent shoes since this hike will take about 2.5 hours to complete. Also, have some money handy since youll need to pay $8 for a day-use pass.
Elevation Gain: 820 feet
The Fascinating Glenn H Curtiss Museum
One of Hammondsports most popular attractions is the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum dedicated to the towns favorite son. Curtiss is the architect of American aviation, and the museum is a fascinating place.
The museum, as youd expect, takes you back in time. But it also opens your eyes as to the incredible problems that had to be overcome in developing the airplane prior to World War I and throughout the war. Curtiss also invented the worlds first seaplane.
Before becoming involved in aviation, Curtiss was a young cyclist. He was also a mechanic who invented the motorcycle. While the museum shows many things related to his life and inventions it also shows all sorts of things having to do with the local Hammondsport area.
As the director of the Museum told me, were selling nostalgia. As I told him, you do it well.
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The Best Waterfalls In The Finger Lakes New York
If youre in the mood for a New York-based adventure and some of the most gorgeous nature youve ever seen, then chasing waterfalls in the Finger Lakes will be a dream come true.
The Finger Lakes region is also one of the most romantic getaways in upstate New York, so if youre traveling with a partner, youre in for an extra special treat!
With countless waterfalls, stunning hikes, jaw-dropping scenic roads and myriad exquisite wineries, its no wonder that the NY Finger Lakes are such a popular visitor attraction. No matter what most attracts you to visit the area, you wont be disappointed.
The Love Affair Continues
Thirty years later, our love affair continues exactly where it began. The lake is magnetic and at times downright dreamy. Our hearts skip with excitement at first glimpse of the lake when we arrive. Sadness still sets in every single time we depart. When I wake in the morning, I rush to the front windows to sneak a peak at the water. It reminds of the mood rings that were popular in the 1970s, except that my mood ring was always black.
The color of the lake changes throughout the day and throughout the seasons. It can be bright blue, emerald green, silvery, black-gold. The variations seem endless.
We fell for this mesmerizing place at the same time we fell for each other. And, to this day, there is no place we would rather be than hanging out alone, together on Keuka Lake. You really should visit.
Best Lakes In New York
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New York State boasts some of the most beautiful and varied topography in the United States. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, this East Coast gem is chock full of rugged mountains, verdant forests, crashing coastline, and winding rivers. The state’s shining stars, though, are its vast, sparkling lakes.
From giant, watery wonders spanning two countries to mountain-fringed showstoppers like Avalanche Lake, New York hosts a marvel of lovely lakes begging to be explored.
Whether you’re hoping to swim, fish, paddleboard, kayak, ice-skate, or master water-skiing, New York is home to some of the best lakes on the East Coast.
Not sure where to start your journey? Check out our list of the best lakes in New York. We guarantee you’ll find one to love.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
Layers Boots And Socks
Among the most common tips people gave me for how to dress warmly: layers, layers and more layers.
Firstly, it is important to read the labels of the clothes youre buying, and keep an eye out for wool, fleece and flannel. You can also find specialty clothes online or in outdoor specialty stores.
Learning how to layer takes time, and it’s important to know that how you layer for 40 degrees is not the same as how you layer for 15 degrees. Preparing for harsh winds is another obstacle.
Consider getting long underwear or thermal fabrics to wear beneath sweaters and pants, plus waterproof and windproof coats and jackets. Thick socks, gloves and scarves will keep you warm, and investing in waterproof boots can help keep your feet warm and dry during severe snow weather.
Quality winter gear can be expensive, so keep an eye out for sales online or in stores out of season, and check your local savers for affordable clothes. Different charitable organizations give away coats and winter clothes when the weather gets cold.
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Hammondsport Is Always Cool
The Village of Hammondsport is at the south end of Keuka Lake. Hammondsport was voted Coolest Small Town in America by readers of Budget Travel. I love the character and calmness of this little town. In the middle of this delightful village restaurants, shops and antique stores are organized around a town square and veterans memorial park and gazebo.
Its relaxing to enjoy a glass of wine and a snack sitting in the park, or at a sidewalk table of one of the restaurants and watch the low key bustle of activity.
There are several unique inns and bed and breakfasts in Hammondsport. In the summer and fall there a quiet hum of activity, day and night. But, Hammondsport never seems over crowded.
Throughout the year Hammondsport hosts several events, including an antique boat show and music in the park during the summer months. The lake shore is about a three block walk from the Village center.
Tour de Keuka , an event promoted by the Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce, is an annual charity bike ride that benefits the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Cyclists participate in a 17, 45, 60 or a 100-mile ride to raise money to feed families struggling with hunger.
What Are The Names Of The Finger Lakes
The 11 Finger Lakes are located in Western New York state, according to FingerLakes.com. Named for its appearance as long, narrow bodies of water stretched out like giant fingers between Lake Ontario in the north to Pennsylvania in the south, the Finger Lakes region covers over 9,000 square miles. From east to west, the Finger Lakes are Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus.
Formed at the end of the last ice age over 100,000 years ago by glaciers carving trenches as they expanded south from Canada, the Finger Lakes are known for their natural beauty and a micro-climate perfect for wine production, states FingerLakes.com. Some of the towns in the region include Ithaca, located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and the home of Cornell University. Seneca Falls, which is located on Seneca Lake, is the home of the womens civil rights movement and hosted the first Womens Rights Convention in 1848.
FingerLakes.com explains that Cayuga and Seneca Lakes lie within prime winery territory. Known primarily for Riesling wine, no fewer than 100 wineries make the Finger Lake region their home. Other areas in the region, particularly near the smaller lakes such as Hemlock Lake, remain pristine and undeveloped. The undeveloped lakes are renowned for fishing, hiking and camping.
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Flx Table/flx Fry Bird
If youre looking for options in the Finger Lakes, then we highly recommend checking out F.L.X Table and the adjacent F.L.X Fry Bird. F.L.X Table is definitely a premier experience, and there are only fourteen seats on offer, so youll want to book! The food here is based entirely on seasonal local ingredients, so you can expect both a varied and fresh menu. If youre after something less refined, then F.L.X Fry Bird is an excellent choice. Offering what you might expect based on its name, this place is THE place to visit in the Finger Lakes for fried chicken.
We hope that this ultimate guide to the Finger Lakes has been useful. As you can see, there is a plethora of things to do in the area even if you dont consider yourself a nature-lover or particularly outdoorsy. So, put on your planning cap and get started on that perfect trip!
Every Season In The Finger Lakes Is Gorgeous
In the fall, green meadows fade into golden corn fields against the back drop of fiery foliage, leaves of gold, orange and red. The drive in winter is like traveling through a desert lightly dusted with white snow. White flakes swirl around the faded gold and brown farmland and vineyards. Barns, fields, and trees sparkle in the sun light. As spring erupts, the grassy fields turn a bright yellow-green, the apple orchards burst with white blooms, and baby chicks peep around farmyards near the new born shaky-legged calves.
I dont always love to drive distances. But, I love driving in the Finger Lakes. I can feel the stress melt away as I exit the New York Thruway and start my venture down the country roads. A relaxed drive to the Finger Lakes is the perfect way to whet your appetite for the tranquil feast for the body and soul you will experience when you visit the Finger Lakes.
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Geography Of Seneca Lake
Seneca Lake is in a popular area of New York state. Along its northern edge sits the city of Geneva, New York, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, which is a division of Cornell University. Watkins Glen sits at the southern tip of the lake, and it is best known for housing the Watkins Glen International racetrack. Seneca Lake, and the finger lakes in general, have a microclimate that is particularly conducive to grape growing. Because of this, some 50 different wineries can be found in the area. The region even has a Seneca Lake Wine Trail which highlights some of the best wineries in the region. The lake itself is fed by underground springs, and fresh running water is common here, including several waterfalls. The lake has two inlets, Catharine Creek and the Keuka Lake Outlet, and its outflow releases into the Seneca River and Cayuga-Seneca Canal.
The Finger Lakes Watkins Glen State Park
To get my bearings after my arrival in town I made a stop in the local tourist office and then headed straight for the park.
I didnt have much free time since I was booked for a driving experience at the Watkins Glen International track. But still, I wanted to at least see part of the park.
I found it to be a beautiful place, perfect for an easy amble. Its gorge walk weaves its way between 200-foot-cliffs and takes you over and under 19 waterfalls along its length. Other trails meander all about the wooded park.
After an hour or so I returned to my car to head over to the racetrack. I had a Drive The Glen! ticket and was excited about driving on the famous track. But it turned out not to be what I expected.
I assumed I would be taking a ride in a racecar, as I did in Homestead, FL five years earlier. But instead I found I would be driving my own car for several laps around the track behind a pace car.
I was disappointed, thinking it was going to be a waste of my time. But once on the track I realized that despite the lack of great speed, it provided a good sense of race-car driving.
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Best Time To Visit The Ny Finger Lakes
Fall at Seneca Lake
While some say that any time of year is the best time to visit the area, spring is usually the best, as this is when the Finger Lakes waterfalls are cascading at their full power. The weather is also warm and best suited for enjoying the many Finger Lakes hiking trails.
The wineries and breweries can be popular in the summer, but many waterfalls dry up in the hottest months of the year, so you wont experience some of them in their full glory.
Fall in the Finger Lakes is also a favorable and picturesque time to visitthe red and orange foliage that encompasses the waterfalls makes for some breathtaking scenery.
The Finger Lakes Of New York
The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is a 9,000 square mile, four-season playground, set against a backdrop of Mother Nature’s best work: from waterfalls and gorges to rolling hills to miles of spectacular shoreline around 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake. No matter what you like to do, you’ll find it in abundance in the Finger Lakes.
UPDATE: The Finger Lakes Vacation Region of New York State is moving forward with re-opening while continuing to maintain a safety first policy.
This link is a one-stop resource for all things related to the Covid-19 pandemic and New York State’s recovery.
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On To Mark Twain Country
Leaving the Soaring Museum I continued on to Elmira College, about a 20-minute drive away, to visit its Center for Mark Twain Studies and view the actual small woodland study in which Twain penned many of his most famous works.
The study was transported to the college from nearby Quarry Farm where Twain and his family spent most of their summers.
If youve ever read Twains works or would just like to learn more about the man who William Faulkner praised as the first truly American writer, its a stop well worth making if youre in the area.
Youll also find Twains grave in the nearby Woodlawn Cemetery. .
The Lakes Of The Finger Lakes
At the end of the last ice age, over one hundred-thousand years ago, massive glaciers advanced southward from Canada, carving deep trenches in the earth. As the earth warmed and the glaciers receded, the trenches filled with water and formed what we now know as the Finger Lakes.
The eleven Finger Lakes range in length from 40 miles to only 3 miles and in depth from 618 feet to just 30 feet , and are beloved for their natural beauty. The deep waters of the largest lakes, combined with the steep slopes of their hillsides, create a micro-climate ideal for wine production, which attracts wine makers and enthusiasts from all over the world to the region.
Some of the lakes are well developed with booming tourism industries and are dotted with quaint towns and villages, while some lakes are pristine and undeveloped with miles of peaceful, picturesque hiking and biking trails.
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Wildlife In Seneca Lake
Fish are common in Seneca Lake, especially lake trout, for which the lake is known. Other fish species include smallmouth bass and yellow perch. Less populous species also include rainbow trout, brown trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, northern pike, and largemouth bass.Other animals found in the area include beaver, black bears, white-tailed deer, and river otters. Common bird species are mainly fish-eating types such as great blue herons, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, snow geese, and wild turkey.
Rich in both history and wildlife, Seneca Lake is a popular destination for fishers, animal lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking, boating, and recreational fishing to camping and resorts, Seneca Lake remains one of the more popular destinations among the glacial lakes of New York State.