Get in the Wind around Keuka Lake! | Finger Lakes Region
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Get in the Wind around Keuka Lake!

Bike through the Finger Lakes
Bike through the Finger Lakes

It might be the roar of the engine.  It might be the heat of the pipes on a cool fall morning.  It might be smell of the leather.  Nothing thrills me more than a two wheeled trip through Corning & the Finger Lakes in the fall. With over 600 miles of county roads there are a lot of great rides with spectacular views, lots of twists and curves, and some special spots to grab a photo or fresh fruit along the way.

Once the kids are back in school and the peak summer traffic has slowed a bit, it is great to get a ride around  Keuka Lake, my favorite Finger Lake.  This ride is great for just the two of us or when we ride with a bunch of friends.  I've included some favorite stops that you can try on a Saturday or Sunday.  Coming from the East, we like to ride Route 415 (becomes Steuben Street) rather than the interstate into the village of Bath - nice curvy roads and pretty scenery.  Make a right onto Liberty Street.  Our first stop is the Chat a Whyle on Liberty Street for the best sticky buns in the north and some hot tea  Hey, it's not just the bike that needs fuel.

Curtiss 5 Twin Engine Motorcycle
Curtiss 5 Twin Engine Motorcycle

With a full tank, we head north onto Liberty St/Route 54 towards Hammondsport.  If you like architecture, then check out the Victorian style homes along the left side of the street just after crossing Washington Street.  Keep to the Right at the Y and ride 7 more miles toward Hammondsport.  You'll pass the Glenn H Curtiss Museum on the Left - you can't miss it since there is a huge plane (C-46 Commando) parked near the road.    Pull in, park and check out the amazing collection of antique motorcycles, as well as the aviation history related to this inspiring innovator.  The Curtiss Classic Motorcycle event is lots of fun.  Add it to your bucket list for next year.   If you are a history buff, you can easily spend three plus hours here, especially if the volunteers are working on a project in the restoration shop.  If you just want to check out the bikes, you should plan about 30 minutes.  Engine heads - allow for more time - you know who you are!   Now that we've fed our brains it is time to hop back on the bike and feed our soul. Turn Left onto Route 54 and stay straight as we start up the East side of Keuka Lake.   You'll see some spectacular lake homes and "cottages" along this route.   One of the best things about this ride in the fall is that the smells are amazing.  The grape smell is so strong on the air that you can almost taste it during harvest time at the wineries.  The variety of trees offers a gorgeous palette of color, from blazing reds to sunny yellows. You'll probably catch a hint of maple on the air too.   If you ride on a sunny day, Keuka looks like it has diamonds sparkling across the surface.  Twenty two miles bring us to the north end of the lake.  

In the village of Penn Yan turn Left and follow Rt. 54A south.  You will leave the waters edge for a while along Route 54A, riding along pristine farms and a corn maze on your way to Branchport and the west branch of Keuka Lake.  You might be tempted to follow the wine trail and brewery signs, but try to resist.  The twisty curviness of Route 54A/West Lake Road is such a blast to ride. Ride about 14 miles and then make a sharp Right onto Gallagher Road.  Our next stop is at the Harvest & Artists Market.  You will find fresh baked Amish products, locally grown produce and meats, plus some really unique craft items.  If you don't have saddle bags, don't sweat it.  You can always come back with the car to pick up your great finds.  Head back down Gallagher Road toward West Lake Road (Route 54A) and turn Right.  Ride another seven miles into the village square of Hammondsport.  Grab some lunch at

Champaigne BBQ - photo from Trip Advisor
Champaigne BBQ - photo from Trip Advisor

Champaigne BBQ then check out the shops around the village square.  The Cinnamon Stick has some great fall and Halloween decorations.

We pass so many great places along this ride.  Riding a bike makes it so much easier to stop and park to capture that perfect picture or simply drink in the moment.  Maybe it's the freedom?  Maybe it's getting up close to all that nature has to offer?  What ever the reason, get outside and ride in Corning & the Finger Lakes this fall. Safe riding!

 Motorcycle Resources:  
Arkport Cycles, 1 Main St, Arkport, NY
Corning Harley Davidson, 300 Town Center Rd, Painted Post

Steuben County CVB staff
Steuben County CVB staff

Repair Shops:  
Arkport Cycles, 1 Main St, Arkport, NY 
Corning Harley Davidson, 300 Town Center Rd, Painted Post
Mile High V-Twin LLC, 8530 Reservoir Rd, Hammondsport
Escalating Force Cycles, 13 W Main St, Atlanta
S&J Motorcycle Service, 1418 Martin Hill Rd, Corning

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Wine Traditions and Innovations on Keuka
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