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The landscape of New York’s Southern Finger Lakes region is anything but ordinary. The region’s gently rolling blue hills, shimmering lakes, wildlife-rich forests, and endearing towns offer a whole range of accommodation options, with something for every type of traveler—from off-the-grid adventurers to farm-to-table foodies to artistically inclined culture vultures. Break the mold and plan a getaway at one of these unique accommodation options in the Southern Finger Lakes region surrounding Corning, N.Y.

1. Black Sheep Inn & Spa

Located just outside Hammondsport and within walking distance of Keuka Lake, the Black Sheep Inn & Spa is a truly singular escape. The historic, octagonal-shaped structure is done in an Italian stucco style and offers five uniquely appointed guest rooms, along with plenty of cushy perks, including locally sourced farm-to-table breakfasts, special packages for beer and wine lovers, and an on-site spa offering Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages. For the artistically inclined, innkeepers Debbie Meritsky and Marc Rotman create art with creatively repurposed materials at the property’s F.L.A.V.O.R Studio & Gallery.

2. Taylor Farm B & B

Wildlife lovers will adore the bucolic Taylor Farm B & B, located just west of Keuka Lake. Book a room in the homey bed & breakfast or rent the Carriage House featuring two sleeping lofts and master bedroom spread over 1,200 feet (including a massive balcony). The 315-acre farm also features scenic walking trails, providing guests the opportunity to encounter area white-tailed deer, beavers, and pileated woodpeckers.

3. Pleasant Valley Inn

There is plenty to entice traveling foodies in the Finger Lakes, including the Victorian-inspired Pleasant Valley Inn. At the chef-owned inn located just outside Hammondsport in the aptly named Pleasant Valley, guests can take advantage of the daily continental breakfast served al fresco and indulge in gourmet meals at the inn’s in-house restaurant, which even offers homemade ice cream (it’s freshly churned every single day!). The elegantly yet cozy inn also has an on-site pub, the perfect place to linger for a nightcap after a scrumptious dinner.

4. The Gaffer Inn

Check out the cultural offerings of the Southern Finger Lakes at the Gaffer Inn, located on Market Street in the bustling center of Corning’s historic Gaffer District, a hub for arts and entertainment. The stylishly appointed inn offers four spacious guests rooms, convenient to iconic cultural attractions like the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum, which highlights the work of American artists. The trendy inn sits directly above Burgers and Beer of Corning, a character-infused eatery serving classic comfort food and offering 30 different beers on tap.

5. Button’s Creekside Farm B&B

Bask in the charm of the Southern Finger Lakes at Button’s Creekside Farm and B&B, just outside the town of Cohocton. The historic farmhouse dates back to the middle of the 19th century and offers four homey guests rooms, each decorated with tasteful antiques. Relax on the front porch with a riveting book, tuck into heaping, homemade breakfasts (including juice made from local concord grapes), or help out with farm chores, which involves meeting resident lambs and kittens. The bed & breakfast also offers unique packages for guests, including pottery experiences with local artisans and culinary experiences that include a visit to Healing Spirits Herb Farm and Education Center located just down the road.

6. Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort

 

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Located just south of Keuka Lake, the Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort has something for everyone. Outdoor lovers can pitch a tent at one of the resort’s campsites, while visitors craving a few more creature comforts can opt for a cabin, cottage, or loft-filled lodge. The resort also has a handful of options for larger groups, including the Bunk House, which sleeps 18 and offers summertime perks like a spacious firepit for s’mores and a sizeable gas grill. Large groups can rent the historic Lehman House, which dates back to the 1850s but now features modern conveniences like a spacious kitchen and family room. It can accommodate up to 12 guests.

7. Stony Brook State Park

The rustic cabins and family-friendly campsites at Stony Brook State Park provide the ideal base camp for waterfall hikes, sun-soaked picnics, and refreshing dips in the park’s stream-filled natural pool. Take advantage of the easy trail access offered by the park’s leafy campsites, or cozy-up in the one of the dog-friendly cabins (which sleep four), ideal for family getaways. In addition to the trio of waterfalls, natural pool, and woodland trails, Stony Brook State Park also features tennis courts, ball fields, and a playground for young campers.

8. Birdseye State Forest

For the ultimately camping experience, head to Birdseye Hollow State Forest, and spend a night beside the lily-pad covered waters of Sanford Lake. For campers already equipped with gear, the state forest offers shady campsites tucked among the towering pines bordering Sanford Lake, ideal for a weekend of bass fishing or kayaking. Besides Sanford Lake, the state forest has plenty of other outdoor offerings, including a portion of the Finger Lakes Trail, a 558-mile footpath meandering across west-central New York from Allegany State Park eastward to the Catskill Forest Preserve.

9. 18 Vine Inn & Carriage House

 

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History buffs can plan the ultimate getaway at 18 Vine Inn & Carriage House in Hammondsport, part of a 19th-century property once belonging to the country’s first champagne producer, Jules Mason. The historic bed & breakfast offers six uniquely decorated rooms, each named for notable historical figures, tucked away on a property adorned with restful gardens and a pool. Guests can also rent quarters in the adjacent Carriage House, including the two bed Coachman’s Quarters or smaller Coach Suite. Large families can even rent the entire Carriage House, which comfortably fits seven.

10. McCarthy Hill State Forest

Craving a little trail time and a night in the backcountry? Head for the McCarthy Hills State Forest, just outside the town of Addison. Primitive camping is allowed throughout the 794-acre state forest (free of charge), and backpackers can easily craft overnight or multi-day hiking loop on the interconnected trail network, showcasing seclude ponds, woodlands, and wildflower-sprinkled meadows. Visitors can also explore the trail system at adjacent Pinnacle State Park, or hop on the Crystal Hills Trail, a 50-mile long offshoot of the regional Finger Lakes Trail.

Need a few more ideas of what to do on your next trip to the Fingers Lakes? Download our free experience guide here.

Written by Malee Baker Oot for RootsRated Media in partnership with Steuben County.

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Lodging, Outdoor Recreation

With glistening glacial lakes, vast expanses of pristine forest, bountiful family farms, and charming towns, the Southern Finger Lakes region of New York is the ideal place for a one-of-a-kind health and wellness getaway. In the Southern Finger Lakes region, it’s easy to combine fresh air and exercise with fresh farm-to-table cuisine for serious relaxation. Slow down and spend a weekend soaking up the restorative serenity of this scenic region of the state.

Peaceful Paddling

No visit to the Finger Lakes is complete without some time on the water. Spend a morning gliding over the crystal water of Keuka Lake on a stand-up paddleboard in the company of ducks, loons, and grebes with a rental from Keuka Watersports in Hammondsport. The sinuous, Y-shaped lake stretches for nearly 20 miles, and for newbie paddlers still mastering the art of balance, there are plenty of sheltered nooks and crannies to explore.

If you prefer moving water, trade the quiet waters of Keuka Lake for the Chemung River. Formed by the Cohocton and Tioga rivers just outside Corning, the Chemung River flows eastward eventually meeting the Susquehanna. Once a vital trade artery, today the river offers plenty of picturesque paddling. On the Paddle the Palisades tour offered by Southern Tier Kayaking, kayakers float past rolling hills, woodlands, and the namesake Palisades on the 6-mile trip between Corning and Elmira. Experienced paddlers can explore even more of the waterway along the Chemung River Trail, which forms part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a massive conglomeration of regional water-trails covering the eastern United States.

Trail Time

5aBZMQ1WKW0gAIogCeCg66 Spencer Crest Nature Center offers a peaceful place for the whole family to explore. Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

The vast forests and rolling foothills of the Southern Finger Lakes are laced with scenic trails that are perfect for a hike, run, or leisurely stroll. Trail runners love the leafy footpaths through the Spencer Crest Nature Center, just outside Corning. The 7-mile trail network moseys through tranquil woodlands surrounding a cattail-edged pond. Rather cover a few more miles? Head to the Erwin Wildlife Management Area, just west of Corning. Runners can tackle more than 16 miles of trails rambling through forests filled with maple, oak, and hemlock.

If you’re not a runner, don’t worry—head to Stony Brook State Park, just south of Dansville, and explore one of the stunning, glacier-sculpted gorges. On the park’s appropriately named Gorge Trail, hikers are treated to views of three stunning waterfalls. The trail ends at the park’s stream-fed swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing, post-hike dip.

Take to Two Wheels

Cyclists have almost unlimited options on the quiet country routes and scenic byways covering the Southern Finger Lakes region. Roll past nationally renowned wineries, historic towns, and the clear waters of Keuka Lake on the 36-mile Hammondsport Circle Tour. Or try the shorter Savona-Sonora-Sanford Lake Loop. The 9.2-mile circuit includes a ride through the Birdseye Hollow State Forest, taking cyclists past the idyllic picnic spots perched beside Sanford Lake.

Eat Well

4jJ3vGhrPOCamqECMcQY0i Check out the Corning Farmers’ Market for seasonal fruits and other local foods. Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

The family farms dotting the tumbling foothills of the Southern Finger Lakes region are known for their seasonal yields, producing everything from sweet summer berries to crisp, autumn apples to delicious, artisan-crafted cheeses.

Round out the health and wellness weekend with some nutritious, locally sourced fare, and pick up provisions at one of the thriving farmers markets scattered throughout the region. The Corning Farmer’s Market takes place in Riverfront Centennial Park, in the heart of the historic Gaffer District, on Thursdays from June 7-October 25. You’ll find local delicacies including seasonal produce, wildflower honey, fruit preserves, and naturally raised meats. In Hammondsport, the farmers market occurs twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday) beside Keuka Lake from June through October.

After a session at the farmers market, delve further into the local agriculture scene with an insightful visit to Healing Spirit Herb Farm and Education Center in the cozy hamlet of Wallace. The 30-acre family farm specializes in producing medicinal herbs, crafting a wide array of products, including everything from tinctures and salves to healthful teas. The location also regularly offers hands-on educational opportunities for visitors, hosting events like farm walks, classes, and informative seminars.

Enrichment for Body and Mind

Recharge mind and body—and meet some adorable four-legged locals—with a Goat Yoga session at the ZiegenVine Homestead in Savona. During the 45-minute session, held in the middle of a grassy meadow, curious members of the homestead’s goat herd make the rounds to mingle with practicing guests. Tranquility-seeking visitors can also get centered at Keuka Peaceful Roots in Hammondsport, just a few blocks from Keuka Lake. Aside from yoga, the studio also offers Pilates classes, rejuvenating massages, and Reiki.

Get Pampered

6Ov1kmc0gwOEgscCUG2okA Take a local yoga class with baby goats for a fun way to get your practice in while on vacation. Allison Lavine

After spending your day hiking, biking, and paddling, schedule some well-earned pampering at one of the region’s restorative spas. In Corning, the Four Feathers Massage & Wellness Center offers a range of massage options, including chair massage sessions as short as 5 minutes, and extensive therapeutic massages stretching for an hour and a half. Also in Corning, A Touch of Tranquility also has a buffet of health and wellness treatments, including custom-massages, body scrubs, exfoliating wraps, and even private yoga sessions. For a whole weekend of pampering, book a stay at the historic Black Sheep Inn & Spa, offering an array of rejuvenating treatments, including deep tissue, hot stone, and Swedish massages. There’s no better way to recover from a weekend exploring the natural beauty of the region.

Written by Malee Baker Oot for RootsRated Media in partnership with Steuben County.

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Attractions, Outdoor Recreation

While we hear plenty about the Appalachian Trail, New York’s long-enduring Finger Lakes Trail(FLT) has managed to slip beneath the radar of most East Coast hikers and backpackers. Meandering across the southern portion of west-central New York for 580 miles, the trail showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in the Empire State—past family farms and historic towns, through hardwood forests, and along precipitous gorges, all while skirting the region’s ancient glacial lakes.

While charting its course across New York from Allegany State Park to the Catskill Forest Preserve, the main Finger Lakes Trail also splinters off into an extensive series of branch, loop, and spur routes, creating a massive trail system totaling nearly 1,000 miles. The Finger Lakes Trail system also offers access to a handful of the East Coast’s other long-distance footpaths, including the Great Eastern Trail, the Long Path, and unheralded gems like western New York’s Conservation Trail, which meets Canada’s Bruce Trail in Niagara Falls. For approximately 420 miles, from the Pennsylvania border until just northeast of Cortland, the Finger Lakes Trail also serves as the route for the North Country National Scenic Trail, a 4,600-mile hiking path running from New York to North Dakota.

Inspired largely by the Appalachian Trail, the FLT was envisioned just a few decades after Benton MacKaye first pitched the idea for the East Coast’s most iconic footpath. In 1961, after hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in New England, and reflecting on the landscape of the Finger Lakes region, outdoor enthusiast and western New York resident Wallace Wood dreamed up the notion of a long-distance footpath across central New York. Just a year later, Wood’s vision was set into motion with the creation of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. Five decades after Wood first conceived the idea, the non-profit organization still maintains and continues to expand the epic footpath, relying on assistance from volunteers and regional outdoor clubs.

om83IKDY2Gk0GGeimmAMC There are plenty of sections perfect for a day hike if you don’t want to tackle the entire thing. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Why Hike It

The Finger Lakes Trail provides an enticing blend of scenery, history, and bucolic charm. The bulk of the trail is located in central New York’s eponymous Finger Lakes region, a glacier-chiseled landscape punctuated by deep, slender lakes, plunging gorges, and towering waterfalls, which also happens to be one of the country’s most prolific wine-producing regions.

Between the Pennsylvania border and the Catskills Forest Preserve, the FLT strings together dozens of state forests, eight state parks, and the Finger Lakes National Forest—but also serves as a portal to some of central New York’s most inviting towns. Hikers can deviate from the trail to explore the smattering of lakeside wineries outside Hammondsport, sample the offerings at Ithaca’s famed ice cream parlors, or tour the iconic Corning Museum of Glass in Corning.

In comparison to other distance trails like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, hikers on the FLT will get two priceless commodities: solitude and serenity. Less than 400 thru-hikers completed the entire Finger Lakes Trail between 1974 and 2017, according to the tally kept by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. In addition to mingling with central New York’s trademark dairy cows, the solitude afforded by the Finger Lakes Trail provides hikers ample opportunity to spot the region’s resident fauna, including white-tailed deer, barred owls, and coyotes.

SzVGmF8yqsoKcqEu4MMMc If you’re looking for solitude, try the Finger Lakes Trail. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Classic Adventures

For hikers and backpackers without the time to tackle the entire Finger Lakes Trail system, there are many ways to get a bite-sized taste of the extensive footpath. The ample mileage and breadth of side trails means there is something for all sorts of outdoor lovers.

Birders can search for scarlet tanagers and black-capped chickadees at Birdseye Hollow State Forest in Bath, while seasonal petal peepers can catch the spring wildflower bloom at the Sweedler Preserve just outside Ithaca, and budding geologists can gape at towering trailside formations in the Little Rock City State Forest, along the western leg of the Finger Lakes Trail.

While the footpath is named for west-central New York’s Finger Lakes, the distance trail also showcases some of the state’s most dramatic scenery (think glacier-carved gorges and thundering waterfalls), providing plenty of fodder for epic day hikes and backpacking trips.

In central New York, a 21.5-mile portion of the Finger Lakes Trail winds through Letchworth State Park, treating hikers to a natural wonder fondly nicknamed the ‘Grand Canyon of the East.’ At the southern edge of the park, hikers can peel off the Finger Lakes Trail to tackle the 7-mile Gorge Trail, which provide an eyeful of the tumbling waterfalls adorning Genesee River Gorge. Farther east at Watkins Glen State Park, the Finger Lakes Trails parallels a stream-laced chasm bedecked with 19 waterfalls.

Wedged between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, the Finger Lakes National Forest treats hikers to a quintessential Finger Lakes Trail sampler and opportunities to cobble together a multi-day loop. Only about 4.5 miles of the Finger Lakes Trails runs through the lake-cradled national forest, but the footpath serves as a portal to a 30-mile trail network ideal for weekend outings. Inside the national forest, the Finger Lakes Trail crosses paths with the 12-mile Interlocken Trail, a northbound route running through the heart of the protected area, and providing options for easy weekend loops linking the Burnt Hill or Chicken Coop trails.

Al805qbe8KIAUqMGQe0I The Finger Lakes Trail is a favorite for serious hikers, families with young children, and everyone in between. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Tips for Thru-hikers

While the Finger Lakes Trail meanders through some of New York’s most spectacular public lands, nearly a third of the footpath’s route is on private land. When planning a trip on Finger Lakes Trail, thru-hikers should be mindful of portions of the trail traversing private property, and plan a route which ensures tents are pitched only in places where camping is permitted. The volunteer-driven Finger Lakes Trail Conference provides detailed maps and trail updates, while also offering critical logical support to thru-hikers, including arranging ‘car spotters’ to assist with transportation along the route.

Written by Malee Baker Oot for RootsRated Media in partnership with Steuben County.

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Outdoor Recreation

Verdant rolling hills, shimmering waters, and a lively culture make New York’s Southern Finger Lakes the perfect adventure destination. Soak up the sun while lounging on the shores of Keuka Lake, spend an afternoon sampling craft beverages, or get out in nature—you really can’t go wrong when it comes to how you spend your time here.

Known for its sprawling vineyards and wishbone-shaped lake, the Corning and Finger Lakes area is the perfect summertime playground for water sports, fishing, biking, hiking, and so much more. Start exploring with this list of the most iconic outdoor adventures and things to do in the region. (Don’t be surprised if you find a new summer tradition!)

1. Get on the Water at Keuka Lake

2aIBuXqfisEmoOcw0oq2AC Keuka Lake is perfect for stand-up paddleboarding. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Almost endless opportunities abound on the clear, cool waters of Keuka Lake. Rent a motorboat and cruise the 22 miles of undulating shoreline or get the family out on water skis, boogie boards, or in a tube. For a more hands-on experience, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards are all widely available for rent. While not exactly a watersport, another not-to-be-missed Keuka Lake experience is a seaplane ride that offers an overhead look at the famous Y-shaped lake as well as views of the vineyards stretching into the horizon.

2. Cast a Line in the Chemung, Cohocton, or Tioga

The fish are jumping and the waters are flowing year round for both experienced and novice anglers alike on the Chemung, Cohocton, and Tioga rivers. More than 30,000 stock trout are released into area waters, helping create some of the best fishing in the northeast. The Chemung and Tioga Rivers are known for their muskie fishing, but the jewel of Steuben County fishing is the Cohocton River, which is home to both wild and stocked trout. A nice stretch of the waterway where you can drop a line is off State Route 415 and Wentworth Road, where there is a special angler footpath for river access.

3. Cycle Through the Countryside

5DvPwbDIu4GCoKkO68IMGS The Southern Finger Lakes region features excellent cycling, with well-maintained roads and scenic views. Bonnie Gustin

Breathe in the crisp air as you explore the lush, vine-covered hills while biking through the Southern Finger Lakes region. Of course, a couple of winery stops and a picnic along the way is always a popular option, but for a real heart-pumping adventure, try the Hammondsport Circle Tour. This 36-mile route takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Steuben County.

If riding for a cause is appealing, sign up for the Tour de Keuka, an annual charity bike ride around the lake region in July that benefits the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. There are several scenic routes and distances to choose from including 16-, 45-, 60-, or 100-mile rides.

4. Chase Waterfalls at Stony Brook State Park

4XtbspzVVKM8K0wKa4ia0S Take a hike through Stony Brook State Park for some of the prettiest views in the region. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Stony Brook State Park in Dansville is a go-to destination for waterfall lovers, and three moderately challenging trails are the best way to explore the park. The Gorge Trail is the easiest, following Stony Brook as it winds past picturesque rock formations and three waterfalls, ending at a stream-fed pool at the North Entrance. Wear brightly-colored clothes during your visit to attract the grey petaltail dragonfly, often seen landing on arms and hats.

5. Tour the Craft Beverage Scene

It’s well-known that the Finger Lakes region produces great wine, period. But the area also has a thriving—and growing—craft brewing and distillery scene. With almost 30 brewers to choose from, you’re sure to find a beer, cider, vodka, gin, or whiskey to suit even the most discerning palate.

Four Fights Distilling in Corning is Steuben County's oldest distillery. This "one-man show" produces small-batch vodka, gin, bourbon, and a variety of specialty products, including the intriguingly named Imperial Apple Pie. Find out first-hand just how many options you have on the self-guided Craft Your Adventure* *tour and sip into some of the most innovative craft brews and spirits on the East Coast.

6. Explore the Finger Lakes Trail System

A true labor of love, the Finger Lakes Trail system was born in the 1960s and has grown to almost 580 miles of trails winding their way across the Finger Lakes Region. (When you consider neighboring trails off the FLT, the total system reaches close to 950 miles.) About 70 miles of the trail twists across Steuben County, with the expanding network growing thanks to a dedicated band of volunteer helping to create and maintain trails. You’ll find multiple access points for getting onto the trail, including many hikes starting at most of the area state parks.

The trail system is perfect for day hikes or weekend-long adventures, and highlights include crashing waterfalls, treks through vineyards, a wide range of diverse habitat and ecosystems. The well-maintained and marked trails make access easy—the biggest decision will be where to start! One of the more unique places is the Huckleberry Bog Nature Trail on the Bristol Hills Branch Loop near Hammondsport, which is great for families and anyone interested in the history of the area.

For even more ideas of things to do on your next trip to the Corning and Finger Lakes region, download our Experience Guide and start planning!

Written by Lisa Collard for RootsRated Media in partnership with Steuben County.

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Fishing, Outdoor Recreation

Adventure is possible anytime of year when you visit the picturesque Southern Finger Lakes region near Corning, New York. From unique experiences like seaplane rides and hot air ballooning to day hikes and paddling, this family-friendly destination caters to adventure seekers from mild to wild. Here’s how to spend a 3-day weekend in one of the most beautiful parts of the state.

Where to Stay

The first step in any adventure is finding the perfect spot to use as a home base. If you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors, there are a variety of camping options in the area (find a comprehensive list here).

To be in the thick of things, book a room at the Inn at the Gaffer Grille. Located in the heart of Corning on historic Market Street in the Gaffer District, each room includes a cozy fireplace and luxury bed.

For a true country experience, drive about a half an hour north of Corning to Cohocton and book a stay at the Button’s Creekside Bed and Breakfast. Where, in addition to staying in an 1850 farmhouse, you are encouraged to snuggle lambs in the spring and help out on the working farm if you’d like.

Fancy a lake view? The Keuka Lakeside Inn in Hammondsport is the perfect choice. Anglers and watersports enthusiasts will love the comfortable rooms, private boat launch, and easy lake access.

Day 1

3dg5Oq74oECOWKIYq8uYYg Kids love exploring the water and woods around the Finger Lakes. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Start your trip with a hearty breakfast at Donna's Restaurant on Market Street where they have a full range of tasty options like a classic plate of eggs and bacon, and homemade muffins. (Be sure to check out the unique collection of Pyrex storage dishes lining the walls, too!) After you fuel up—and say hi to Donna herself, who is often found at the diner—head over to the Erwin Wildlife Management Area for your first adventure. There are scenic trails for all skill levels of hikers and bikers from beginner-friendly gravel fire roads to rocky, rooty singletrack.

Head back to town for lunch at theHand + Foot, which is best described as a "vintage-chic eatery serving eclectic sandwiches & other bites, plus craft beer & cocktails." After lunch, take a stroll through the historic downtown, with its charming shops and the Corning Museum of Glass which is “dedicated to the art, history and science of glass.” Finish up with a walk or ride along the Corning Bikepath, a two-mile paved trail for walkers, bicyclists, and rollerbladers.

Next, for an evening you’ll never forget, book a hot air balloon ride and behold the wonders of the glacially-carved scenery of the Finger Lakes region from above. (Note: Hot air ballooning is controlled by the season and the weather, so the decision "to fly or not to fly" is made on a daily basis.)

Finish up the day with a dinner at one of the most popular microbreweries in the area: Market Street Brewing Co. and Restaurant. Ask about their seasonal beer specialties, or just go straight for one of the staples, like the Blackberry Lager (made with fresh blackberries) or Wheelhouse IPA (with four different types of hops. Also be sure to take a good look at the elaborate—and painstakingly preserved—cherry, walnut, and mahogany bar.

Day 2

3vfTNxltd6iEwaeEaSQKGc Hammondsport is known for its aviation history. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Start the day with a Mediterranean flair at the Aroma Coffee Art Gallery in Hammondsport, where the flavorful spice mix on their eggs is as big of a hit as the walls that are covered in colorful, unique art. Then take a short walk up the block to check out the historic Frey Opera House which now houses the Opera House Antiques.

Hammondsport has a rich aviation history, which means it’s the perfect place to charter a seaplane ride and see the unusual Y-shape of Keuka Lake from above. You can also catch a glimpse of Seneca Lake as well as the famous vineyards dotting the area. After the flight be sure to plan some time to visit the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum to learn about the local man known as the "Father of Naval Aviation."

Enjoy lunch at the Pelican’s Net Coastal Grille and Draught House, a classic crab shack serving up some of the best seafood around. You can get lobsters, scallops, and clams as well as salads and burgers. They have local craft beers and Finger Lake wines to help wash everything down.

After lunch it’s time to hit the water. If the weather is nice, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing) and get a core workout that’s as fun as it is good for you. If it’s too cold for swimming, renting a kayak to explore the lush shoreline or going fishing are popular alternatives. You can rent boards and boats right down the street from the Pelican’s Net at Keuka Watersports.

Follow up the watersports with a visit, tasting, and maybe even a tour of one of the area's many wineries, like Bully Hill Vineyard right in Hammondsport (it’s also a great choice for lunch overlooking the lake). There are a total of 15-20 wineries in the Keuka Lake area to choose from, including the seven along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.

Conveniently located right off of the wine trail in Hammondsport is the Switzerland Inn, featuring stunning lake views and a waterfront deck. In continuous operation since 1894, "The Switz" is a local dinner favorite and features live music every Sunday from June through August.

Day 3

3kEoSiR2WsegumaIaSaw6O No trip to the region is complete without getting out on the water. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

For breakfast with the freshest ingredients in Corning, try The Source at Factory no. 2. Anyone looking for vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free options will have plenty to choose from here. Serving breakfast and brunch, it’s a great place to start your day.

Squeeze in just a little more fun before heading home by renting a kayak or canoe—Kim’s Kayaks is close to The Source—and going out on the Chemung River. The Algonquin Indian word "Chemung" means “Big Horn” and refers to a tusk (possibly from a wooly mammoth) found along the river bank in the 1700s. There are several boat launches in the area, and the Chemung Basin River Trail covers almost 80 miles total.

If your trip falls in the winter, try cross-country skiing on the trails at McCarthy Hill State Forest instead. There are about seven miles of marked ski trails which vary in difficulty with choices for every ability. To add enough trails for a full weekend or longer day, there are even more cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities across the street at Pinnacle State Park.

If you are still in the Corning area and want to grab a quick bite before hitting the road for home, top off your trip with a pie and basket of garlic breadsticks at Atlas Brick Oven Pizzeria.

This itinerary is just one way to spend a long weekend in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes. For even more ideas and events, request your free Experience Guide.

Originally written by RootsRated for Steuben County.

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Attractions, Beer, Dining, Family Fun, Outdoor Recreation, Wine Fun

The Finger Lakes Region of New York is filled with natural beauty, from gushing waterfalls cascading down deep gorges to wineries dotting rolling, green hills—and at the heart of it all lies Keuka Lake.

One of the most popular of the Finger Lakes, Keuka is easy to spot on a map thanks to its unique Y shape (which has also earned it the nickname "Crooked Lake"). Besides paddling, fishing, and swimming, the hills around the lake are filled with hiking and biking trails.

With so much to do, it can be difficult to decide where to start your vacation at Keuka Lake, so we put together this guide to help you out.

On-the-Water Activities

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

4DTQbuVlw4AgWsuSCmY8W2 Paddling at Keuka Lake is easy and relaxing. Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

One of the best ways to get to know Keuka Lake is to get out there in a kayak or on a paddleboard. Take your time to explore the hidden coves for an up close and personal look at some of the lesser-visited areas of the waterway. For more of a challenge, paddle the length of Keuka Lake from Hammondsport to Penn Yan (it’s about 20 miles), or go from Hammondsport to Branchport, which is about 14 miles. Regardless of where you paddle to, make sure you are on the water at dusk to take in an awe-inspiring sunset.

Keuka Watersports has a wide range of kayaks, paddleboards, and safety equipment available to rent, or go all out and rent a double-decker pontoon for a memorable family adventure or party. There are boat launches in Penn Yan at the Morgan Marina or the Penn Yan Village Boat Launch, and in Hammondsport at the Harbor Lights Marina.

Swimming

No visit to Keuka Lake is complete until you actually get in the water. Take a dip at Keuka Lake State Park in Branchport, where you’ll find a nice swimming beach that the whole family can enjoy as well as other activities like hiking, picnicking, and fishing. The state park has an entry fee, so check out the website before you go.

Red Jacket Park in Penn Yan is another swimming area with a sandy beach, playground, and picnic tables.

On the southern end of the lake, Depot Park in Hammondsport is right on the water. There is a lifeguard on patrol for safe swimming and a grassy area where you’ll find locals playing games, sunbathing, or just enjoying a midday picnic.

Seaplanes

24aFS4eGuE6YUOCo8a6aw8 Get above the lake for the best view. Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Go up, up, and away for an unforgettable view of Keuka Lake and the surrounding region with Finger Lakes Seaplanes. Based at Harbor Lights Marina, just a few miles north of downtown Hammondsport, the team of professional pilots will take you on a spectacular sky cruise guaranteed to deliver incredible memories.

Fishing

Welcome to one of the best "fishing holes" in the Northeast. Keuka’s deep crystal waters are filled with brown and lake trout, smallmouth bass and pike, pickerel, and yellow perch. In the spring, look for trout in shallow tributaries like Cold Brook before they move to the depths of Keuka in summer and fall.

If you’d like to learn from an expert angler, look into a charter from Bobber’s Fishing Excursions.

Off-the-Water Activities

Biking and Hiking

3Z5J1hE5f2iiEyasGsqeCM You don’t have to be on the water to enjoy the water in and around Keuka Lake. Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

Are you the type of person who likes to be near the water rather than on it? Well, biking or hiking around Keuka Lake is a wonderful way to take in the picturesque views.

Cyclists rave about Keuka Lake’s Bluff Point Trail (you can hike to it, too). Located outside of Penn Yan, the peninsula that gives the lake its unique Y shape reaches over 800 feet at its highest point.

For an easy, 7-mile hike try the historic Keuka Lake Outlet Trail, which follows a stream and abandoned railroad from 1884. Look for remnants of the old abandoned town of Hopeton and the three-tiered Seneca Mills Falls.

For more hikes in the area, check out this list of 10 of the best fall hikes in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, or jump on a section of the 950-mile Finger Lakes Trail near Hammondsport.

Wineries & Breweries

It’s also worth spending at least a day sampling the area’s stellar wineries, and the best place to do that is along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail. There are seven family-owned wineries along the trail and many win awards year after year. Need a place to start? Heron Hill is renowned for its cool-climate whites and spectacular tasting room. Though not on the wine trail but definitely worth a visit, Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars is one of the state’s finest wineries and the small but exceptional Keuka Lake Vineyards has won praise from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.

If beer is more your style, you’ll find a brewery route here, too. The Craft Your Adventure Trail features 29 breweries, distilleries, and cideries, and eight of them are near Keuka Lake. Be sure to pick up your "Passport to Happiness" and get it stamped at 10 different stops. Redeem your passport at one of the designated sites and get some CYA swag to take home with you. There are plans to expand the trail in 2018, so keep an eye on the website for new additions!

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure or an adult getaway, this lovely lake really does have it all. Come experience Keuka Lake Life for yourself.

Originally written by RootsRated for Steuben County.

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Outdoor Recreation

When you think of the craft beer scene, states like Colorado and Oregon might come to mind. But did you know that New York is having its own craft beer boom? According to the New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA), the number of breweries across the state grew from 95 in 2012 to 320 in 2016, making New York the 5th largest beer producer in the country.

And if you like to put in a little work before drinking a cold brew, the Southern Fingers Lakes is the place for you. Whether you want to go for a walk in the woods or spend your day paddling around the coves tucked away in Keuka Lake, we’ve paired five outdoor adventures with local breweries, cideries, and distilleries that are sure to hit the spot.

1. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

67V5G1O0jSs6AekGGGuo62 Seneca Mill Falls has three sections. Ted Sakshaug

There’s no better way to get a taste of what the Southern Finger Lakes have to offer than by hitting the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. Loved among locals, this one is perfect if you want to take in both the beauty and the history of the area. Described as "A Journey through the History of the Finger Lakes" the easy, 6.6-mile trail starts just outside of Penn Yan. Look for remnants of a century-old abandoned railway line and a mill used by the early settlers of the area, and you can’t miss the stunning Seneca Mill Falls, tumbling about 40 feet over three ledges.

Once you get back to Penn Yan, take a seat at the bar at LyonSmith Brewing Co. on Water Street. Proudly specializing in beers from the UK, there are always four permanent beers on tap, three seasonal rotating brews, and one limited edition "brewer’s choice." Each beer has been thoughtfully crafted, like the Cardiff Blonde - a “fair beautiful beer” like the blonde-haired, blue-eyed people that call Cardiff home. People frequently praise the welcoming vibe from the owners (Sara and Bruce Lyon and David Smith) and if you can’t decide on one beer, go with the tasting and sample a few!

2. Urbana State Forest & Keuka Brewing Co.

Just a few miles north of Hammondsport lies the lush and lovely Urbana State Forest. The forest hasn’t been fully developed, but does have a few designated trails worth exploring.

The popular Urbana Bog Nature Trail Loop is an ideal hike for those looking for a moderate, 4.3-mile trek. Depending on the time of year you visit, you will find blooming wildflowers bursting into color and hear the sounds of songbirds in the trees. Look carefully and you might find some wild blueberry and raspberry bushes, too. The Huckleberry Bog is a must-see and features an observation deck and boardwalks—just be sure to pack the bug spray if you visit in the summer months.

After your adventure, reward yourself with a frosty beer at Keuka Brewing Co. This family-run company was the first to open in Hammondsport, and it’s only about 15 minutes away from the forest. Keuka Brewing Company was named the Best Craft Brewery in New York State at the TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Festival in 2014, and you’re sure to find something to love among the plentiful varieties of IPAs, lagers, and stouts. If you want to blend in with the locals, order a 607 Lager. Created in response to the Keuka Brewing Co. regulars who wanted an easy-to-drink and flavorful "everyday" beer, the 607 is made with Vienna malt to give the drink a toasted flavor and a burnt orange color, but subtle fruit flavors are added to balance it out.

3. Keuka Lake Water Trail & Finger Lakes Beer Company

4iKkjNBhTWQ4gAIAQAWY2O Put your hiking shoes aside and get out on the water at Keuka Lake. Photo courtesy of Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

No visit to the Finger Lakes would be complete without getting onto the water, so put your hiking boots aside and grab a kayak or paddleboard. Keuka Lake, in particular, is a fun one to explore thanks to its unique Y-shape, fairly calm water, and panoramic views. The lake stretches on for nearly 20 miles, so whether you want a workout or prefer to stick near the shore, Keuka is a great place to spend the day. If you don’t have your own kayak, it’s easy to rent what you need at a local water sports shop. To see the lake from above, book a seaplane ride at Harbor Lights Marina and get the full tour from Penn Yan to Hammondsport.

Once you’ve explored Keuka Lake, grab a pint at Finger Lakes Beer Company in Hammondsport. Start in the tasting room to sample a flight of four beers (and take home your favorite in a growler!), or try the popular Hammonds-Porter, which is a tasty concoction of vanilla beans and chocolate malt. This dark but smooth blend won the Silver Medal for Best Craft Beer in New York State in 2015. They also make a delicious hand-crafted, non-alcoholic root beer for the designated driver in your group.

4. Stony Brook State Park & Cider Creek Hard Cider

In a region filled with postcard-worthy landscapes, it’s hard to narrow it down to one spot that stands out among the rest, but the East Rim and Gorge Trails in Stony Brook State Park are certainly at the top of the list. The East Rim and Gorge Trail form an easygoing loop that has everything you could ask for: three waterfalls, bridges, thick woodlands, and a deep gorge with interesting rock formations that add to the secluded ambiance of the area. The loop is about 2.25 miles, but there are other options in the park if you want to add on more mileage.

About 30 minutes south from Stony Brook in Canisteo is an option for those who might not be big on beer: Cider Creek Hard Cider. The Southern Finger Lakes climate is the ideal spot to harvest apples, and because you won’t find any added water, sugar, artificial flavors, or sweeteners in the ciders, you’ll get a pure, refreshing taste. But don’t take our word for it—sip for yourself at the Cider Creek tasting room. There are a variety of ciders available, including rotating seasonal options like the spirit-warming Winter's Cinn, which features a touch of cinnamon and other spices. They also serve fresh-to-order artisan pizzas in the tasting room.

5. Spencer Crest Nature Center & Iron Flamingo Brewery

6J6r0JmhNu2CYa6m244A2K The Spencer Crest Nature Center is a great place to spend the day with your family. Jason Whong

If you’re a wildlife lover or traveling with kids, you won’t want to miss the Spencer Crest Nature Center. Part of Corning Community College, the nature center offers a variety of nature programs and displays that are designed to engage children in the great outdoors. There are seven miles of trails spread throughout its 250 acres, including a short wheelchair-accessible boardwalk, two ponds filled with turtles, an apiary, and a babbling stream.

From here, take a short, 10-minute drive into Corning and over the Chemung River to Iron Flamingo Brewery. Iron Flamingo was the "first craft brewery to produce and distribute" in Corning and is known for having a fun game area (complete with giant Jenga). They offer a full range of beers, with a porter, IPA, and a few ales on tap year round. The seasonal collection is where they get creative, with innovative options like the Sweet Potato Stout.

This is just a sampling of all the outdoor adventures in the Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes. You can find even more activities for your next trip to our corner of New York right here.

Originally written by RootsRated for Steuben County.

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Beer, Outdoor Recreation

Spectacular, dazzling, magnificent—these are just a few of the many adjectives used describe autumn in Upstate New York. As the resplendent reds of sugar maples appear early in the season and give way to shocking yellows and vibrant oranges, it’s no wonder that the Corning and Southern Finger Lakes region is lauded as one the best places in the world to see this fall display. And what better way to soak up all the color than with a hike in heart of it? In an area well-known for its world-class wineries and picturesque vineyards, Corning is the perfect base camp for a brilliant weekend of hiking and exploring this glacier-carved region. We’ve rounded up a handful of some of the best leaf peeping and fall hiking opportunities for all abilities and levels to enjoy.

1. Gorge and Rim Trails in Stony Brook State Park, Dansville

Stony Brook State Park is home to multiple waterfalls. Stony Brook State Park is home to multiple waterfalls. Andy Arthur

Waterfall chasers and shutterbugs take note—this is the hike for everyone! The Gorge and East Rim Trails in Stony Brook State Park make up the go-to loop for spectacular fall foliage, charming bridges, and dramatic waterfalls. Start on the lightly trafficked East Rim Trail for sweeping views of the rugged gorge and then cross over the bridge (there is one at each end) to reach the highlight of the park: the Gorge Trail. From here, you’ll follow along the Stony Brook Creek, for which the park is named, and wind past picturesque rock formations and not one, not two, but three waterfalls. The total distance you’ll cover on this one is 2.25 miles.

2. Otter Slide and Bear Trail in McCarthy Hill State Forest, Addison

This hike has a primordial vibe and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you travel through thick forests, rugged gullies, and shady ponds. There are about eight miles of trails here to choose from, but if you’re looking for a challenge, make your way to the east end of the McCarthy Hill State Forest** **and get on the Otter Slide and Bear Trails. The trail system makes it possible to tour the entire forest in a big loop, which allows you to maximize your leaf peeping!

3. Mitchellsville Gorge on the Finger Lakes Trail, Hammondsport

Mitchellsville Gorge is a wonderful fall hike with many waterfalls. Mitchellsville Gorge is a wonderful fall hike with many waterfalls. Andy Arthur

The Finger Lakes region is known around the country for its wine scene and on this trail, you’ll get the unique opportunity to walk right through a vineyard at the time of year that the vines will be bursting with fruit. This moderate trail only has about a 500 feet of elevation gain, but there are long sections traversing steep gullies so this one might not be the best choice if you have young children. Besides the vineyard, highlights include many waterfalls, a heavenly scented pine and hemlock forest, and a few interesting land formations. The hike is 2.5 miles one-way and can be done either as an out-and-back for a total of five miles, or as a shuttle with parking available at each end. It does travel through private property, so always stay on the marked trail.

4. The Forest Loop in Urbana State Forest, Hammondsport

This popular 5.4-mile moderate loop in Urbana State Forest includes the Huckleberry Bog and wildlife spotting opportunities from the observation deck as well as a walk past the historic Covell Cemetery. The forest is also home to the ‘hugging trees’—two trees whose trunks intertwined as they grew up towards the sky. There is an interpretive nature guide book available to help you enjoy this trail, and if you go early enough in the season, it’s possible to forage for raspberries in some areas. Another bonus for making this one an autumn hike is that the mosquitoes that can sometimes be a nuisance in this marshy area should have cleared out. This hike starts at the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) Parking Area on Bean Station Road.

5.Spencer Crest Nature Center, Corning

Families looking for fun on a crisp fall day should definitely plan a trip to the Spencer Crest Nature Center. With something for everyone, hiking options range from the .3-mile wheelchair-accessible wooden Sensitivity Trail to seven more miles of other footpaths that twist and loop around the property. Trails crisscross the site and pass the Amelia and Turtle Ponds, a lookout tower, and some of prettiest views around. Special programs are offered year round and the trails are pet-friendly.

6. Great Eastern Trail in Pinnacle State Park, Addison

For a great hike in the woods under splendid autumn colors, check out this 6.3-mile (one-way) section of the Great Eastern Trail that runs through Pinnacle State Park and McCarthy Hill State Forest. Look forward to breathtaking vistas of the Canisteo River Valley, Harris Hill, and the charming Levi Pond (where anglers are welcome to drop a line!). At times the path will even follow along the edges of the rolling 9-hole golf course for which the park is known for.

7. Birdseye Hollow State Forest Trail, Savona

Go for a peaceful hike around the lake in Birdseye Hollow State Forest. Go for a peaceful hike around the lake in Birdseye Hollow State Forest. Seabamirum

This quiet spot is perfect for a short, scenic day hike with colorful lake views. The Lake Trail and a section of the Finger Lakes Trail that run through Birdseye Hollow State Forest form a lovely 2-mile loop trail. Bring a picnic and make a day out of it with a paddle on the lake after your hike or try out the fishing platform. The trail is also open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter.

8. Hornby Park Trails, Hornby

Some crisp autumn days are just too pretty to be inside, but it can be tough to get out with little ones in tow. Try the family-friendly trails at Hornby Park, where you’ll find two miles of easy, wooded hiking, a covered pavilion with grilling facilities, restrooms and a playground making for a perfect family outing in the woods under a colorful canopy.

9. Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail

Want to get immersed in the woods for a long weekend? Then look no further than the Bristol Hills Branch of the long distance Finger Lakes Trail. Covering more than 50 miles, this moderate to strenuous hike can be done as a full point-to-point shuttled trip or in various segments as day hikes. A large portion of the trail passes through Steuben County and parallels Keuka Lake on the west side. The northern entry point is at Ontario County Park near Naples and the southern entry point is at the main Finger Lakes/North Country Trail near Mitchellsville. This trail is known for its well-maintained trail and is well-marked most of the way.

10. Crystal Hills Trail at Erwin Wildlife Management Area, Corning

You may be familiar with the Finger Lakes Trail, but have you heard about the Crystal Hills Trail (CHT)? It’s fairly new to the long-distance hiking scene and is officially a part of the Great Eastern Trail, which is a north-south trail stretching all the way from New York to Alabama. Only a short section of the trails within the Erwin Wildlife Management Area is part of the CHT, but this thickly-wooded, wildlife rich area is a perfect introduction if you’re considering a thru-hike.

With options ranging from quick jaunts at the park to backpacking a long-distance trail, Steuben County is home to hikes for every ability level. There are plenty of campgrounds near the trails if you want to spend even more time in nature or stay in one of the unique B&Bs in the area. --

Originally written by RootsRated for Steuben County.

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Outdoor Recreation

The Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York is stunning. With lush rolling vineyards, crystal clear waters, craggy hills, and wooded valleys, this much beauty in one place is a rare find. Packed with all the best amenities for lodging, food, drink, and entertainment, you'll find wilderness and solitude in a world where both are few and far between. From getting up in the air to down in the water, there are plenty of unique things to do here, so we put together this list of some of the most remarkable outdoor activities this spectacular bit of America has to offer.

Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Corning

 

Scenes from the New York State Festival of Balloons in Dansville, NY. #newyorkstatefestivalofballoons #dansvilleny

A post shared by Mike Heath (@heathphotographyonline) on Sep 4, 2016 at 6:43pm PDT

The Finger Lakes region has a rich aviation history. Hammondsport, which sits at the southern tip of Keuka Lake, was home to Glenn Curtiss, known as the "Father of Naval Aviation." In 1908, Curtiss designed and built the first aircraft to fly more than a kilometer. Locals believe he was more important to the aviation industry than the famous Wright Brothers, so give a nod to Curtiss and get airborne.

Drifting along on the air currents high above the ground is the experience of a lifetime. Marvel at the glacially-carved scenery of the Finger Lakes region, spying on the daily life below while hovering in the quiet atmosphere above. There are several outfitters in the area to choose from, and be sure to plan ahead since hot air ballooning is at the mercy of the weather. (Just don't forget your camera!)

Motorcycle Tour of Steuben County

 

A post shared by natebaird (@natebaird) on Aug 8, 2017 at 5:12am PDT

Curtiss was also known for racing bikes and motorcycles, and even set the land speed record of 136.36 miles an hour in 1907. It's hard to imagine a more postcard-worthy destination than the rolling hills of wine country around Keuka Lake and the Southern Finger Lakes, so if you decide to explore by motorcycle, we recommend slowing down and taking your time. Whether you are here for the scenery, wine, craft beer, or exceptional food, motorcycle enthusiasts will love cruising around the twists and turns of vineyard-lined country roads and taking in the exceptional lake views.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

 

A post shared by Suzanne Clements (@sclem65) on Aug 14, 2017 at 11:29am PDT

If you prefer pedal power to a motor, there are lots biking options in the Southern Finger Lakes region to choose from. The 36-mile Hammondsport Circle Tourfeatures heart-pumping climbs through some of the most striking scenery in Steuben County. If off-roading is more your style, a great place to start is the Erwin Wildlife Management Area. There are trails for all skill levels—from gravel fire roads to the rocky, rooty singletrack goodness. For a more mellow or family-friendly option, head to the Corning Bikepath. Starting near Corning-Painted Post Middle School and running just over three miles across town, this paved trail is ideal for walkers, bicyclists, and inline skaters.

Soaring in Elmira

 

A post shared by Brandon Pierson (@bvp95) on Jul 2, 2017 at 2:21pm PDT

Haven't heard of soaring? It's basically motorless flight in a sailplane. Imagine swooping along with the hawks and playing in the clouds in the silence of the great open sky. There's no better place to give this truly unique experience a try than in the town of Elmira, known as the "Soaring Capital of the America." Visit the National Soaring Museum before or after booking a flight to learn more about the history of this unique sport.

Seaplane Ride over Keuka Lake

If a bird's-eye view sounds amazing but soaring seems a bit too adventurous, then give a seaplane ride a go—it's the best way to see the unusual Y-shape of Keuka Lake and the lush vineyards dotting the area. If your weekend rental has a dock, some companies will even pick you up right from home! Be sure to check out the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum to learn more about the aviation pioneer who helped Hammondsport "get its wings." If you happen to be in town in mid-September, check out Wings and Wheels—a two-day celebration of seaplanes and classic/exotic cars. ## Kayaking or Canoeing the Chemung River from Corning to Elmira

 

A post shared by Claryn (@cognitivesuicide) on Jul 9, 2017 at 12:12pm PDT

Another wonderful way to spend a day at the Finger Lakes is by playing "I spy" for bald eagles while paddling through some of the prettiest glacially-carved landscape on the planet. The 17-mile water trail on the tree-lined Chemung River will take you past several small islands and over class I-II rapids. Spend a couple relaxing days floating your way down the river, whose name means “place of the horn” in Algonquin because of a wooly mammoth tusk that was found along the river bank in the 1700s. Didn't bring your kayak? Don't worry—there are plenty of places to rent all the equipment you might need!

Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Keuka Lake

If you've ever been surfing Instagram and seen a photo of someone doing a yoga pose on a stand-up paddleboard and thought* that looks like fun, *then get over to Keuka Lake. Knowing a little yoga is not needed to get a good core body workout or just spend a delightful day paddling around. Plan to spend a day at the lake, because there's much more to do than just paddle! Keuka is known for some of the best freshwater fishing in the Finger Lakes and is also a popular spot for jet skiing. You don't even have to worry about bringing your own - you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and jet skis from Keuka Watersports right on Champlin Beach.

The Keuka Lake Outlet Trail was one of the first rail trails, and is open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The route winds seven scenic miles from Penn Yan out to Dresden at Seneca Lake, with plenty of shade, creeks, and even waterfalls.

Cross-Country Skiing at McCarthy Hill State Forest

Swooshing through fresh powder and gliding underneath towering trees while snow falls gently all around you is unlike any other experience on earth. Whether cross-country skiing has been on your bucket list or it's a yearly ritual, give the nordic trails at McCarthy Hill State Forest a try. There are about eight miles of marked ski trails, which vary in difficulty but have something for every experience level. Once you've had your fill here, head across the street to Pinnacle State Park for 11 more miles of trails open to skiers and snowshoers in the winter.

Bird Watching at Gleason Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Established by a bequest from long-time Chemung Valley Audubon Society members Herbert and Virginia Gleason, this 35-acre sanctuary is closed to motorized traffic to maximize wildlife viewing and bird spotting opportunities. The trail system wanders through groves of pine, hemlocks, and northern hardwoods, with a pond and small streams throughout the area. Birders will delight in checking off as many of the native species as possible, and sightings have included barred and great horned owls, downy woodpecker, eastern wood pewee, scarlet tanager, and a wide variety of warblers and sparrows.

These are just a few of the uncommon adventures you'll find in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes region of New York. For even more ideas on planning your next trip and where to stay, visit our website.

Originally written by RootsRated for Steuben County.

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Outdoor Recreation

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Camping and Outdoor Adventures: A Match Made in the Finger Lakes
It seems fitting that both camping and the great outdoors are nationally celebrated during the month of June. Spend your days exploring scenic biking trails, woodsy hiking trails, and fishing on Keuka Lake. End your nights around a crackling campfire with a star covered sky...
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