New York’s Finger Lakes

1535635_gg_keukalakeview.jpgWhen the glaciers receded after the last Ice Age, truly magnificent
topography emerged. One of the most remarkable and beautiful areas on
the North American continent pays testament to this: the Finger Lakes of
New York state. Creating mammoth gorges and towering waterfalls,
unusually shaped lakes and splendid valleys, the glaciers gave us a
9,000-square-mile playground just south of Lake Ontario. The 11 fertile
lakes — all bearing Native American names — range from 3 to 40 miles
in length and from 30 to 632 feet in depth. Naturally, boating and
fishing are prime here, but golfing, hunting, hiking, wine-tasting and
even skiing are available.

 

This part of the Big Apple State is lush with campgrounds and is an
RVer’s paradise. Choose private or public as your home base to begin
your explorations. World-class fishing includes trophy-size trout,
salmon, bass, walleye, pike, carp and catfish. If you prefer dipping a
line in the winter, steelhead could bite, and in the summer, king salmon
might take a nibble. New York is very proud of its Free Fishing Days,
assigned to the last full weekend in June throughout the state; no
fishing license required anywhere in the Empire State.

Hunters will also appreciate the breadth of the area and the
variety of the catch; Finger Lakes National Forest includes 16,000
acres, and participants can pursue whitetail deer, occasional black
bear, wild turkey, teals, mallards, black ducks and pintails. Choice of
weapon varies from bow and arrow to muzzleloader to shot gun and rifle.
Fall is the prime hunting season.

Golfers will discover not just numerous and well-manicured
courses, but also a surprise awaiting them on the “19th hole.” Some of
the world’s great golfers try their mettle on these courses, and many
golfing packages are available throughout the area. If more relaxed
activities appeal to you, museums abound; among the very best are the
Corning Museum of Glass, the George Eastman House and the Stong National
Museum of Play. And, of course, don’t forget the wine! The Finger Lakes
region of New York is world-famous for its wines, and one of the best
ways to sample as many of the varietals as possible is via the Cayuga
Lake Scenic Byway. Traveling by boat amid this spectacular country,
passengers have an opportunity to visit 16 wineries along the way.

To better plan your visit, note the special events listed here:

April: Central New York Maple Festival

May: Elmira Pioneers, Semi-pro Baseball Team; Lilac Festival; Williamson Apple Blossom Festival

June: Auburn Doubledays Baseball; Cruisin Night; Rochester International Jazz Festival

July: Air Fest; Centennial Celebration for the June Bug Flight; Finger Lakes Wine Festival

August: 36th Annual Antique Show & Sale; Central NY Scottish Games; Chemung County Fair

For more information:

New York State Parks: Finger Lakes Region

Finger Lakes Tourism, www.fingerlakes.org

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