Like fingers elegantly tracing the earth, the Finger Lakes in central New York are gracefully north to south, creating an undulating landscape filled with natural wonders. Left behind by ancient glaciers, these 11 long, narrow lakes and the surrounding region boast forested hills, soaring cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, deep gorges and miles of unspoiled shoreline – a perfect Road Adventure destination. Spanning a large geographic region – nearly 9,000 square miles – the Finger Lakes offer abundant outdoor recreation. Hike, peddle or ride horses along some of the hundreds of miles of trails. Bring your camera – the scenery is unparalleled. Water enthusiasts will thrill at the incredible lakes and rivers where you can swim, boat, kayak and canoe. And don’t forget your fishing pole. These waters are packed with walleye, pike, trout, salmon, steelhead, muskellunge, bass and more. Start your Road Adventure at Watkins Glen, New York – an easy day’s drive from Columbus, Ohio.
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO WALK BEHIND A WATERFALL?
Your stay in the Watkins Glen State Park campground will be unforgettable. The amenities alone make it a camping dream – full-service campsites plus a playground, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, food and gift shop, and picnic pavilion all on manicured grounds. But it’s the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail that’s positively captivating. The 2.4 mile long path follows Glen Creek as it descends more than 400 feet through rugged, water-carved cliffs. Spellbinding, the winding trail takes you over, under and behind 19 waterfalls. Crystalline pools mesmerize, as do the surrounding rock walls that rise more than 200 feet above. It’s an otherworldly experience.
WATKINS GLEN WELCOMES
Nestled in forested hills on the southern-most point of Seneca Lake, the village of Watkins Glen offers a warm welcome to visitors. Surrounded by natural beauty, the town teems with activities and attractions. Motorsports fans can visit the Watkins Glen International, touted as the birthplace of American Road Racing and host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Better yet – “Drive the Glen” and experience the road for yourself. Be sure to also tour the International Motorsports Racing Research Center, a world-class repository for racing memorabilia. If road racing doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, a boat tour of Lake Seneca will. One of the largest of the Finger Lakes, with a depth of 618 feet it is also the deepest. Like the other lakes, Lake Seneca is long and narrow with steep hillsides plunging into its depths. Traveling along the east shoreline you’ll have a magnificent view of water-carved cliffs and rugged rock walls. Be sure to have your camera ready as you pass by Hector Falls, where water cascades 165 feet to the lake below. After the tour, indulge in some fresh catch in one of the waterfront restaurants. Pair your meal with a glass of wine produced by one of the more than 40 nearby wineries. As the day winds down, make your return to nearby Watkins Glen State Park – base camp for your Finger Lakes Road Adventure.
EXPLORE WINE COUNTRY
Deep lakes and steep hillsides temper the Finger Lakes climate, making it an ideal micro-climate for grape growing. Today, the region produces world-class varietals, including Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. The region’s 120-plus wineries and vineyards are grouped into three “Wine Trails.” The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the largest, featuring 35 wineries, one distillery, two cider houses, two microbreweries and a meadery. Watch for themed tasting events including chocolate, cheese or herb. Some of the wineries require reservations, others do not. Your AAA travel experts can assist you in making all the arrangements.
Are you ready for an adventure?