Posts filed under ‘Keuka Lake’

The Secret Sidewalk of Charlotte

Sidewalk between houses and Lake Ontario

Sidewalk between houses and Lake Ontario

Several years ago my husband surprised me with an invitation to go for a walk. Usually it is me that is begging to get outside, but he had a received some inside information on a secret sidewalk in Charlotte.

Lakeside view from the sidewalk.

Lakeside view from the sidewalk.

View the back yards of the most beautiful lakeside homesWe parked our car on a side street off Beach Avenue and walked west from the public beach. Maybe a half mile down the road of lovely lake houses we noticed that there was a paved sidewalk, connecting to the main street sidewalk at a 90 degree angle, with a painted marker on it, passing between two of the houses. It initially looks like you might be trespassing on someone’s property, and in any other neighborhood you would be, but (80 years ago) there used to be a street running between these houses and the beach. Today it is only a right-of-way, but what a tremendous glimpse you get!

Markers on the sidewalk indicate and entrance

Markers on the sidewalk indicate and entrance

One of the entrances is very near the intersection Clematis St. and Beach Ave.

For more information on the history and zoning of this lovely stretch of land.

December 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm 2 comments

Keuka Lake BicYcle Ride

View of Keuka Lake from the north end

A sunny and unusually warm spring day creates perfect conditions to bike in the the Finger Lakes region. No throngs of tourist traffic, plus you get a great view of the water, because the leaves are not yet out. I chose to circle Keuka Lake.

Gazebo in the town square, Hammondsport

Keuka in Iroquois means “canoe landing.” It is the most unusually shaped Finger Lake as it resembles the letter “Y.” Keuka has the unique distinction of being the only lake in the US that flows both north and south.

Penn Yan is the largest town, located at the end of the northeastern branch of the lake. Branchport is at the end of the northwestern branch, and at the southern end of the lake, is Hammondsport.

Keuka is a fabulous lake to ride around. The West Lake Road (54A) runs right next to the lake, while the East Lake Road (54), though not quite as scenic, has several great roadside picnic grounds and an unusually wide shoulder. The full circuit is about 46 miles and the hills are not as intense as some of those around the other Finger Lakes.

There was a strong wind coming from the southern end of the lake, so I decided to start my ride in Penn Yan, and take the longest leg first (RT 54).

If you want to get closer to the lake as you ride, try some of the many smaller east lake roads. These roads are paved though rough in spots, but are much quieter. At times these roads become tiny lanes but remain paved. Very nice if you are not in a hurry.

Southern end of Keuka Lake

Route 54 continues along the west side of the lake from Penn Yan to Hammondsport. I take a break in Hammondsport for lunch. There is a nice little lunch spot, a park for picnicking and a grocery store very close to the park.

Shoulder is narrow on the west lake road

For the second leg of the journey I ride north on route 54A. Here I had the best views of Keuka Lake, but there is not much room to ride. The road follows the edge of the lake, making for smaller hills, and with the tail wind it is a very easy ride. I advise making this ride during the off peak season when the road has less traffic.

The road levels as you approach Branchport at the northwest end of the lake, but do not be fooled. As you leave Branchpost you have to go up the longest  incline of the entire loop. Branchport has the “Crooked Lake Mercantile” for snacks.

Rt. 54A turns right at the light and the traffic increases considerably. Fortunately the shoulder is very wide.  Near the top of the climb is a scenic overlook where you can get a nice view of the lake.

Finger Lakes Summer

Map of roads around Keuka lake

Once over the crest you enjoy a long coast down into Penn Yan. If you are looking for a great spot  to eat lunch or dinner, try Lloyd’s Limited in Penn Yan.

More on great bike trails around Penn Yan:  Keuka Outlet Trail, biking the inside of the Y along the lake.

March 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm 3 comments

Finger Lakes Antiques: Amazing Treasures to be Found

My Finger Lakes Treasure from the Teller House: a painting of their summer home.

The Finger Lakes area is loaded with antique stores and antiquing events. Should you vacation here, you may find yourself sucked in to a nearby town to hunt for a military trunk that can double as a coffee table, as I was recently, with my niece from Brooklyn. She said the prices were much lower than anything she had seen in the New York City area. We did not find a winner, but I think I might have about 6 different options for her in my attic.

I have six different military trunks in my attic

All were purchased by my Dad after WW2, and sent us all off to camp and college

I confess, I am NOT an “Antiquer.” I grew up in a house and cottage FILLED with antiques that I assumed were hand-me-downs from our many Finger Lakes relations. It did not occur to me that these were valuable or collectable.

My Grandpa had inherited the contents of 2 large estates in Auburn, New York in the early 1950s and most of us grand kids have furnished our homes with the furniture that came out of the summer and winter homes of Judge Teller and his spinster sister.

My oldest brother is the only one who can remember the process of having to empty the contents of the two homes. There was a horse drawn sleigh in the barn, civil war uniforms in trunks, and fruit preserves, in the basement, over 50 years old! Much of the furniture from these homes has made its way into the homes of my 4 siblings and me.

I remember the antiques in my Grandma’s house on East Lake Road in Skaneateles. Her house was where I spent my youthful Sundays with my big brother, both of us bored to death while the grown-ups were visiting, so we would explore, discovering the 50-year old Life Magazines in her attic, or climbing the long-since productive fruit trees in the orchard leading from her house to the lake.

This was one of the trucks we played with

My brother and I found metal toy trucks big enough for us to ride down her pitched driveway. He remembered this coca-cola truck.

Sunday afternoons at Grandmas House included these tiny classics

We also found “Big Little Books”upstairs in her guest bedroom that we devoured.

Here is a partial listing of some of the Finger Lakes antique stores:

Bloomfield Antique Mile — You’ll find plenty of antique shops representing more than 175 dealers! Beautiful Bloomfield, NY, is flourishing as an antique mecca: we’re home to a generous country mile of quality shops dotting the old Seneca Trail (now known as Routes 5 & 20)

The Carriage Factory Antiques contains 3 floors of old “stuff”  Located o between Canandaigua and Geneva, on 2348 State Route 5 and 20 in Stanley, NY 14561-9540, (585) 526-6076, Open Daily 10am-5pm

Country Reflections Antiques and Gifts — Located on 83 Cayuga St. in Seneca Falls at the Northern end of Cayuga Lake.

FOUND in Ithaca is a multi-dealer antique and vintage marketplace.  Located in the Cherry Street Industrial park just two blocks from Wegmans. FOUND’s 7000 square foot space has room for over 40 dealers. The website shows images of many items. 227 Cherry St, Ithaca, NY 14850, Open 10-6 every day, EXCEPT TUESDAY, Phone: 607.319.5078.

The Ithaca Antique Center - This “mall” is a lot more than a shop, but it has a more than 75 dealers  under one roof. Located at 1607 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca NY 14850. Hours Mon-Sat 11-6 and Sun 12-5. P:  607-272-3611.

Ontario Mall Antiques — Largest antique mall in upstate New York. Located on Rt 332 in Farmington (North of Canandaigua).

The Paris Flea — Located in downtown Skaneateles, on 23 Jordan St.

The Skaneateles Antique Center — 2 East Genesee Street, In the Village of Skaneateles, NY 13152, 315-685-0752. Hours:  Monday-Saturday 10 to 5:00, Sundays 11 to 5:00

Some good links:

Finger Lakes Antiques

I Love the Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Marketplace

Also a listing of antique shows

If you like antique wooden boats, there is an Antique and Classic Boat Show every July in Clift Park, downtown Skaneateles. This year’s show is July 29, 30,  & 31, 2011.

July 18, 2011 at 2:47 am 2 comments

Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Adventure

Did you think I meant to say “wine trail?” No whey! Cheese farms are popping up all over the Finger Lakes. We’re took a special trip to ride some of the trail, meet the cheese makers, and try as much as possible!

Continue Reading April 10, 2011 at 7:30 am 2 comments

Finger Lakes Summer Art Festivals

Live Music at Corn Hill

Corn Hill Festival has art, food and great live music

The Finger Lakes region has a wonderful variety of artists and craftsman.

Here is a partial listing of some of the fun art festivals in the Finger Lakes Region coming up for 2011.

43rd Annual Corn Hill Arts Festival

July 9 and 10, 2011

Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm

133 South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester

Rochester, NY 14608

(585) 262-3142

The Corn Hill Arts Festival is a juried show of premier fine arts and crafts. Consistently ranked as one of the top art shows in the United States, this two-day event offers a unique selection of handcrafted artwork of over 400 artists from around the country and Canada.


Penn Yan

Keuka Arts Festival in Boat Launch Park

Keuka Arts Festival

Jun 11 and 12, 2011

10 am to 5 pm

Boat Launch Park, Keuka Street, Penn Yan, NY 14527

(315) 308-7523

A juried, high-end arts festival featuring mediums of every sort. We also feature Finger Lakes Wineries, Micro Brews, local restaurant cuisine and a farmers market for local creations. We bring entertainment for the children and adults with face painting, drawing, balloon crafting, the magic man and many styles of music throughout the days. The venue is on the Keuka Outlet Trail and is accessible by boat, car, bike or on foot. Historic downtown Penn Yan is only a 1 block walk away.

A Holiday in Homer

Jul 16 2011

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Homer Green

Homer, NY 13077

(607) 749-2604

30th annual Holiday In Homer, sponsored by the Homer Congregational Church. Over 100+ crafters on the green in beautiful downtown Homer, NY. Entertainment all day – fun for the entire family. Visit our website at for more details.

41st Annual Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival

Jul 29-31, 2011

Fri 10am-6pm;

Sat & Sun 10am-5pm

Columbus Circle, downtown Syracuse

(315) 422-8284

This spectacular 3-day showcase by 165 of the country’s most talented artists, crafts people, and entertainers is centered on historic Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse. More than 60,000 visitors will shop and browse among the art and craft exhibits and enjoy a wide variety of music, multi-cultural performances, summer refreshments, and participatory activities. The festival presents an exceptionally wide selection of contemporary arts and crafts, ranging from functional to decorative. Both 2- and 3-dimensional works will be featured including ceramics, fabric and fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, wood, painting, graphics, drawing, sculpture, and photography. Exhibitors participate from over 30 states and Canada.


Canandaigua New York

Perfect time of year to have an art festival right along the lake

38th Annual Waterfront Art Festival

July 30 and 31, 2011

Canandaigua, NY

The Waterfront Art Festival is a juried fine art & crafts festival. It’s held in Kershaw Park on Lake Shore Drive in Canandaigua New York. This puts the festival right on the north shore of beautiful Canandaigua Lake.  Come join us for a beautiful day in the park with your friends and family.



The Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival
September 17 and 18, 2011

Sat 10am-5pm

Sun 10-4pm

17th year


Fall is perfect for the Grape Festival, Art, food, music and lots of color

Naples Grape Festival

September 24th and 25th, 2011

The Naples Grape Festival will be held at the Naples High School Grounds and across the street at Memorial Town Hall from 10am til 5pm, rain or shine.

Enjoy wine, food, arts, crafts and local/regional music.  Bake a pie for the World’s Greatest Grape Pie Contest and sample every thing “grape” that our valley has to offer.

CNY Fine Arts Show

Oct 17 and 17, 2011

Art Exhibit and Sale

Aspen House, Radisson

Baldwinsville, NY 13027

(315) 672-3769

Artist of the CNY Art Guild presents their works for viewing and for sale. The public may also vote for their favorite art piece.

Finger Lakes Artists and Crafters Network

March 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

Lloyds Limited with 137 years of Penn Yan history!

Visiting Penn Yan

Downtown Penn Yan

In downtown Penn Yan, located at 3 Main Street, is a pub called Lloyds Limited. It has a history that goes back 137 years as a hotel, pool parlor, chevy dealer, puzzle factory and of course, a restaurant  We stopped in at Lloyds on a quiet Sunday afternoon, while hunting for movie stars, and enjoyed a great lunch.

Philly Cheese Steak and a BBQ Pork Sandwich with sides

They make their own beef BBQ and it was fabulous. Charlie ordered a Philly Cheese Steak and was very happy.  Their sides were also very good, and we tried a variety — cole slaw, chili, beans, and the tomato salad. Chase it all down with some regional brews made a great meal for a reasonable price.

I located a history of the varied businesses and owners at 3 Main Street, Penn Yan, NY:

1873 – 1890     Barron House:  Michael Barron

1890 – 1906     Barron’s Hotel:  Various Owners

1906 – 1938     Building owned by John Ackley

1906 – 1907     Ackley House – Rooms to Rent on 2nd floor / Saloon & Restaurant on

ground floor – George Smalley – business owner

1913 – 1920     Pool Parlor:  George Quenan

1920 – 1922     Hay and Grain Storage:  Wendell Dean

1922 – 1924     E.J.Loder – Auto Exchange – Chevrolet Sales:   E.J. Loder

1924 – 1927     Yates Restaurant:  E.J. Loder

1927 – 1931     Restaurant :  Alfred J. Bennett

1930 – 1931     Barber (one one side of double doors) Earl Douglas

Jigsaw Puzzles – made and sold (other side of double doors)

1931 – 1933     Stag Hotel – Rooms for 50¢ and 75¢:  Red Hartzell

1938 – 1945     Building owned by Elizabeth Dolan

1933 – 1977     R & M Grill Various Owners

1977 – 2000     Lloyds Limited – A Pub:  Building & Business owned by Warren Lloyd

2000 – 201      Lloyds Limited – A Pub:  Building & Business owned by Robert Champlin

Some Other Interesting History Facts!

From 1833 to 1877, the area behind 3 Main St. was a “waterway”, which is now Basin St.  Boats could travel between Keuka and Seneca Lakes and pull up behind 3 Main St. to load or unload goods.

On January 16th, 1920 the 18th Amendment of the US Constitution took away Americans’ right to drink alcohol. This was called Prohibition.  Illegal saloons or “Speak Easy” began to pop up.  There was a “Speak Easy” in the basement of 3 Main St. from 1920 – 1933.  The entrance to the Speak easy was at the back door of the building next door, at 1 Main St.

At the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the R & M Grill was the first bar in Yates County to serve a legal drink!

By the way, the name of the village is said to have been contrived from the first syllables of ” Pennsylvania ” and ” Yankee,” as most of the early settlers were Pennsylvanians and New Englanders (Yankees).

Information about Llyoyds Limited — for 2010 and beyond!

Free Internet Access from AirXcess available inside!

Monday-Friday: 3pm – 1am Dinners Served Every Day til Midnight

Open weekends for Lunch , Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon!

Lloyd's Limited A Pub on Urbanspoon

December 20, 2010 at 2:48 am Leave a comment

Finger Lakes Summer “Good-bye” to the Summer of 2010

With sadness I say goodbye to: the summer of 2010, to my first 49 years of childhood, and to my son Alex who just left for college. Goodbye to days spent in a damp bathing suit because it’s too hot to get dressed. Goodbye day lilies, black raspberries, fresh corn, dinners where we cook everything on the grill, sunset boat rides and swimming by fire light and s’mores.

Continue Reading September 13, 2010 at 1:53 am 1 comment

Finger Lakes Summer 4th of July

Fireworks on the Lake

Front seat for fireworks

There is no better way to watch fireworks than in a motorboat— preferably with squishy seats. The Skaneateles Country Club hosted a great show. There was a flotilla of boats parked around the point where they launched them out over the water.  The finale burst right over our heads and boat horns honked madly once the show was silent.

Lake view fireworks

Front row view

What makes fireworks on the lake so special is that you don’t see one show, you see ALL the fireworks on the lake. While we sat under off shore of the country club, I could see colored lights exploding in every direction, the lake providing a big sky canvas with visual access to every cottage’s light show.

The other thing that is great is that you don’t wait in line with hundreds of other cars to exit the parking lot via it’s one road. Everyone quietly turns their boat around and motors home, kids cheering, wearing glow sticks like crowns and my teenage son with his girlfriend snuggled in the bow.


July 6, 2010 at 9:52 am 1 comment

Finger Lakes Summer discovers “Y Keuka?”

Spent the day exploring Keuka Lake. This is an unusual member of the Finger Lakes because it is “Y” shaped, instead of long and narrow. It used to be called Crooked Lake by early settlers but when the wine industry took off in the late 1800’s they switched to the Iroquois name Keuka — which means canoe landing. (Crooked was not classy enough for wine country) .

Continue Reading June 28, 2010 at 1:12 am Leave a comment

Finger Lakes Summer Swimming

I grew up on the Finger lakes and thought the best day to test the lake was Memorial Day. The water temperature would be hovering around 58-60 degrees F. That was enough to make you gasp and wonder if you were jeopardizing your chance to have children, but as soon as you got out, you felt great. So how warm does the lake have to be to enjoy great swimming?

My favorite time is around the 4th of July. The lake is just hitting 70 degrees and it is getting really hot outside. When you jump in it is a shock and then you get used it. You hoist yourself up on the raft and the heat of the metal is delicious against your icy skin. You toast a few minutes and jump back in.

Finger Lakes swimming holes

The water can be clear up to 15′ deep.

My next door neighbors are just starting to enjoy the lake in August when it gets almost up to 80, but that feels like bath water to me. I’ll wear swim flippers and see how far I can swim along the shore line until my husband thinks I am dead and he brings the motorboat to look for me.

Springer Spaniel jumping after a bouy

Walter jumps after his buoy

At this point a pair of flippers and goggles are perfect for seeing the lake bottom as deep as 15′ feet. I’ll dive down and pick up golf balls that are a couple hundred yards off shore.

If you don’t own lake front, you might want to know where to go to be able to enjoy swimming. Here are a few of the nicer points of access, in no particular order:

Red Jacket Park, Keuka Lake

The beach is nice and clean.  This Penn Yan pebbly beach is extremely clean and the water tends to be very calm. There are also public boat launch capabilities and The Outlet Trail is right nearby.  You are protected from major winds by the Bluff, the land mass that seperates the East & West Fingers. Located in Penn Yan at the Northeastern tip of Keuka Lake.

Champlin Beach, Keuka Lake

Near Hammondsport, on the southern tip of Keuka Lake,  two great swimming holes. Champlin Beach (607-569-3700) is a delightful sandy beach.

Keuka Lake State Park, Keuka Lake

A gorgeous swimming beach. The park, a picturesque spot in the heart of wine country, is at 3370 Pepper Road in Bluff Point (315-536-3666).

Depot Park

Water Street, Hammondsport, NY 14840

Indian Pines Park

Old Pines Trail Road, Penn Yan, NY 14527

Penn Yan Boat Launch & Park

Water Street, Penn Yan, NY 14840

Kershaw Park, Canandaigua Lake

9 acres of park land on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake. Park hours are 6:00AM-11:00PM, year round. Walking paths, picnic shelters, gazebo, beach area & small marine craft launch area, snack bar. ($3.00 per adult and $2.00 per child ages 6-18).

From the New York State Thruway I 90 exit 44 the Canandaigua exit, follow route 332 straight until you reach Canandaigua Lake approximately 8 miles keep going straight and follow the signs. Route 332 will run right into and become Lakeshore Drive, which runs right next to Kershaw Park. There is ample parking opposite the park.

Onanda Park, Canandaigua Lake

One of the most popular places for families. Large lawn, hiking trails and more. $5.00 per car on weekdays and $7.00 per car on weekends. Lifeguards provide supervision.

4965 West Lake Road, Canandaigua, NY, tel: (585) 396-2752,

Frontenac Park, Cayuga Lake

The village of Union Springs hosts this small park on the east coast of the lake. You can easily see Frontenac Island from this location. The park also boasts a public beach. Lifeguards are on duty July through August, 7 days a week.
North East side of the lake. Chapel St off of Rt 90, Google Directions.
Union Springs Parks: (315) 889-7265

Harris Park, Cayuga Lake. 

Located on the South East side of the lake, on Railroad St. off of Genesee St in the village of Cayuga, this sliver of a park offers swimming, a small boat launch and floating dock.Contact: 315-252-1707

Stewart Park, Cayuga Lake.

An excellent waterfront family destination complete with playing fields, swimming and picnic areas. Located at the south end of the lake, in the City of Ithaca. Off of Rt 34. Free admission. Contact: 607-273-8364.

Myers Park at Lansing, Cayuga Lake 

This small peninsula was formed by Salmon Creek sediment deposits as it emptied into the lake. The Myers Point sand bar is an excellent bird watching location. This park spans 31 acres and includes a marina and swimming area. Located on the North West side of the lake. Off of Myers Rd. One mile from Rt. 34B. Admission free for residents, $2 per car on weekends and holidaysContact: 607-533-7388

Long Point State Park, Cayuga Lake

Long Point State Park is situated on the east side of Cayuga Lake on a V-shaped spit of land extending out into the water.  Principally a day-use park in a residential area, Long Point offers a stoney beach, a supervised swimming area, a bathhouse, a playground, a boat launch and temporary docking area with two concrete ramps, a gazebo, and a picnic area with tables and grilles. Mowed grass provides space for ball game and other activities.

Lake Rd., Off Rt. 90, Aurora, 315-497-0130,

Cayuga Lake State Park.

Offering the best view of Cayuga Lake, this state park offers all the accommodations expected of a first-class state recreation area. The flat beach offers swimmers and anglers great access to the lake .

Emerson Park, Owasco Lake

Emerson Park is the only public beach on Owasco Lake, and can be located at the northern end of the lake in Auburn. Parking is $2.00.

Sampson State Park, Seneca Lake

Once a naval training station, then an Air Force base, before becoming a state park. Picnic areas, playground and playing fields that include tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a swimming beach, a recreation building, and organized activities including tours, hikes, and wildlife watches.

6096 Rt. 96A, Romulus, NY 14541

Clift Park, Skaneateles Lake

Anyone may use the parks though to swim at Clift Park people who do not live in Skaneateles must pay a fee. In addition, access in limited in other ways. Metered parking lines the streets and there is a large lot a few blocks away, but all of these spaces quickly fill in the heat of summer.

Otisco Lake has no pubic swimming access.

Hemlock and Canadice do not allow swimming.

Please feel free to share your favorite Finger Lakes swimming holes with me.


June 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm 6 comments

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