Posts filed under ‘Finger Lakes’

Bike Around Owasco Lake

Owasco Lake as viewed from Emerson Park

Owasco Lake as viewed from Emerson Park

If you can ride 30 miles on a bike you will love the ride around Owasco Lake. Riding around the Finger Lakes is always a visual feast, but the hills can be grueling. The trip around Owasco is the easiest of all the lakes.

The view from the end of the pier at Emerson Park

The view from the end of the pier at Emerson Park

Emerson Park, at the north end of the lake is a great place to park as it has nice bathrooms and access to water. There is a $2.00 fee to park. Emerson is a lovely large park with swimming beach, room many picnic spots, a walking pier and it is home to the Merry-go-Round Theater.

The entire ride is a little over 30 miles.

The entire ride is a little over 30 miles.

The main routes surrounding the lake are 55mph roads, but they usually have good shoulders. I recommend that if you are going to ride around a Finger Lake that you start at sunrise and you avoid peak summer months. Another benefit to an early start and a clock-wise circuit is that you will get nice shade on the west side as you journey uphill from Moravia. I saw a generous array of wildlife, often crossing or eating in the middle of the road: fox, hawk, vultures, goldfinch, deer, and several woodpeckers

Tom Thumb Drive-In East side

Tom Thumb Drive-In East side

To start my route I headed south on the east side of the lake on Route 38, passing the Tom Thumb Drive-in, to Rockefeller Rd. Rockefeller has no shoulder, but it is nicely paved and much quieter. The land quickly turns from residential to large farm fields which provide an unobstructed view to the lake. Stay on Rockefeller all the way to Moravia, where you’ll turn right onto N. Main Street to head back north on Rt 38.

Roosevelt Roads rolling hills are mostly farmed

Rockefeller Road’s rolling hills include some vintage tractor barns

If you have time stop in Moravia. Fillmore Glen is just outside the downtown area. This lesser-known CCC treasure is on the level of Buttermilk Falls and Watkins Glenn. Pick up picnic supplies at the grocery in town or the farm market across the street from the park entrance and take a hike to see the falls, or a swim in the pond at the bottom.

Beautiful architecture in downtown Moravia

Beautiful architecture in downtown Moravia

Moravia is the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore. It has beautiful homes, some of them in need of some extra love. The streets are quiet and shady. I was hoping to find a breakfast spot and there was nothing available.

A fun ice cream stand at the southwest end of the lake

Dee-Dees:  A fun ice cream stand at the southwest end of the lake

As you leave town and head across the inlet before turning north you will pass The Betty Blue, a local watering hole that might be worth checking out another time. Soon after you pass Dee-Dees Ice Cream which looks like it would be a fun stop.

Inlet to the lake serves as a filtration system

Inlet to the lake serves as a filtration system

I took a quick break at the Owasco Flats, This is a nature preserve with floodplains, forest and wetlands. Over half of the water flowing into the lake comes through this inlet. This lowland is home to many animals and is accessible by footpath.

Owasco outlet through Emerson Park

Owasco outlet through Emerson Park

Now you continue a long slow climb north. Compared to the climb north on Canandaigua Lake, this is easy. You are rewarded with a great view at the top and then 38 begins to hug the lake side so closely you ride between the lake homes and the water.

The road narrows, as you wind along the lake edge, making this the least safe section, but it is such a lovely ride. Owasco appears to be a big fisherman’s lake. I watched many bass fisherman trolling along the water’s edge.

Pass by the historic Springside Inn, also home to Oak & Vine Restaurant. Before you know it you are going through the rotary and back in Emerson Park. A 30-mile ride is a great warm up. This ride has so many visual treats, no wonder riders make this a regular loop.

 

 

June 7, 2014 at 12:07 am 1 comment

Bike Around Canandaigua Lake

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Biking in the Finger Lakes is challenging and thrilling. The steep glacier-cut hills require iron lungs and some fat gears, but the thrills you get from the many hilltop views of a lake stretching out for 15 or 20 miles are unparalleled. Canandaigua Lake is a beautiful ride as you get many great waterside and panoramic views as you make the circuit. I think it also has some of the most challenging hills of any lake circuit.

Most lakeside routes have very narrow, gravel-filled shoulders, and the more established, well-paved routes have cars traveling at 55 MPH, so it is best to start very early in the morning, or ride during an off-peak time of year like May or October.

Canadaigua route

The Route: About 43 miles

There can be strong winds coming from the west. I chose to ride clock-wise around the lake to avoid riding into the wind on the last leg. Stating from Kershaw Park in Canandaigua, I rode on Lakeshore Drive to RT 364 (red route on map).

Heading south, continue to Middlesex where you follow a left-right jog and pick up RT 245 (a parallel quieter route runs on West Ave (364). Continue on 245 south to Parrish Rd at the south end. For a great lunch stop, continue into Naples, before turning north on the west side.

Heading north on RT 21 you can take that  route to 5 & 20 and loop back to your starting spot, or you can pick up the more scenic West Lake Rd route, mid-way up the lake (blue route). This side of the lake seemed MUCH harder and hillier than the east side, but I was more tired too.

If you want to follow an alternative ride on the West Lake Road from town to Route 21, click here.

May 13, 2014 at 7:37 am Leave a comment

Experience MacKenzie-Childs

The familiar multi-colored checkerboard of MacKenzie-Childs

The familiar multi-colored checkerboard of MacKenzie-Childs

The world headquarters of MacKenzie-Childs is located on a 65-acre former dairy farm overlooking Cayuga Lake in quiet Aurora New York. The property is open to the public, and contains a production studio, a beautifully decorated farmhouse, and a retail shop filled with everything MacKenzie-Childs.

What is MacKenzie-Childs?

“… Colorful, hand-made ceramics, enamel ware, glassware, furniture, and home accessories…”

These words understate the vibrant colors and generous attention to detail in every piece.

The store decorated for the holidays.

The store decorated for the holidays.

The on-site production studio is where handmade, hand-decorated majolica pottery, tile, furniture, and home furnishings are crafted over 100 artisans.

MacKenzie-Childs has only been in operation since 1983, but the style seems reminiscent of the Victorian age, with a giant dollop of the crazy spirit of “Alice in Wonderland” mixed in.

“Each piece created by our artisans holds the surprise and joy of the unexpected. Turn over a ceramic mug or platter or chair and you will see the stamps or marks of the artisans who contributed to its creation, to each step in the process.”

Rebecca Proctor, the Creative Director, is the mastermind behind much of the current MacKenzie-Childs style. A glimpse into her creative mind can be found on her Pinterest pages or in her blog, “Chartreuse.”

Preposterous Bench

Preposterous Bench

If you want to see how to “apply” the style you must tour the Farmhouse, which is set on a bluff overlooking Cayuga Lake. This beautiful 15-room home has been completely restored and serves as a showcase of how to decorate. Whether you might be looking for a  “Preposterous Bench,” unique drawer knobs for your bathroom wall, beautiful hand painted shower tiles, a one-of-a-kind lamp finial or a four-poster bed with roosters, it is all on display with a wonderful sense of fun.

The Dining Room of the Farmhouse has a glass-topped table with  Cayuga Lake sculpted in relief.

The Dining Room of the Farmhouse has a glass-topped table with Cayuga Lake sculpted in relief.

Free tours of the MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse are given seven days a week. Tours, which are about 40 minutes long, begin in the Shop. Individual reservations are recommended but not required. Reservations are required for groups of 15 or more. Call 315-364-7123, ext. 1282.

 Directions

The address for the “farm” is 3260 State Route 90, Aurora, NY 13026. For more information, please call 1-888-665-1999.

Fineal Lamp in the Farmhouse

Fineal Lamp in the Farmhouse

Besides the store in Aurora New York there are also stores in New York City and Palm Beach.

For an even more impressive display of decorating, you can virtually tour the Estate of Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs, in King Ferry, NY, currently on the market for under a million!

November 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

Time Traveling Routes 5 and 20 on The Antique Mile, Chapter One

I took a different kind of trip when traveling the Bloomfield Antique Mile on Routes 5 and 20, with my cousin from South Carolina. She was hunting with a purpose, but I was an instant time traveler when upon spotting a Creedence Clearwater Revival Record, Lincoln Logs, Looney Tunes Glasses and Golden Books.

Continue Reading September 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

The BEST Vineyard in Skaneateles — Anyela’s

The most popular vineyard on Skaneateles Lake

The most popular vineyard on Skaneateles Lake

It’s a COLD memorial Day weekend. I’m wearing a down vest and wool mittens. Why would there be a crowd gathered 5 miles south of the town of Skaneateles at 3:30 on such a chilly Saturday afternoon? Because there is live music playing at Anyela’s Vineyard.

Tasting Room

Tasting Room

Anyela’s Vinyard is the best and ONLY vineyard on Skaneateles Lake. Inside, I notice the tasting room, with its high ceiling,  has gorgeous woodwork. At the end of the tasting area, is a large patio/dining area with a view of Lake Skaneateles. The live music has not even started and every table is full, with many crowding around the tasting bars. This is a happenin’ place!

What makes Anyela’s wines unique??

“Unlike other vineyards along neighboring Finger Lakes, we protect our vines from the cold after the fall harvest. One by one, we carefully remove them from the trellises and bury them in the rich earth to insulate the sensitive primary buds, which eventually become the fruit. In spring, we re-trellis the vine for maximum sun exposure. We also control our grape yield to cultivate the ripest, most flavorful fruit.”

Live music on Saturday afternoons

Live music on Saturday afternoons

So what does that mean? Great reds. Remember, it’s Memorial Day weekend and the nights are dipping into the low 40s this year. That short growing season is better for whites (particularly chardonnay and Riesling).  But the reds at Anyela’s make it worth the Saturday afternoon nosh. We enjoyed a 2008 Pinot Noir, as well as a four grape blend called “Sync.”

Colorful, tasteful decor

Colorful, tasteful decor

We were not thrilled by the overpriced cheese plate that we ordered to enjoy our bottle with, nor the inflexible server, but it didn’t stop us from ordering another plate for bottle number two!

When you take a wine tour around Skaneateles Lake, be sure not to miss Anyela’s. It’s the only place you need to stop!

Anyela’s is located 2433 West Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY 13152
Phone: (315) 685-3797

May 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm Leave a comment

Genesee Brew House: Enjoy the Sparkling Waters of the Genesee

View of Beer House from Pont de Rennes above High FallsHigh above the “sparkling” waters of the Genesee River in Rochester NY, is the Genesee Brew House, once a century-old packaging center, the  Brew House has transformed the 9,200 square-foot space into a beer destination, featuring interactive exhibits, multimedia content, gift shop, pilot brewery and pub-style restaurant.

Pilot BreweryThe Brew Pub offers all the classic Genesee Beers plus a changing array of delicious microbrews, I loved the Expresso Porter. The bar upstairs was built from old beer barrel boards. It was opened in September of 2012, after a LONG restoration process which is well documented.

Genesee Brew House StoreThe  retail store sells irresistible “Beer Gear,” the great selection of vintage t-shirts, with the full “Brew-story”. We were not wowed by the food, but the beer on the terrace with this fabulous view was well worth the price.

View from the TerraceHours: Mon-Wed 11am – 9pm Thurs-Sat 11am – 10pm Sunday Noon – 9pm 25 Cataract St. Rochester, NY, 14605 Get Directions 585-263-9200 Check out their reviews on Yelp.

May 13, 2013 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

The Corning Glass Works Museum: Hot Glass

The Museum has hot glass and the coolest collection of glass art

The Museum has hot glass and the coolest collection of glass art

What kind of Finger Lakes adventures can be enjoyed any time of year — even when it’s yucky outside?

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass CMOG. The Museum provides many fascinating facets that I never knew about glass. There is the art sand crafts side of glass as well as the science and technology side.

The Glass Museum features ancient glass artifacts as well as modern art

The Glass Museum features ancient glass artifacts as well as modern art

The museum has an incredible collection with sophisticated glasswork on display spanning thousands of years, with beads crafted by the Egyptians, through today, where we see glasswork by famous artists like Dale Chihuly.

TechnologyCenter_CMOGOne of the most interesting aspects of glass is how it reacts with light. In the Innovation Center you can learn (and see) how glass changes our world.

HotGlass_CMOG2 HotGlass_CMOG HotGlass_CMOG3There are Hot Glass demonstrations that take place several times a day.  This is the BEST part of the museum, because the glassmakers or “Gaffers” are tremendously talented craftsmen and they do a great job of teaching you as they create.

See Demo 

There is a new 275 seat hot glass studio under construction, that will be ready in 1014. The intent of the new glassmaking space is to create the ultimate venue for glassmaking demonstrations.

Make sure you make time to see it for yourself. Check out their blog.

Information on the museum:

Open Every Day

9:00 am – 5:00 pm 
September 4 through May 24
9:00 am – 8:00 pm 
May 25 through September 3
Closed only 4 days per year: January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, December 25.

The Corning Museum of Glass – One Museum Way – Corning, NY 14830 800.732.6845

April 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

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