Posts filed under ‘Seneca Lake’

Biking Through the Seneca Army Depot

The former Seneca Army Depot occupied over 10,000 acres between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. It was used as a munitions storage facility from 1941 until the 1990s. The Depot was formally shut down in 2000. During earlier years it was controversial for storage of nuclear weapons.

Totally the land is being used to protect a rare herd of white deer that have been allowed to populate inside the fence for decades.

We enjoyed the first bike tour. Future visitors will be able to visit by bus and bike. Funds generated will help to protect the deer.

April 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

Seneca Lake Super Cycle


Start your ride at the north end in Geneva so you can stop for a beer afterwards

Seneca Lake is so large that its difficult to imagine riding around this endless body of water.

Seneca Lake’s North end is the town of Geneva, containing Hobart Williams Smith College, Belhurst Castle,  plus  some of my favorite post-cycling pit stops like The Red Dove.

This time I am riding with my high-mileage bike-riding girl-friend who is training for a four hundred mile Finger Lakes bike tour. We started the loop in the Lakeshore Park and headed counter-clock-wise around the lake, weaving through the sides streets that surround the college. Students had just gone home for the summer and this gorgeous campus seemed way too quiet.

We took Rt 6 (Pre Emption) with a short jog on Earls Hill to Rt 9 (Ridge Rd), to Rt 7 to Rt 1 (Himrod) all the way down the west side of the lake to avoid the traffic, not picking up busy RT 14 until we came to The Glenora Winery. Rt 14 however goes right along the lake edge and might be lovely in a quieter riding season.

I was barely able to overtake the horse riding up hill

I was barely able to overtake the horse riding up hill

Highlight was an Amish horse and buggy making great time on the road. I pursued and finally was able to overtake it as we crested the hill.

Future lunch destination along the west side of Seneca Lake

Future lunch destination along the west side of Seneca Lake

Another highlight was a little Inn in the town of Himrod that I would like to stop at some time. I think Himrod was probably a much bigger deal when the railroad was the only way to go north south and before Rt 14 eclipsed Rt1.

If you plan on spending more time in the area, stop at the Starkey House B&B – a genuine Mission-Revival-style home, built in 1922.  It is close to several wineries (18 along this side of the lake!), plus close to both Hammondsport and Watkins Glen. The owner of the Starkey House, Cathy Moskal, is a gracious hostess and a great cook.

Speeding past the south end of Seneca Lake into downtown Watkins Glen

Speeding past the south end of Seneca Lake into downtown Watkins Glen

Once we were on 14 we had a nice wide shoulder, but steady 55 MPH traffic at our backs as we rode almost continuously downhill to Watkins Glen. We lunched at the Glen Mountain Market, sharing a great sandwich and some coffee to warm us up. This bakery/deli has combines baked goods bread and creative sandwich inventions, which when combined make for a mouth-watering smell – even if you have not ridden 44 mile to enjoy them.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.19.16 PMRide through downtown Watkins Glen before heading north again. Enjoy the great turn-of-the-century architectural relics. The village originally known as Salubria was officially named Watkins Glen in 1926. The original race course used to wind through the streets of the downtown area.

The other famous attraction right in the center of town is the Glen itself. Watkins Glen is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. It is one of the most amazing geological sights in the area.

Despite all this information it is still a very quick ride across town. Once we make the turn north we hit the incline. This upward climb will continue for about two miles of sheer agony followed by several more ups that feel more like a mountain climb than a simple lake circuit.

Here was one hill even Pam could not ride up

Here was one hill even Pam could not ride up

We chose roads away from the busy main route, passing through the Finger Lakes National Forest, Danos Heuriger, a traditional Viennese winery restaurant. This section of the ride is long and perhaps better enjoyed with a winery stop or two.

We were able to spot several white deer while riding by at about 5pm.

We were able to spot several white deer while riding by at about 5pm.

As we came to the last 20 miles we rode by the now empty Seneca Army Depot. Today it is a protected sanctuary for white deer. Several dozen wild white-tailed deer were probably caught within the fence that was built to surround the Seneca Army Depot in 1941. Isolated from predators and hunters, the deer population grew quickly.

Fried Chick Peas are irresistible when combined with fresh brews and a crane operator

Fried Chick Peas are irresistible when combined with fresh brews and a crane operator

It was still a long trek back into Geneva. Bikes in-car, we hiked to my favorite watering hole for our reward.

Here is a link to our route


July 27, 2014 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars

View from the winery

View from the winery

Of all the wineries in the Finger Lakes Lamoreaux Landing is my favorite. The winery is situated on top of vine-covered hills rolling down toward the lake.

The tasting room is a simple but elegant structure, simply decorated with the windows capturing the best views. The tasting bar area is very open with lovely art on the walls. I felt like we had all the time we needed to enjoy the tasting.

The tasting room was more inviting than any other winery I have ever seen.

The tasting room was more inviting than any other winery I have ever seen.

We purchased a 2010 Cabernet Franc, the 2009, 42 North, and a bottle of Red Meleau Port — which is a $40 investment for a tiny bottle, but is a spectacular taste from start to finish. This is not on their website and I’m not sure if they make this “Semi-Dry Specialty WIne.”

The 42 North is described on their website as “bursting with aromas of orange blossoms, jasmine, and coriander.  A sweet citrus core structure is highlighted with subtropical flavors of orange, peach, and honeydew melon.” I would not have been able to identify all of that upon tasting, however we had a great server who had insights about the chemistry of wine-making and how that affects what you taste. He greatly improved the experience.

When we started our journey our destination was Red Newt’s tasting lunch, but Lamoreaux eclipsed all our wine stops that day.

If you are wine-tasting on Seneca Lake, swing over to the East side of the lake so you can try Lamoreaux Landing.

9224 Rt. 414 Lodi, NY 14860


Tasting Hours:
Monday-Saturday 10-5
Sunday 12-5

September 9, 2013 at 1:17 am Leave a comment

1922 Starkey House: A Mission-Revival Style Bed & Breakfast

Starkey House is located in the heart of Finger Lakes wine country along Seneca Lake. It is a genuine Mission-Revival-style home, built in 1922. The current owner, Cathy Moskal, has been lovingly restoring the home for the last 14 years.

Upon entering the house I noticed the beautiful hardwood trim (original America Chestnut, now extinct) and vintage stained glass windows in the dining room and living room. Cathy provided us a quick history of the area, and the Starkey House. What immediately impressed us was that this looked like a Roycroft-inspired home, reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Period.

Continue Reading March 5, 2013 at 4:06 am 1 comment

Catherine Valley Trail: Bike from Watkins Glen to Horseheads

If you are riding a bike in the Watkins Glen region you can expect hills — lots of hills — unless you ride the Catherine Valley Trail.

The CVT is a converted canal towpath and railroad bed spanning from the edge of Seneca Lake in downtown Watkins Glen, heading south, to Millport. The plan is to eventually continue on through Mark Twain State Park, all the way to Horseheads (15 miles). A new section will open in May of 2012 connecting Millport through Pine Valley to the State Park.

Continue Reading May 13, 2012 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Forever Wild: Finger Lakes National Forest

At the highest spot between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes is a patchwork of 16,212 acres, known as the Finger Lakes National Forest. This area was all farm land 100 years ago and was then bought back by the government early in the 20th century, who returned it into forests and pasture land.

Continue Reading May 5, 2012 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Dano’s on Seneca Lake

Finger Lakes Summer

Appetizers = Vorspeisen = spreads

Dano’s Heuriger along the east side of Seneca Lake, is America’s first heuriger (pronounced hoy-rig-er). Dano’s is a traditional Viennese winery restaurant featuring Finger Lakes award-winning wines paired with the superb Viennese-inspired cooking of chef/co-owner Dano Hutnik and pastry chef/co-owner Karen Gilman.

Finger Lakes Summer

Ever-changing menu on a giant chalk board

Finger Lakes Summer

View inside of Danos

As you ride along Rt 414, on the east side of Seneca Lake, Dano’s does not grab you with a stunning roadside facade. Other than the sign you don’t see much, just a large shingled roof and a big gravel parking lot.

Finger Lakes Summer

Ceiling shot

Architect Andrea Simitch designed the building to with the same voluminous space as a barn, and the spacious interior brings to mind the traditional volumes of a farm building, but with much more warmth and light. The west wall is glass, floor to ceiling, placing you right into the surrounding fields.

Finger Lakes Summer

View from the deck

Beyond the glass wall that faces the lake, there is an outdoor terrace with seating for up to 60.

Finger Lakes Summer

Horseradish Beet Salad, House Pate, Bratwurst

Dano, the chef, makes make his own sausage, and cheese, and re­cently added a vegetable garden and fruit or­chard. He makes a mean chutney.

The menu is completely a la carte. You can order all at once or in dribs and drabs — which we did. Sharing is encouraged. Arriving at 4pm on a Saturday worked out perfectly, as we beat the dinner rush, and could take our time ordering and savoring. Dano’s seats continuously from noon until closing.

We started with three spreads for $9. The Liptauer is their house special and was our favorite A “spread” is pretty much a base of cream cheese with tasty items like feta paprika, onion, garlic, caraway seed, or capers, mixed in producing  yummy things to spread on sliced bread (or gluten-free crackers). We also tried the Pumpkin Seed Oil and the Hotel Sacher spreads.

Our helpful waiter guided us to try some white wine:  A Berger Gruner Veltliner, and a Standing Stone Vineyard Vidal Blanc.

Finger Lakes Summer

Sacher Torte — rich chocolate with orange

We moved on to the the House Paté, a Horseradish Beet Salad, Smoked Hungarian Sausage, and a Bratwurst. Any chinks left in our tummies were solidly filled with the rich Sacher Torte and a Red Newt Port.

Dano’s has been named a regional semi-finalist in 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards. The awards annually honor the top professionals in the food and beverage industries, and are considered the Oscars of the food world. This year, there were a record 57,000 online entries.

Finger Lakes Summer

Location of Danos

Dano’s Heuriger is located at 9564 Route 414 just south of Lodi, NY.

April 16, 2012 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

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