Posts filed under ‘Skaneateles Lake’
A sweet little 20 mile ride around Otisco Lake is not long enough to make my seat sore — but the vertical on the west side of the lake will destroy any quads you thought you had.
Park on the east side of the lake at the Lakeside Park (free but only about 6 spots!) and head clockwise so you can enjoy the winding, picturesque Otisco Valley Road that goes right up next to the water and rides pretty flat from North to South.
Make the turn at the southern end of the lake and enjoy rolling fields of grass. Ride along the lakeside (113) up to the point of the causeway and take a break and walk out onto the causeway and enjoy the view.
Once you hop back on your bike you have an enormous climb up Stanton Rd (246) straight up the side of what feels like a mountain. You continue to climb up all the way to Route 41. Once on 41, you get beautiful glimpse of Skaneateles Lake as you race downhill towards Borodino.
It was a very windy day. This was the first time I worried that the combination of gusts and downhill speed would blow me off my bike. I think I was traveling about 40+ mph and felt myself veering into the ditch.
There is a wonderful quick video of a bike race that goes around Otisco. It gives you a quick look challenging and charming this ride is.
The Creamery Museum of the Skaneateles Historical Society is a must-stop for visitors who enjoy learning more about their vacation destination. Located at 28 Hannum St., around the corner from the Sherwood Inn, the Creamery is packed with fascinating artifacts and exhibits that bring the village’s two centuries of history to life.
The museum’s newest wing displays a gallery of beautiful wooden canoes, rowboats and sailboats that were handmade in Skaneateles, including Lightning No. 1 — perhaps the most-famous sailboat built here — on loan from the Mystic Seaport Museum of America and the Sea.
The new, interactive lake model is one of the museum’s most popular displays; summer visitors can see where they are staying and place themselves in the history that has taken place up and down the 16-mile-long lake.
Of prime importance to many visitors, the Creamery has an extensive collection of research materials available for genealogical and historical studies related to the Skaneateles area. On Friday afternoons, a researcher is available to assist, advise and access one-of-a-kind archival resources.
The Creamery Museum comes with a history of its own. Opened in 1899, it was a place for local farmers to bring their milk to be processed, and for residents to buy the resulting dairy products. The business closed in 1949, and for many years the building stood vacant, but in 1989 a local businessman it the building to the Village. The Skaneateles Historical Society was then given the opportunity to renovate it as a museum, and in 1992 — thanks to time, talent and funding from the entire community — history had a home.
The Creamery is open on selected Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the year:
Jan-April: Fri 1-4
May-June: Fri-Sat 1-4
July-Aug: Fri, Sat, Sun 1-4
Sept-Oct: Fri-Sat 1-4
Nov to Thanksgiving: Fri 1-4
Thanksgiving to Christmas, Fri, Sat, Sun 1-4
Feel free to call ahead – (315) 685-1360 – to be sure the Creamery will be open when you visit. Admission is free, although donations are gratefully accepted, and there’s a terrific giftshop.
Downtown Skaneateles is charming AND tasty! Making stops at Doug’s Fish Fry, the Skaneateles Bakery, and the Patisserie would be way too much food for one day, but great if you are here for a week. While you are here, stop in at Rhubarb and Pomodoro to check out the great gifts.
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.
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.”
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.”
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
Biking around Skanealteles Lake provides vertical challenge with breathtaking views. The 40-mile loop takes you from the lake’s edge in the town of Skaneateles Lake, up, up, up to breath-taking views high above, along rolling hills, covered with farms full of goats, cows, lavendar and wildflowers, on the east and west sides, then sends you rocketing to the lake’s edge again at the southern end by Glen Haven.
Small footprint — big impact. That’s what you could say about Dorothy McIlroy’s life and the 198 acres of land purchased by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, in her name, at the southern end of Lake Como. Dorothy McIlroy was a professional birder, playing a significant role in the early days of the Cornell Ornithology Lab. Her children wanted to create a bird sanctuary in her memory. When I visited I could see that there is a LOT more than just birds enjoying sanctuary.
This was my opportunity to hike a “fen.” I have bogged and swamped, and marshed, but can’t say that I have had the opportunity to explore a fen — until now.
So what is a fen? — according to Squidoo, “Similar to bogs, but not the same ecosystem.
- Fens are freshwater cold region wetlands that receive their water from rivers, streams, and springs as well as rain.
- Fens vary from mildly acidic to alkaline.
- Fens are often found alongside bogs, but have more diverse flora and fauna.”
That definition is clear as mud — which you’ll tramp through a lot of — regardless. According to the Finger Lakes Land Trust, “The most unusual aspect of this preserve is the variety of plant life. Rich shrub fen, peat swamp and forest thrive on either side of Falls Creek. The limestone bedrock of the creek favors fen development — the surrounding northern-type peat swamp forest makes this site exceptional. A number of plants that are uncommon or rare in our region are found at the preserve. Many species are on the State protected list.”
How do you find this precious gem? The easiest way is to look at the map of protected lands on the FLLT web site. I drove south on 41A, past Bear Swamp, until I could take Lake Como Rd. The Lake is VERY small, so it’s easy to miss Fire Lane A with the tiny sign, as soon as you run out of lake. The Fire Lane can get very muddy, so you may want to park on the lake road and hike in to the sanctuary entrance.
Because there are so many varieties of plants and animals its best to stay on the trails —otherwise someone might give you the snake eye!
Beware: The McIlroy Bird Sanctuary will be closed to the public during early and late bow (archery) deer season.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust has since added 86 acres of wetlands and uplands to the Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary, expanding the Summerhill haven to span 250 total acres.
The Ithaca-based conservation organization said the additional land — acquired as part of the state’s Open Space Plan using funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program — joins two existing portions of the McIlroy sanctuary and stretches the borders to include land along Lake Como and Peth roads.
There are not many places in the Finger Lakes where you can get a great meal AND a spectacular view at the same time. The 1820 House will serve you both. Skaneateles locals love this off-the-beaten-trail restaurant because its quiet, consistently delicious, without being as expensive as what you might get on the main drag.