Posts filed under ‘Skaneateles Lake’

Otisco Lake Cycle — WOW!


View looking forth from the Causeway on the west side

View looking forth from the Causeway on the west side

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.

Where else where you see a lunar lander but the East Lake Rd of Otisco!

Where else where you see a lunar lander but Otisco!

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.

Beautiful barn at sunrise

Beautiful barn at sunrise


View at the southern end of the lake as you cross the flats to the western side.

View at the southern end of the lake as you cross the flats to the western side.

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.

Otisco2Once you hit Borodino you turn right and head back to Otisco on Rt 174. You’ll pass by some very pretty barns and farm land as you head back towards the north end of the lake.

The view as you return to the northern end and ride  down the very long hill.

The view as you return to the northern end and ride down the very long hill.


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.

September 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Skimming the Cream of History

This guest post is by Kihm Winship, is an author who lives, walks, writes and works in Skaneateles. His blog “Skaneateles” chronicles the character and characters of this lakeside village. Enjoy!

CreamerySkaneatlelesThe 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.

Creamery BigThe 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.

Creamery LineThe 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.

February 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Downtown Skaneateles Walking Tour

Doug's has the least wait around 3pm.

Doug’s has the least wait around 3pm.

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.

Delicious breakfast or lunch

Skaneateles Bakery — Delicious breakfast or lunch

Best Donuts in town — made fresh while you wait.

Skaneateles Bakery — Best Donuts in town — made fresh while you wait.

Best Granola, beautiful baked goods and cakes

Best Granola, beautiful breads, baked goods and cakes

Wedding cakes in the window of the Patisserie

Wedding cakes in the window of the Patisserie

Great ideas and gifts for the kitchen and garden

Great ideas and gifts for the kitchen and garden

Creative gifts, and the  guys can sit outside on the porch in rocking chairs!

Creative gifts, and the guys can sit outside on the porch in rocking chairs!

Beautiful landmark restoration, landscaping and repurposing into townhomes

Enjoy beautiful landmark homes

September 17, 2013 at 11:40 am 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

Skaneateles Lake Cycle Circle

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.

Continue Reading September 2, 2012 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary

Finger Lakes Summer

Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary

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.

Finger Lakes Summer

Trail is well-marked. When visiting in spring and fall, boots might be in order.

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.

Finger Lakes Summer

It’s only fenny ’til someone gets hurt

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.”
Finger Lakes Summer

beaver biography

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.”

Finger Lakes Summer

This guy was hiking the same path as me.

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.

Finger Lakes Summer

Why you should stay on the trail

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!

Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary

Trail Map

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.

August 19, 2012 at 1:30 am Leave a comment

The 1820 House — A Sunset View of Skaneateles

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.

Continue Reading August 11, 2012 at 7:01 am Leave a comment

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