Corn Hill Navigation

Corn Hill Navigation offers cruises on the packet boat Sam Patch and the wooden double-decker the Mary Jemisonalong the Erie Canal May through October. The Sam Patch passes through a canal lock, leaving from 12 Schoen Place, in Pittsford. The boat was named for a 19th-century Evel Knievel who, after successfully leaping into Niagara Falls and into Rochester's High Falls (with a pet bear), met his maker upon his second plunge into High Falls in 1829. The Mary Jemison cruises past historic sights in downtown Rochester as the captain narrates. It leaves from Corn Hill Landing, at Exchange Boulevard and Plymouth Avenue South. 585/262–5661. $13. May–Oct.; schedules vary.

Participant Sports


The Greystone Golf Club, about 15 mi east of Rochester, has a 7,200-yard links-style course that features changes in elevation and undulating greens. The open landing areas belie challenges on the many memorable holes. High-season greens fees for 18 holes (with cart) are $50–$58. 1400 Atlantic Ave., Walworth, NY, 14568. 800/810–2325.

The challenging, 18-hole championship course at Mill Creek Golf Club, opened in 2005, spans 7,100 yards. There's also a short course, a pro shop, bar, and restaurant. Greens fees are $44–$64 for 18 holes with a cart. Mill Creek is 18 mi southeast of Rochester, just north of Interstate 90. 128 Cedars Ave., Churchville, NY, 14428. 585/889–4110.

Spectator Sports

The Rochester Americans, an American Hockey League team, is affiliated with the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres. The team, nicknamed the Amerks, is a perennial contender and has won several Calder Cup championships. The season runs October to April. Ticket prices are $10–$22. Blue Cross Arena, 1 War Memorial Sq., Rochester, NY, 14614. 585/454–5335.

Some of baseball's greats—Stan Musial and Cal Ripken Jr., to name two from different eras—played for the Rochester Red Wings. The Triple-A International League team's downtown stadium is across from the High Falls entertainment district. Tickets are $6.50–$10.50. Frontier Field, 1 Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, NY, 14608. 585/423–9464.

Soccer may be a foreign sport in much of the rest of the country, but in Rochester it's a fan favorite. The Rochester Raging Rhinos play in the A-League, a step below Major League Soccer, although they've defeated top teams many times. The season runs from May to September. Tickets are $14–$20. 460 Oak St., Rochester, NY, 14608. 585/454–5425.

Roseland Waterpark

Roseland Waterpark. The park has several large waterslides, a water flume, a lazy river with huge inner tubes fitting up to five people, a wave pool, and a lake where you can rent canoes and paddleboats. 250 Eastern Blvd., Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 585/396–2000. $20. June–Sept., hrs vary.

Boat Tour

Canandaigua Lady. This replica 19th-century paddle wheeler plies Canandaigua Lake for narrated one- to three-hour tours, lunch, dinner, and themed cruises, and custom trips. Steamboat Landing, 205 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 585/396–7350. $15–$45. May–mid-Oct., Tues.–Sun.; tour times vary.

Captain Gray's Boat Tours. Local history is shared during one-, two-, and three-hour tours offered by Captain Gray, who has been cruising Canandaigua Lake in steel-enclosed boats for more than a quarter century. City pier, S. Main St., Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 585/394–5270 June–Oct.; 607/664–7299 Nov.–May. $8.50–$17.50. July and Aug., tours daily; June, Sept., and Oct., tours weekends.


Lake trout as well as rainbows and browns can be found in Canandaigua Lake, which is 262 feet deep and hosts the Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby on the first weekend in June.

Captain Bill Reeser runs Happy Hooker Charters. From April through October he takes up to six people out on Canandaigua Lake in his 25-foot boat. You might wind up just as happy as the client who, in 1992, hooked a 22¼-pound lake trout—the biggest on record from the lake. Captain Bill supplies the bait and tackle. City pier, S. Main St., Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 315/331–1265.


The highly regarded Bristol Harbour Resort Robert Trent Jones Championship Golf Course, 11 mi south of Canandaigua, is a par-72, 6,200-yard course with a pro shop, a golf school, and spectacular lake views. Greens fees are $54–$79 for 18 holes, including cart. 5410 Seneca Point Rd., Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 585/396–2200 or 800/288–8248.

Ski Area

With a 1,200-foot vertical drop, the Bristol Mountain Resort, south of town, has the highest vertical rise on any ski area between the Adirondacks and the Rockies. The area has 33 slopes and trails, almost all with lighting and snowmaking capability. The longest run is 2 mi; about half of the runs are for intermediate skiers, with about 20% for advanced skiers and 30% for beginners. Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available. The Nordic Center, at the summit, has 3 km (2 mi) of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The season usually runs from November through first week in April. In fall you can take in the foliage on a chairlift ride; hiking back down is an option. 5662 Rte. 64, Canandaigua, NY, 14424. 585/374–6000.

Cumming Nature Center

Cumming Nature Center. The 900-acre environmental center has 6 mi of nature trails and 15 mi of trails for cross-country skiing and 2 mi for snowshoeing (rentals available). Highlights include the Beaver Trail, with an observation tower overlooking a 35-acre beaver pond; the Pioneer Trail, with a reconstructed 18th-century homestead; and Leap Frog Pond, a man-made pond with oversize frogs and lily pads, designed for preschoolers. The center is 7 mi north of Naples proper. 6472 Gulick Rd., Naples, NY, 14512. 585/374–6160. $3 donation. Late Dec.–mid-Nov.; hours vary.

Grimes Glen

Two 60-foot waterfalls and many smaller ones can be found along Grimes Creek in the pristine, 32-acre Grimes Glen conservation area. Trails run along the creek in segments, interrupted by cliffs, so you may have to walk part of the way in the creek. In 1882 a Naples biologist found a fossilized tree—believed to be 350 million years old—in the glen. The tree is now in the state museum in Albany. Parking area at end of Vine St., Naples, NY, 14512. 585/394–3915.

Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area

Just north and east of Naples, the 6,100 acres of the Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area are home to steep hills and gullies, eroded cliffs, waterfalls, fields, and marshlands, as well as trails and old logging roads. Depending on the season, users include hikers, anglers, paddlers, bird-watchers, cross-country skiers, hunters, rappelling enthusiasts, and even ice climbers. The main entrance is in the town of Italy, but Naples also has several parking areas around Hi Tor's perimeter. Main entrance on Bassett Rd., off Rte. 21/18, 5 mi east of Naples, Naples, NY. 585/226–2466.


Naples Creek, which runs through the center of town and northward into Canandaigua Lake, is known for its rainbow-trout spawning runs. The creek is the site of the local Rotary Club's April 1 Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby, which draws more than 500 anglers from all over the state. 585/374–2782.

Ron Irland, who works as a commercial fisherman in Massachusetts from July through September, has been running his Reel Magic Charters on the southern end of Canandaigua Lake from April through June for almost 30 years. You may wind up catching lake, rainbow, or brown trout. All equipment is included. 8 Cohocton St., Naples, NY, 14512. 585/374–5197.


The 6,400-yard, par-71 Reservoir Creek Golf Course, a wooded and links-style course in the hills of the Naples valley, has an elevation change of 300 feet. High-season greens fees are $29–$42 for 18 holes (cart included). The complex includes a clubhouse with a bar, restaurant, and patio overlooking the 9th green, as well as a full-service shop. The Inn at Reservoir Creek, a turn-of-the-20th-century farmhouse with six rooms on the grounds offers golf-and-stay packages. 8613 Rte. 21, Naples, NY, 14512. 585/374–8010.

Boat Tours

In season, cruises aboard the Viking Spirit depart daily at 5 pm from the Viking Resort. A trip around Keuka Lake takes an hour or so, during which you can take in the views of the surrounding shore, hills, and vineyards. 680 E. Lake Rd., /Rte. 54, Penn Yan, NY, 14527. 315/536–7061. $12. Mid-May–mid-Oct.

Esperanza Rose. The lunches and dinners aboard this 65-foot vintage yacht are surprisingly good. Sightseeing cruises are also available. 3537 Rte. 54A, Bluff Point, NY, 14478. 315/595–6618. Sightseeing cruise $19. Mid-May–late Oct.

Cayuga Lake State Park

Cayuga Lake State Park. A swimming beach, bathhouse, boat launch, playground, campground, and trails are the key attractions in this 190-acre park. You can also fish at the park, on the north end of Cayuga Lake and 2 mi from Seneca Falls. 2678 Lower Lake Rd., Seneca Falls, NY, 13148. 315/568–5163. Parking $7 late June–late Oct.; free at other times. Daily dawn–dusk.

Cayuga-Seneca Canal

Cayuga-Seneca Canal. The 12-mi-long Cayuga-Seneca Canal links the northern ends of Seneca and Cayuga lakes and connects to the Erie Canal near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Locks enclose boats in bathtublike mechanisms that fill with water and float the boat to the next level. (Locks are in service during daylight hours from May to mid-November.) The decorative lamps along the canal near downtown Seneca Falls make this a great place for walkers, night or day. Victorian-style benches provide seating. The Ludovico Sculpture Trail stretches along the canal's south bank in Seneca Falls. 9 Seneca St., Seneca Falls, NY, 13148. 315/568–5797 Seneca Falls Lock; 800/422–6254 NYS Canals.

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. The area between the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario was a huge wetlands until settlers began draining it more than 200 years ago. Montezuma, a 7,000-acre remnant of the giant swamp, is a major stopover for thousands of migrating birds. The numbers peak in mid-April and early October. More than 320 species of birds have been identified at the federally managed site since its establishment in 1937. Look for eagles that raise their young here. You can take a 3½-mi self-guided car tour of the refuge; start at the visitor center, where you pick up a brochure with information about the wildlife you see on the tour. The visitor center has limited winter access; call for seasonal hours. The refuge entrance is 5 mi east of Seneca Falls, at the north end of Cayuga Lake. 3395 Rte. 5/U.S. 20, Seneca Falls, NY, 13148. 315/568–5987. Free. Refuge daily dawn–dusk; visitor center Apr.–Nov., weekdays 10–3, weekends 10–4.

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls State Park. Stunningly steep shale cliffs and rock surround the 215-foot-high Taughannock Falls, which are 30 feet higher than Niagara Falls. A level ¾-mi path takes you from the parking lot to the falls. Autumn is perhaps the most dramatic time of year to see the gorge, but the waterway is breathtaking any time of year. And, unlike many of the rim trails that surround other Finger Lakes gorges, the trail at the glen's bottom here is open all year. Camping and swimming are allowed in season. The park, which straddles Route 89, has playgrounds, a boat launch, and picnic grounds fronting Cayuga Lake. Rte. 89, 8 mi north of Ithaca, Trumansburg, NY, 14886. 607/387–6739. Parking $7 Memorial Day–Labor Day and weekends Apr., May, Sept. and Oct.; free at other times. Daily dawn–dusk.

Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises

Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises. Captain Bill Simiele and his son and daughter run meal cruises (some with music) and hour-long sightseeing cruises from the end of Franklin Street. Cruises range from $11 for sightseeing excursions to $30–$43 for lunch and dinner cruises. 1 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, NY, 14891. 607/535–4541. Mid-May–mid-Oct.; call for schedules.

Seneca Lake State Park

Seneca Lake State Park. The longest stretch of accessible public lakeshore in the Finger Lakes extends for 2 mi here at the northern tip of Seneca Lake. A children's splash playground with brightly colored water fountains and benches is a popular draw. A tree-lined walking and biking path along the shore leads from the park to downtown Geneva. Other amenities here include picnic tables, a swimming beach, and a marina. The view south from here is spectacular. 1 Lakefront Dr., (Rte. 5/U.S. 20), 1 mi east of town, Geneva, NY, 14456. 315/789–2331. Parking $7 mid-June–early Sept., $6 at other times. Daily dawn–dusk.

Festivals and Fairs

The angler who hooks the biggest fish at the National Lake Trout Derby wins a whopping $5,000. A total of about $21,000 is awarded each year at the Memorial Day weekend event. Lakeshore Park, 35 Lakefront Dr., Geneva, NY, 14456. 315/781–2195.

Boat Tours

Cruise Skaneateles Lake or the Erie Canal with Mid-Lakes Navigation. Brunch, dinner, and sightseeing cruises on Skaneateles Lake depart from mid-May through September. One tour is on a 1937 mailboat. Erie Canal tours, which include sightseeing tours and two-, three-, and four-day excursions—depart from Baldwinsville, 25 mi northeast of Skaneateles. 11 Jordan St., Skaneateles, NY, 13152. 315/685–8500.

Emerson Park

Emerson Park. The 133-acre park, 3 mi south of downtown Auburn, includes a beach on Owasco Lake, three boat-launch sites, picnic shelters, a playground, and a snack stand open daily in summer. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day to Labor Day. E. Lake Rd./Rte. 38A, Auburn, NY, 13021. 315/253–5611. Parking $2. Daily dawn–dusk.

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park. Water cascades over 10 falls through a ¾-mi gorge, dropping close to 500 feet, at this park on Ithaca's south end. A swimming hole sits at the base of the falls, and the park also has playing fields, a campground (open mid-May to mid-October), and hiking trails through woodlands and wetlands. Nearly all the trails are closed in winter. The park is about 3 mi south of the city. Rte. 13, Ithaca, NY, 14850. 607/273–5761 May–Oct.; 607/273–3440 Nov.–Apr.; 800/456–2267 camping reservations. Parking $7 Memorial Day–Labor Day and weekends Apr., May, Sept. and Oct.; free at other times. Daily dawn–dusk.

Robert H. Treman State Park

Robert H. Treman State Park. A dozen waterfalls, including Lucifer Falls, which has a 115-foot drop, are the highlight here. Nine miles of well-maintained hiking trails lace the park, which also offers swimming, fishing, a campground, and a playground. The trails all close for winter in early November. The park is 5 mi south of the city, near Buttermilk Falls State Park. Rte. 327, Ithaca, NY, 14850. 607/273–3440. Parking $7 Memorial Day–Labor Day and weekends Apr., May, Sept. and Oct.; free at other times. Daily 8am–dusk.