The town of Montour Falls lies south of Watkins Glen, on Highway 14. A stream winds its way through the town, making its way down to Seneca Lake. The town has a number of waterfalls, some visible from the highway and others a short distance from it.
- Hiking and Walking
- Adventure Travel
45 minutes west of the city is an animal rights activist farm. For education regarding the environmental, political, ethical reasons not eat meat here is the place to be. Here you can inform yourself about the other aspects of farming that is not make public. If you or a family member are animal lovers, do visit the rescued animals. Once each year there is a hoe down where you are welcome to hear lectures, camp, and party on pristine New York State property. During warmer weather, there are affordable log cabins that can be rented at the farm sanctuarty. It is very peaceful and you will be sure to get some R&R here.
- Road Trip
Seneca Wine Trail
WG is a great starting point for a winery trip. Plan on taking the whole day if you want to make it all the way around Seneca Lake, or just a few hours if you want to see the ones closest to Watkins Glen.
There are 25 wineries officially listed on the wine trail. There are some smaller wineries that choose not to become Trail members (they don't get included in the advertising, don't participate in Trail-wide events, etc). They are split almost evenly between the east and west sides - with a couple in Watkins Glen. You can go around the whole lake or split time between the western side of Cayuga (where most of the Cayuga wineries are) and the east side of Seneca. Several roads link the 2 lakes, and you can get from 1 to the other in 5-15 minutes depending on where you cut across.
I've been to about 1/2 of the Seneca wineries and can't wait to try more! These have been consistently good, both for the quality of the wines and the friendliness/knowledge of the staff:
1) Fox Run (Route 14, Penn Yan, NY) www.foxrunvineyards.com
2) Glenora Wine Cellars (Route 14, Dundee, NY) www.glenora.com
3) Castel Grisch Estate Winery (Route 28, Watkins Glen). www.fingerlakes-ny.com/castelgrisch
4) Hazlitt 1852 Vinyards (Route 414, Hector, NY). www.hazlitt1852.com
5) Wagner Vineyards (Route 414, Lodi, NY) www.wagnervineyards.com
In addition to individual wineries hosting events (like jazz fests or barbecues), the Trail itself hosts about 5 major events throughout the year. In January, there's a "Bargain Bash" for about 10 days. In Febrary near Valentines Day, they have a "chocolate and wine weekend". In March, it's "Pasta and Wine", in April, it's "Cheese and Wine" and for 2 weekends in November and December it's "Deck the Halls". Check the trail website for exact dates, participating wineries (it's almost always every trail member and sometimes a few more), and ticket information. These wine weekends area fabulous way to do some tastings of food and wine combos, get some receipes, etc.
- Wine Tasting
Nearby in Ithica New York is the famous Moosewood restaurant. Now I can't say that I have been impressed because the two times that I have been there they had long line ups, fish as a menu choice of four options, and peas and pasta as a second choice. Save your dollar and time by eating at the Ithica Commons. There is nice shopping at a courtyard. There are other restuarants that are vegetarian/vegan. In fact the whole town is mostly fast food/chain free!!!! They have a bartner network of Ithica dollars in the city. There are public buses that carry your bicycle. Cornell University is great with so many events. Be sure to visit the horticultural ground on the property. Take in a free concert and enjoy the spectacular city. A very kewl town indeed. Very Liberal.
Penn Yan On the way to Watkins...
Penn Yan On the way to Watkins Glen is the nice little town of Penn Yan, This town has a large Mennonite community and you will see horses and buggies all around. You will also see many picturesque and immaculate farms along the way and nice little vegetable and baked good stands that sell things on the honor system. Every Saturday in Penn Yan there is a huge market called the Windmill. It opens the end of April and closes the middle of December from 8;00
until 4:30 PM There has to be over 100 vendors there selling produce,arts and crafts, handmade furniture,baked goods and quilts. It really is very nice.
Watkins Glen State Park is the...
Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout.
Near south end of Seneca Lake, off Route 14. Main entrance, Village of Watkins Glen.
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