Monday, June 30, 2014

A Walk at Watkins Glen

We had been told that Watkins Glen State Park is a must see in the Finger Lakes area. It is near Seneca Lake and abut a 40 mile drive from our spot at Keuka Lake. I had read that dogs are allow on some of the trails though not the main Gorge Trail. We decided to take Savannah and then maybe go back another day without her to hike the Gorge Trail.
The Park features a spectacular narrow gorge where you can hike by Glen Creek, through Forest and see 19 waterfalls if you take the Gorge Trail. We took the dog friendly Indian Trail and waked part of that trail where we did see Rainbow Falls. We could hear the sound of other Falls and the Creek as we walked the trail but couldn't see them as the trail we were on is above the Falls. The Gorge Trail does have a section at the end that requires walking around 800 steps. Got to get more hikes in before we are in shape to walk those.

Rainbow Falls is just beautiful and we spent some time just taking it in.

It was hot and humid and Savannah was a hot dog for sure as her tongue hangs way out.

Below is a picture of the town of Watkins Glen  and more lovely scenery we  passed on our drive.

Tuesday we take a long one hour drive to our next spot. We are headed to Sampson State Park, which is on Lake Senneca, the next finger east of Keuka

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Outlet Trail in Penn Yan NY

One day we took a walk on the Outlet Trail that goes from Penn Yan to Dresden. It is a six mile park that follows a trail that was a former railroad line. The railway was constructed on the towpath of the Crooked Lake Canal. There were once 27 locks over this short six mile span, which set it up for failure as a commerce pathway from Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake.

In the late 1700's through the 19th century there were many Mills along the Canal with large communities around them. 

These days it is a nice place to walk, jog, bike, horseback ride or even smowmobile during the winter.
We saw a number of people fishing along the banks.

Another Mill below is Birkett Mills, still operating today and the nation's number one producer of buckwheat products, such as flour and pancake mix.

Below is one of the remaining railroad tracks along the canal.

We couldn't figure out this sign.

There are also some water falls on this trail. We thought about coming back and starting at the other end , bringing our bikes, but we took a different hike instead. Below is the town of Penn Yan. Love the old towns and beautiful old houses in the Finger Lakes area.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Onto the Fingers Lakes and an Oops

WE are still going east but still in New York. Keuka Lake State Park is in the Finger Lakes area. Keuka Lake is one of  the long thin lakes that give the area its name as the lakes look like fingers. We like the campground though we got off to a bad start. This area has had a lot of rain and we didn't realize that our assigned site's grass was so soaked that we got stuck in mud that was under the grass. We tried to put pieces of wood under the tires to try to get ourselves out but weren't having any luck. Fortunately a nice guy named Steve was just driving his fifth wheel through our loop and said he would come back and try to help.
He was able to pull out how fairly easily. Another lesson learned. Check out the site more thoroughly before backing into it.

 It is a very pretty area. We don't have lake views but lots of trees and plenty of sitting room outside.
The lake is at a lower elevation and the views from there are of some vineyard covered slopes.

This is a big wine area and we did a little wine tasting. Saturday we drove around the area and stopped in at a dog friendly winery called Prejean Winery.  Later I was reading about the winery and found out that the owners had actually lived in San Francisco and often went to the wineries just a short drive from them in Napa and Sonoma. This kindled their dream to someday have their own winery. Years later they moved to the East Coast and one day realized their dream, starting a winery in the beautiful countryside of the Finger Lakes.  The wines we have tasted have been pretty good and we bought a few bottles. Their pricing is very reasonable, much cheaper than California. In fact, their tasting pricing at this winery was only $2 for five tastes and that went towards the cost of the wine we purchased. Plus they were having a sale on one of the wines, 2 for 1 and the fact we bought 3 bottles with the fourth free, we got a discount and so only paid around 25 dollars for the four bottles which also included the tasting for both of us. Our last wine tasting in Temecula was 20 dollars for a tasting of 6 wines and the wines much more expensive.
The drive around Keaku and Seneca is very scenic and more lovely old houses and lots of farm land and produce markets. We stopped at a small produce market I had read about in one of  the blogs I follow where I also had read about their stay at Keuka Lake SP and Sampson SP, our next spot. We bought some blueberries and cherries and I went back the next day for some peaches. In the same blog, Watsons Wonders, she had a recipe for chicken tostada with a blueberry and peach salsa, and I copied her idea for that too. It was really good. Love fruit salsas.

Town of Penn Yan

We have a few hiking outings planned over the next few days which will be in my next post.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Old Fort Niagara

One of the days we were staying in the Niagara area we took a short drive to Old Fort Niagara. The history of this Fort goes back 300 years, first occupied by Native Americans, then by British, French and American forces. Due to its presence on the Great Lakes, it took an important part in the French-Indian War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
We started off by walking through a museum and then taking a small guided tour before continuing on a self guided tour.

The picture above looks towards Niagara on the Lake in Canada.
The oldest building at the Fort is what was called the French Castle or what the French occupiers called the House of Peace, They built the building after getting permission of the Native Americans when they were told it was a building for trading.However, it was actually more than that. It was built to withstand any attacks by the natives.

There were actors in period costumes doing musket and artillery demonstrations as well as artisans and others talking about life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The fort is on the Niagara River where it spills into Lake Ontario. The top attic four has many dormers to be used to fire muskets and cannons.

We were just in this are for three full  days, but had an interesting variety of things we did, some history, theh great Falls and Hockey.
Now we are onto the Finger Lakes area where new adventures are to be had, including some wine tasting in what is a large wine region of New York.