Archive for the ‘Bird Watching’ Category

The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes

December 8, 2009

The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is made up of 11 long slender bodies of water that form a striking resemblance to the fingers of an outstretched hand.  While the larger of these lakes are most notable and probably most popular lakes, for many area visitors, there is a Great Finger Lakes Find in the “Little Finger Lakes” located in western Ontario County~ Honeoye, Canadice and Hemlock Lakes.

Honeoye Lake translated by the Native Americans means “Lying Finger”.  Honeoye Lake is 5 miles long, has a depth of 30 feet and is a prime fishing spot in the Finger Lakes.  Coming into the winter months, it is the most popular lake for ice fishing because the water freezes quickly and maintains its solid surface throughout the winter months to become a natural playground for ice fishing, skating, and even ice boating. 

Cross Country Skiing fun

Many will enjoy the nearby Harriet Hollister Spencer Park state recreation area (be sure to click on this link to see a video of cross country skiing in the park).  You’ll find spectacular views of Honeoye Lake and the Rochester skyline to the north.  Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy miles of trails for hiking and in the winter it is a popular locale for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and even dog-sledding. 

Aerial view of the Little Lakes


Canadice Lake is peaceful and tranquil.  The lake is 3 miles long with a depth of 91 feet. Perhaps named with a bit of humor, the Native American translation is “Long Lake” and while the lake is quite tiny, it has some of the most natural beauty of all the Finger Lakes.  In fact, only car top boats are allowed on the lake keeping it pristine and therefore a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking, and relaxing.

Hemlock Lake is translated as “Sister Lake to Canadice” and surprising to many supplies drinking water to the city of Rochester. The lake is 8 miles long and has a depth of 96 feet. As the “sister lake” to Canadice its tree-lined undeveloped setting creates quite a contrasting experience to many of the larger, more populated lakes.  Both Hemlock and Canadice are remote and provide peaceful places to relax and enjoy nature.

Little Lakes Inn and Healing Center

At the end of a perfect day of fun in the Little Lakes, you can settle in for a great night’s sleep at The Little Lakes Inn & Healing Center, a completely restored Italianate-style inn, tucked in the cozy countryside along Honeoye Lake and one of the newest bed & breakfasts in the Finger Lakes.  Here you will find all the comforts of home and more.   

Thinking about your next get away?  The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes is a Great Finger Lakes Find!


Routes 5 & 20–Best of the Best to See and Do

August 7, 2009
Enjoy the fun and see the best!

Enjoy the fun and see the best!

Pack up the family, get in the car and get ready to experience a lot of fun things to see and do along Routes 5 & 20 in New York’s Finger Lakes and more specifically in Ontario County.  We have the Best of the Best for you!  The Finger Lakes Visitors Connection (official tourism bureau of Ontario County) along with four other tourism partners surveyed the locals and found out for you what they recommend is the best of the best to see and do along the Authentic American Road, Routes 5 & 20. 

Alpaca Farms

Alpaca Farms

From A toZ, there’s Alpacas, antiquing, apples, bistros, concerts, drive-ins, eats, fish, a gigglin’ pig, hiking, ice cream, JELL-O, lakes, museums, nature, orchards, pottery, scenery, theme parks, wineries and ZZZZZ.  What’s the “Z” — that’s the great sleep you’ll get in one of our local hotels or B & Bs, after a full day of fun along this historic route. 

Routes 5 & 20 Mini Map

Routes 5 & 20 Mini Map

The locals always know the BEST places to go.  So whether you’re driving, biking, or even hiking you’ll find the top picks along this fun and fascinating trail.  How about the best locally made gift, the best rainy day activity, the best picnic spot or the best scenic spot?  There’s  a  map showing the complete listing of  these and more along this 135 mile road trip–The Best of Routes 5 & 20!  Call today to get your FREE map~877-FUN-IN-NY or 585-394-3915.

Here’s more Great Finger Lakes Finds for upcoming events this month.

August 5-8th  Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua

August 8th – 25th Annual Cheshire Union Antique Show in Cheshire

August 15-16th Riesling Festival Canandaigua Lake

August 15-17th Billsboro Winery Plein Air Festival, Seneca Lake

Bird Watching in the Finger Lakes!

May 1, 2009
The Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole

Spring in the Finger Lakes is a fun season of the year as we watch the earth come back to life with brightening skies, beautiful flowers in bloom, leaves and early spring buds on the trees. But it also means the  the migrating birds return.  I love to see the first colors in the trees (before the leaves actually come out). You’ll see the finches change from brown to a vibrant yellow, orange of the oriole, the blue birds are bright blue, the red of the cardinals, and perhaps most anticipated is the return of the hummingbirds as a sure sign that spring is here.

There are many natural parks and trails, bird watching can be done anywhere in the Finger Lakes, but here are a few great locations to view our feathered friends:

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

In Victor, you’ll find two favorite bird watching places. The Maryfrances Bluebird Haven has a trail of approximately one mile which circles the property traveling through open fields and through woods allowing visitors to see bluebirds in their natural habit.  Also the Ganondagan Native American Historic Site  provides several nature trails where you will see not only the birds, but many varieties of wildlife, plants and historic memorabilia about the Native Americans who lived there.

Can you tell?  Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

Can you tell? Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

On Canandaigua Lake,  you’ll find Kershaw and  Lagoon Park located at the north end of the lake and Cumming Nature Center  at the south end of the lake.  A variety of Hawks as well as the Bald Eagle have been sighted many times on Canandaigua Lake.


The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

Upcoming bird watching events  in May include: All About Bluebirds at Cumming Nature Center; Eagles at Hemlock (annual watch for the returning Eagles) or Tails and Trails narrated walk at Ganondagan. Get your binoculars out and your cameras ready to go and enjoy the spring colors of the birds.