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Posts Tagged ‘Rochester’

Day two of our journey along the Seaway Trail will take us from the Port of Rochester to Selkirk Shores State Park in Pulaski. The total distance is 112 miles and the actual driving time is just a bit over three hours.

Click for complete driving directions for day two.

The Port of Rochester (also known as Charlotte) is located where the Genesee River empties into Lake Ontario. It is one of the outdoor recreation hubs of Western New York. There is a public beach with a large picnic area and ample playground equipment for the kids. The centerpiece is “The Dutchess”, a menagerie carousel built in 1905. Still in original condition, this Rochester landmark is one of only 14 antique menagerie carousels still operating in the United States. The park also offers a pier that extends about half a mile and divides the river from the lake. It offers excellent pier fishing off the river side. Here’s a tip for you: While you’re at the Port of Rochester, make sure you stop for an Abbott’s Frozen Custard. In my opinion, Abbott’s custard is the best frozen treat in the world. Abbott’s is located at the end of Lake Ave. at the entrance to the park. If your in Charlotte, you can’t miss it.

Sodus Bay Lighthouse by Harry Hunt

Sodus Bay Lighthouse by Harry Hunt

Okay, it’s time to leave Rochester and get back on the Seaway Trail. Our first stop will be at Sodus Point, about 40 miles east of Rochester. the two biggest attractions at Sodus Point are the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum and some world class sport fishing. The lighthouse was originally built in 1824, and after some deterioration, was rebuilt in 1870-1871. It was replaced by a less picturesque but more practical beacon in 1900 and became the residence for the lighthouse keeper for the next 80 years. In 1984 it was leased to the Sodus Bay Historical Society which maintains it today. Climb the circular stairs to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the view as you overlook beautiful Lake Ontario and the piers at Sodus Point from a height of 70 feet. The museum also offers several displays, including one on fishing in the Sodus area, a small library and a gift shop. The grounds at Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum are a great place to unpack you picnic basket and enjoy a great lunch. There are plenty of tables and grills for your use. If you happen to be there on a summer Sunday, make sure you plan to stay for their outstanding Sunday concert series. Sodus Point is also the home of several charter fishing boats. Whether brown trout, lake trout or coho salmon are your game, you’re sure to be able to find a boat and captain who will put you on the fish.

Chimney Bluffs

Chimney Bluffs

From Sodus Point, we’ll round the bay to Chimney Bluffs State Park near Wolcott. Though it has fewer facilities than many of the other parks on our route, I chose this stop because of the amazing geographic displays that mother nature has graced the landscape with. The clay cliffs were originally formed by a glacial drummond and are now eroded and re-shaped on a daily basis by the movement of Lake Ontario. The park has four miles of trails that offer many outstanding views of the cliffs. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes when you hike. Climbing the cliffs themselves is extremely dangerous and is also prohibited. When you visit Chimney Bluffs State Park, please take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

In our next installment we’ll continue our journey along the Seaway Trail and visit Fair Haven Beach State Park, Oswego, The Selkirk Lighthouse and end the day at Selkirk Shores State Park. I hope you’re enjoying this series highlighting some of the sites along the Seaway Trail. If you are, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Map of day two travel

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Today we’re going to travel the Seaway Trail in Western New York from Niagara Falls to Rochester.  Our journey will cover 107 miles and take about 3 1/4 hours of actual driving time.  That will leave you plenty of time to see the sites and enjoy a great picnic lunch.  I’d strongly recommend that you take this tour between May and October as icy roads are very possible during the rest of the year.

Click for complete driving directions for this trip.

Niagara Falls from the Observation Tower

Niagara Falls from the Observation Tower

Hundreds of people have written thousands of volumes about the beauty and splendor of Niagara Falls so there is no way I’ll even try and describe them in one or two paragraphs.  I do, however, want to mention my favorite way to see the Falls.  The Niagara Falls Observation Tower in Niagara Falls State Park offers two amazing and contrasting views of the falls.  First walk out to the end of the tower and look to your left for a spectacular view of the the American and Horseshoe Falls.  Next take the glass elevator down to the base of the falls and take the stairs up to “The Crows Nest”.  You’ll truly feel like you’re part of the Falls.  I warn you that you will get soaked as you walk up to “The Crows Nest”.  Admission to the Observation Tower is $1.00 and it is open from Spring to Fall.

From Niagara Falls we’ll head north to Old Fort Niagara.  Old Fort Niagara has stood at the mouth of the Niagara River, 15 miles north of Niagara Falls since 1726.  As a gateway to the Great Lakes, it was a very important French stronghold until taken by the British during the French and Indian War.  Britain held the fort until after the end of the American Revolution.  You’ll have the opportunity to check out some of the best remaining examples of 18th and 19th century military architecture, The French Castle, built in 1726, is the oldest standing building between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.  There are also many artifacts and documents depicting the almost 300 year history of the fort for you to view.

30 Mile Point Lighthouse

30 Mile Point Lighthouse

Next we’ll head east to Golden Hill State Park and Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.  The park, located along beautiful Lake Ontario has been part of the New York State Park system since 1962.  It has great picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, hunting, fishing and boat launches.  The camping area has tent and trailer sites and is open from mid-April to mid-October.  While at the park, make sure you visit Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse opened in 1876 and was active until 1952.  It’s maintained by the Friends of Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse and has a cottage that’s available for rent.  The lighthouse provides a great view of Lake Ontario.

From Golden Hill State Park we’ll continue our journey east to one of my childhood stomping grounds.  Back when Lake Ontario’s beaches were polluted and closed, Hamlin Beach was the closest beach to home.  Today, since the water is clean and safe, it remains a favorite of beachcombers from all around the area.  It also features several picnic areas, hiking and biking trails that become skiing and snowmobile trails in the winter, playgrounds, fishing and 264 tent and trailer campsites that are open from May until mid-October.

Rochester, NY

Rochester, NY

From Hamlin Beach, it’s just a short jaunt up the Lake Ontario Parkway to my hometown of Rochester, NY.  For culture I believe that Rochester is one of the world’s most underrated cities.  There are many great museums including the George Eastman House (home to the founder of Eastman Kodak and one of the fathers of photography), the Susan B. Anthony House, the world renowned Strong National Museum of Play, the Rochester Museum and Science Center and the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.  Rochester is also home to the Red Wings, AAA farm team of the Minnesota Twins, the Amerks American Hockey League team, the Nighthawks National Lacrosse League, the Rhinos United Soccer League team and several other professional and collegiate sports teams.  Finally, Rochester is an educational center with no less than nine colleges having campuses within the immediate area.  For you campers, there are plenty of campgrounds in the area.  If you have the time, spend a day or two in Rochester.  You’ll be glad you did. For much more information on Rochester, please check out the Official Tourism Site of Rochester, NY.

Join me next time when we’ll continue our journey east from Rochester and see how far we get.  In the meantime, you’re going to need picnic accessories and camping gear for your trip.  Let me suggest Picnic Baskets and More for all of your wicker picnic baskets, barbecue tools and other picnic accessories and Camping Gear Stop for your camping tents and other camping supplies.

Map of your day’s travel

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