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Old 05-16-2015, 02:50 PM   #1
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Anybody Cruised the Finger Lakes?

Hello All,
I'm putting together a nice long weekend jaunt down to the Finger lakes. I've only ever been about 20% of the way down Cayuga, and that was just a delivery trip, so I didn't do much rose-sniffing. Most of Cayuga and Seneca lakes and the CS Canal will be new to me, which is exciting.

I've seen lots of posts here about the Erie Canal, but not so much about the Finger Lakes. I've got Active Captain, and have a good idea of where we'll be stopping, but I'm curious to see if any of you have any suggestions for 'must see' or 'must do' items along my route. Any good restaurants, touristy stuff, good swimming holes, popular anchorages, etc...

I'll depart Sylvan Beach sometime Thursday and head to Baldwinsville, where I'll be picking up my crew. My sister and brother in law live within walking distance to the free lock wall. I'll stay there for a night, and we'll get underway bright and early the next morning. First destination will be Watkins Glen at the southern end of Seneca Lake. We'll probably stay there for a couple of nights. It looks like there are lots of things to do and see within walking distance of the marina there. I'm really looking forward to Watkins Glen State Park.

After departing the Glen, we'd head back up Seneca, across the CS canal, and then down to Ithaca at the south end of Cayuga lake. We'll probably only have time for one night in Ithaca. My crew will need to be back in B'ville by the next night.

I've heard nice things about Seneca Falls, too. We may try to make a stop there as well.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:42 AM   #2
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Finger Lakes

Dave
I think you have a good start w/ plan. Agree lots to do at Watkins.
Glen SP is a must
The restaurant right at Village Marina in Watkins is very good - outside seating and you can't get more convenient
Jerlandos - good italian food, Crooked Rooster - brewery & restaurant next door is good, Garcias for Mexican.

Stop by Sampson if you have time - we're in slip 99. Seneca is very busy this weekend due to trout derby but if you need / want I could probably find you a slip at Sampson as a couple of folks aren't in the water yet. I'll PM you my phone # just in case.

B'ville is a favorite stop but sometimes the upper wall is totally filled by locals that come and leave their boat on Tue - Wed to make sure they have a spot for the wkend.

Seneca Falls is a nice stop and a good but easy day trip from B'ville

Best swimming holes are - the bay just off Frontenac Is on Cayuga (listed as springport cove on AC) sandy but water temps are nasty this time of year.
Clear going in past spar buoys - just avoid the extreme N side of the entrance. This is a favorite anchor, swim, stay o'nite spot.
N end of Seneca as long as there isn't a S wind

Goose Watch winery (Cayuga)has a good dock - its on AC Lat N 42-46.057 Lon W 076-46.015 There are others but haven't been to them and not sure about docks from 1st hand experience.

There are lots of restaurants in Ithaca but a while since I've over there.
If you are having a good time on Seneca you might consider adding one day and skipping traveling the length of Cayuga for one night - save it for another trip. I think you'll like the Finger Lakes and be back... Seneca is the cleanest swimming water you'll find anywhere close by but it takes awhile to warm up as it's 625 ft deep! Last week temp was 44*F week before was 38*!

Have a good trip and call if you need any more local info. Good bunch of folks at Village marina - Seneca Sail & Power Squadron and Finger Lakes Yacht Club members - just say Hi and ask for info.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:14 PM   #3
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Dave
I think you have a good start w/ plan. Agree lots to do at Watkins.
Glen SP is a must

B'ville is a favorite stop but sometimes the upper wall is totally filled by locals that come and leave their boat on Tue - Wed to make sure they have a spot for the wkend.

Seneca Falls is a nice stop and a good but easy day trip from B'ville

If you are having a good time on Seneca you might consider adding one day and skipping traveling the length of Cayuga for one night - save it for another trip.
Thanks for that Don! Lots of good stuff there. I suspect the Crooked Rooster may earn a few Wayfarer dollars.

I was thinking the same thing about saving Cayuga lake for another trip. It looks like Seneca should have plenty to keep us busy for a weekend. I'm leaning toward staying a night in Seneca Falls on our way back to B-ville instead of heading all the way down Cayuga. (I sure am envious of all of the retired full time cruisers on this site!)

As far as B-ville goes, I'm banking on being able to get tied up at the wall, but if that's full, It looks like there's a mediocre marina across the river. Worst case scenario, I'll just run her up on the dam for the night.

Also, E-Gads! 44*! I believe I'll be leaving my swimming apparel secured safely at home.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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As far as B-ville goes, I'm banking on being able to get tied up at the wall, but if that's full, It looks like there's a mediocre marina across the river.
Coopers is OK but nothing special... wall topside is best by far... if you can do w/o power there's plenty of wall below the lock. If so you can probably get the lockmaster to look & let you know the situation before entering the lock - or stop below & have a look for yourself... it's not far bottom to top.

Seneca Falls has good accommodations - power both N & S side now but N side is best as restrooms - showers - laundry & restaurants are all on that side.
The community center is just W of the park and is also a nice facility w/ free wifi access available. Parkers is a decent sport bar atmosphere. The bar at the E end of the N wall is good but SLOW w/ food orders last time we were there.

One other spot on Seneca I forgot to mention - near the N end - W side is Belhurst Castle - they have great docks & a path up to the castle. Good meals but a little pricey - haven't eaten in the lounge but that's on our list to do. They have a winery and do tastings there so if nothing else worth a stop to check it out. The old castle and grounds are a beautiful spot - lots of wedding during the summer.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:35 AM   #5
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Don't be in too big of a hurry to travel the Erie Canal for a few days.. Locks E23-E26 and Oswego Canal is closed due to high water. Estimated time of opening is the 25th!
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, the whole system is high. Last I checked, the water level at sylvan beach was up at least a foot.
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