Visit Sonnenburg Gardens and Canandaigua Lake. Welcome to Paradise. Join us on our guided tour of the majestic Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens. Originally built in 1887 by Frederick and Mary Clark Thompson as their tranquil summer retreat, this majestic property will take your breath away. Set on 50 acres (of the original 150) the park features the 9 gardens designed by the Thompsons, all carefully restored. Roses, award winning conservatory, secret , English knot, Japanese and more are included. The 40 room Queen Anne style mansion has also been lovingly restored and furnished. The first two floors are open to the public. The Thompsons wasted no expense in creating this magnificent home. The guided tour lasts approximately two hours. You will have plenty of time to stroll and revisit the gardens that intrigued you. Enjoy your lunch on the fabulous porch or under a tree. For those who are interested, visit the gift shop, or the Finger Lakes wine shop on premises. Some of the region's premier wines are sold here- taste and buy! After lunch, we'll hop back on the bus for a short jaunt over to Canandaigua where you can either relax on (or in!) the lake in beautiful Kershaw Park, or hop aboard the Canandaigua Lady, a 19th century steamboat replica of a Mississippi-style doubler-decker paddle wheeler operating on Canandaigua Lake. Cruise into Relaxation while listening to a captivating narration on the history of the Steamboat Era, Canandaigua Lake, the Seneca Indians and more! The lower deck is enclosed and air conditioned but with ample window viewing, the upper deck is open air with a partial roof. Handicapped accessible. Bring: comfortable shoes, camera, water, lunch, snacks, and bathing suit/towel if you wish to swim at the beach at Kershaw Park. Cost $13 for admission to Sonnenburg Mansion and Gardens. (Optional boat ride or beach visit will be "pay as you go" onsite; Boat tix are $18 and beach access is $5. ).
***SOLD OUT*** Women, Wetlands and Wine! Join us on an excursion to Seneca Falls, the town where the fight for women’s rights began. We'll start on the main street with a visit to the National Women’s Hall of Fame which celebrates the achievements of great American women. Then we will have time to walk along the Ludivico trail which begins with sculptures of prominent women, and continues for about a half mile along a branch of the Erie Canal. The second part of the day is a visit to the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. Here, a local guide will talk about the animals that visit the marsh regularly, and as we tour around we hope to see various species of songbirds, waterfowl and bald eagles. We'll end our day at the nearby Montezuma Winery and Distillery to check out their wines and spirits. Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray. Cost $10, includes admission to the Women's Hall of Fame, wine tasting and signature glass. Note that any tastings of distilled spirits would be an additional $1 each onsite with a limit of 3 by NY State law. ***This activity has sold out and you can no longer register for it.***
Wine and Apple Tour On our second day-long winery tour, we'll start out at Hickory Hollow, where we'll meet with the winemaker for our private tasting on the back deck. he's been in the business more than 20 years, and grows the grapes for more than 23 of the wineries in the Finger Lakes. He has tons of stories to tell, and we'll have a great time chillin' and learning some of the inside scoop and fun facts. After that, we'll head up the street to Fox Run Winery and cafe overlooking the lake. We'll start with a vineyard tour, then return for a tasting.Then it's time for lunch: a custom cheese and charcuterie board (NY State cheeses, almonds, olives, baguette (or gluten-free crackers) and more) with a small flight of four paired wines. Feel free to bring lunch or snacks from camp, or purchase additional items at their cafe. We'll enjoy our lunch and snacks in the cafe, or on the patio overlooking the lake. Then, for a rare treat, we'll head into the village of Penn Yan, to Wager's Cider Mill, to watch fresh cider being pressed, and to taste fresh cider straight from the barrel! They also have fresh donuts made with apple cider instead of water(!), apples, and fresh grape juice. Bring: Camera, snacks/lunch, water. Cost: $29 includes wine tastings, tour, shared custom charcuterie board, and wine flight.
***SOLD OUT*** Paddle the Palisades. On this tour, we explore the unique river valley nestled between the cities of Corning and Elmira, NY. Over 6 miles we'll view wildlife, discover local history, and have a whole lot of fun! The tour begins at Botchers Landing with a safety orientation and a paddling lesson from our experienced guides. Once we're on the water, we'll pass a small island with a few riffles as we reach the palisades. These high cliffs, carved by glaciers, dominate the right side of the river. Keep your eyes peeled for the resident bald eagles! Past the palisades, the river meanders around several small islands before reaching our destination at Fitches Bridge. Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, river shoes, hat, sunscreen. Cost $54 includes all gear and guides. This activity has sold out and you can no longer register for it.
Moderate Hike in Hi-Tor Wildlife Management Area. The Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area represents a different side of the Finger Lakes. Away from the crowds of Ithaca and Watkins Glen, Hi Tor is a small wilderness of cliffs and woods, with accompanying solitude. This moderate hike is about four miles of wooded trail hiking, with around 500 feet of elevation gain and some views into wooded gorges and down into Lake Canandaigua. We'll travel at a pace comfortable for the entire group, stopping for snacks and scenic views. Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, hat, sunscreen, bug spray. Included.
Moderate Hike & Swim at Buttermilk Falls. We'll head over to Buttermilk Falls State Park, a deep and scenic gorge just outside Ithaca filled with waterfalls and scenic pools. Buttermilk starts steeply, but soon turns into a scenic wonderland filled with its namesake braids of falling water. You'll be hard-pressed to put down your camera as you climb higher and higher through the gorge. Eventually, you'll reach a quiet lake at the top. We'll walk around the lake, then descend to the bottom to swim in the cool and refreshing natural pool (lifeguard on duty). We'll meet up with the other groups hiking in the area today. Hike length is about 4.8 miles with approximately 600' elevation gainBring: Hiking boots, camera, water, lunch, snacks, and bathing suit/towel if you wish to swim. Cost: Included.
***CANCELLED*** Moderately Difficult Hike in Hi-Tor Wildlife Management Area. Hi Tor is an old English word meaning high, craggy hill or peak. you will agree with the "high" part as you climb steeply up Hatch Hill. the crags are the sharp gullies and eroded cliffs which cross this hill, making it scenic and physically challenging. Prepare for a strenuous climb as you begin, going up switchbacks on Hatch Hill. Most of the route is deep in the woods or under a tree canopy. you will go from the Bristol Hill Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail to hook up with the Conklin Gully Trail for a strenuous 6 mile loop. This trail has a spectacular gorge that begins and ends with steep climbs. Views of waterfalls and of the gorge make the effort worthwhile. Bring water shoes for some exploring in the gorge at water level. Elevation gain 800'. Bring: Water, lunch, snacks, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and water shoes. Included. This hike has been cancelled due to lack of interest.
Difficult Hike to Treman and Buttermilk Falls. Treman and Buttermilk are two of the most scenic gorges in the Ithaca area, and this all-day hike captures both of them in a full-day event. Each gorge takes about two hours or more to traverse both ways. Robert H Treman park is first, and you'll enjoy being here in the early morning, before the mid-day crowds. The one-mile climb takes hikers up stairs and a paved trail past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot-high Lucifer Falls. After about an hour walk, we reach the end of the gorge, where there's a grist mill to visit. The group can either take the gorge back or return on the quieter rim trail. At the bottom, the bus will be waiting. We'll drive a few miles down the road to Buttermilk Falls, where hikers can do the same thing again -- climb the (slightly steeper) trail up a slightly more intimate (but no less scenic) gorge, passing a variety of waterfalls and scenic pools before reaching a quiet lake at the top. You can walk around the lake if you wish, but we recommend instead you descend to the bottom to leave some time to swim in the cool and refreshing natural pool at the bottom (lifeguard on duty). Here you'll also regroup with the hikers who will have made their way over from nearby Sweedler Preserve by foot. Total hiking is approximately 6.6 miles with a 1120' elevation gain - along park trails. Bring: Hiking boots, camera, water, lunch, snacks, and bathing suit/towel if you wish to swim. Cost: Included. (NOTE: the first half of this hike is exactly the same as the Treman State Park hike on Saturday.)
Difficult Hike from Swedler Preserve to Buttermilk Falls. This traverse of two gorges near Ithaca uses a section of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) to connect the two. We'll start our hike in the woods, where we'll cross a stream to the first of several waterfalls. Leaving the trail briefly to admire the dead-end canyon and falls, we'll start a steep climb along Lick Brook to the gorge rim. After admiring the view, we'll begin a three-mile walk along the FLT. After walking along farm fields and through quiet woods (with a couple road crossings thrown in), we'll reach a lake that signifies the top of Buttermilk Falls State Park. You'll know it by the crowds -- this is one of the most popular gorges in Ithaca. Following the people, we'll head to the top of the gorge, where an obvious trail leads down the gorge, past many waterfalls and pools. At the very bottom is a swimming area (lifeguard on duty), so bring your bathing suit. Total hiking is 6 miles with a 500' elevation gain. Bring: Hiking boots, camera, water, lunch, snacks, and bathing suit/towel. Cost: Included.
In Camp: Waterskiing at the Lakefront! Camp staff will be on hand with their motorboat, today only, so you can try your hand at waterskiing. This will only be offered in this timeslot, so be sure to sign up early if you are interested. Included.
In Camp: Waterfront Open. The waterfront will be open all day today for boating of all types (sailing, rowing, canoeing, etc). Included
In Camp: Sports/Athletics. Find a partner and play a game of tennis or ping-pong, or get a group together for hockey, softball, and more. Included
In Camp: Pool Open. The pool will be open all day today for swimming, sunbathing, and just hanging out with a good book. Included