Hear them sing!
Make memories in Watkins Glen, Montour Falls, and the Finger Lakes
Lace up your hiking shoes for a trek in the Finger Lakes National Forest. With more than 30 miles of trails, wildlife to watch, and recreational opportunities from hiking and mountain biking to fishing and hunting, there's something for everyone in this natural treasure -- including bird watchers! The National Audubon Society notes the following:
The site [Finger Lakes National Forest] is particularly important as a grassland bird breeding site for Northern Harriers (annual breeders), Upland Sandpipers (though
none since 1990), Horned Larks, Sedge Wrens (one pair in 1997), Vesper Sparrows (one pair in 1997, presumed breeding), Savannah Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows (confirmed nesting), Henslow's Sparrows (30-45 pairs in 1997, not confirmed recently), Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlarks. Additional at-risk species found at the site include the Sharp-shinned Hawk (several nesting records), Cooper's Hawk (several nesting records), Northern Goshawk (at least one pair), Red-shouldered Hawk (possible breeder), Short-eared Owl (migrant), Willow Flycatcher (known nester), and Wood Thrush (confirmed nester). Clay-colored sparrows were seen at the site in 2004. The site hosts a great variety of breeding birds (119 species) among its diverse habitats, including characteristic deciduous forest breeding birds. The
site is also becoming important to shrub-breeding species such as the Blue-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow. (Read more here.)
After your visit to the National Forest, the only National Forest in NYS, chase waterfalls tucked along our countryside roads. Aunt Sarah's Falls, Che-qua-ga Falls, and Hector Falls are some of the roadside options. The gorge trail will open for the 2022 season Memorial Day weekend. This 3-mile round-trip hike features 19 waterfalls. Walk through them, behind them, under them and plan to take lots of photos.
Sip world-class beverages in our tasting rooms ... many with stunning views of Seneca Lake, the deepest of the Finger Lakes. Within 20 minutes of Watkins, on the east and west side of Seneca Lake, you'll find a couple dozen wineries, breweries, and distilleries. Seneca Cheese Company has more than 30 bourbons -- the largest selection in the region and the only regional option for bourbon flights.
Meet the cheesemakers and sample Cheddar, BelPaese, Harvati, and Heritage (a Parmesan/ Swiss blend) at Sunset View Creamery, These cheeses are made with milk only from cows that graze peacefully on this fifth-generation farm.