After leaving Pocahontas State Park, our next planned destination was the Finger Lakes region of New York. But it was about 9 hours away, so we had to break up the trip with a couple of other stops. First was a Harvest Host stop at Mackintosh Fruit Farm, in the aptly named Berryville, VA. As with just about every other Harvest Host stop we’ve made, we had a wonderful experience – a lovely, quiet place to relax and spend the night. The only downside was that we were there a few weeks before they technically open for the season, so there was no fruit for us to buy. But the owner was very nice and made us feel right at home, and their property was really beautiful.
Next we headed north through Pennsylvania. We drove almost all the way through the state and stopped just south of the New York border in Tioga, at the Ives Run COE campground. We love COE campgrounds – they always seem to have really huge sites. I didn’t get any pictures, but we had a nice site and spent our time getting caught up on laundry. Not terribly exciting but a necessary task!
The next day we had a short drive up to Hammondsport NY and another Harvest Host stop – Pleasant Valley Wine Company. We got there about 15 minutes before they closed for the day, but had just enough time to run in and buy a bottle of their wine to enjoy that night. The next morning we strolled around the area and were charmed by the lovely scenery and the really old, historic winery.
Next we headed a little further north into the Finger Lakes and on to yet another Harvest Host – White Springs Winery just south of Geneva NY. Just behind the parking lot where we parked the RV is an apple orchard, and the apple trees were in full bloom with beautiful white flowers. So pretty!
The town of Geneva is adorable and we took the dogs there for a nice walk on the path leading around Seneca Lake. The homes in the area are so pretty – it’s really a charming area. Geneva is a college town, home to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Many of the buildings in town are part of the college campus. Even the fraternity houses were really pretty!
After a couple of nights near Geneva, we moved down to the south side of Lake Seneca to the city of Watkins Glen. There is a fantastic state park in Watkins Glen, but they have a 2-dog limit for camping. Since we have 3 dogs, I called and talked to the park to see if they would make an exception. They did say yes…however they also said that we would not be allowed to leave our dogs alone in the RV at all during our stay. This was pretty frustrating to me as our dogs are perfectly used to staying alone in the RV for a few hours, and we have never once received a complaint about them barking. So to make our lives easier, we just decided to find somewhere else to stay. The city of Watkins Glen runs a campground called Clute Park, so we booked 3 nights there. This park is mostly for seasonal RVers with one section for people like us who are just traveling through. However this section is right in the front of the park near the road so it seemed a little noisy. We requested to be put in the back of the park near the seasonal RVs, which the manager happily did for us. It was much quieter in this section of the park so I would recommend requesting the same if you ever stay here.
That weekend we were joined by our friends Bill and Sarah who live in Connecticut. We met them 5 years ago when we are all on vacation in St. Lucia, and we were so excited to see them again! As it turns out there was a wine and cheese pairing festival going on that weekend, so we immediately signed up for that and had a super fun day visiting lots of wineries.
Our last day in Watkins Glen, Deas and went over to the state park early Sunday morning to hike the Gorge Trail. Almost every one I spoke to about visiting this area told us that this hike was a must! And it really was an incredibly interesting and beautiful hike. It’s only about 2 miles, but we went so slow because I kept stopping to take pictures! There are 19 separate waterfalls on this hike…and a couple of them you walk right under. I spent a lot time trying to make sure my camera wasn’t getting wet – if you do this hike it would probably be a good idea to bring a rain coat or some sort of protective gear for your camera. But it’s definitely a must-do.
After our hike we raced back to the RV to pack up and move it a few miles up the road to another Harvest Host spot. We quickly parked the RV without setting it up and then went to meet Bill and Sarah for lunch at a great restaurant – Stonecat Cafe. The food was yummy, as were the mimosas! And there was even a jazz band playing. It was a great end to a really fun weekend.
After we said our good-byes to Bill and Sarah, we went back to the Harvest Host location to set up our RV. This time we were staying at Chateau Lafayette Reneau Winery. We bought a couple bottles of their wine, and enjoyed a pretty nice sunset as we enjoyed a nice stroll around their beautiful property.
We really loved our time in the Finger Lakes and we are seriously considering trying to return here in the fall!
21 thoughts on “Fun in the Finger Lakes”
Definitely looks like a lovely area and your photographs are beautiful. Looks like Harvest Hosts is really working out for you 🙂
Yes we definitely got our money’s worth out of Harvest Hosts that week! Because it’s a wine region there were a lot of options for us there. It was one of those places that I didn’t want to leave!
The Finger Lakes are gorgeous! We have done many motorcycle trips around several of the lakes. My parents use to live in Syracuse then retired to Claton right on the St. Lawrence. We, also, spent a month on Conesus Lake on our friends’ property. The fall is just beautiful but very crowded. Love all the magnificent photos of The Gorge and the falls:)
I remember reading about your time on your friend’s property and that cool circle of fire night. We really fell in the love with the area. It’s definitely going on our list of favorite places. A few people commented to us how much more crowded it will be later in the season and in the fall. But we just might be willing to brave the crowds!
Glad you finally locked up Deas – he was photobombing your gorgeous waterfall pictures.
Yeah but he broke right out a couple seconds later, damn it. And I didn’t even post the picture of him pretending like he was going to jump off that bridge….goofball.
Gorgeous! From your Harvest Hosts sites to the fabulous waterfall hike…just stunning!
It really was gorgeous! It was one of those places that you instantly fall in love with. I’m so glad we went – I would have loved to spend another week there!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the beauty of Western New York. So many people are unaware of the vineyards and that beautiful area. I am originally from NYS, and i will always consider it home. the Gorge pictures were beautiful. I never knew that existed. NY has so many wonderful hidden treasure places.. I love reading your blog. Cant wait to see where you go next..
Thank you so much! That area of New York was a real surprise for us. I had heard it was beautiful, but sometimes you just don’t understand until you see something in person. And next we headed to Maine!
Great post! Could easily be a Harvest Host brochure promoted by the Finger Lakes Chamber … or vice versa 🙂 We are putting the Finger Lakes on our bucket list. Thank you!
Thank you! Yes definitely visit the Finger Lakes – you’ll love it!
I’m happy to hear about Ives Run and Clute Memorial Park. We’re planning a trip to the Finger Lakes this fall to visit my husband’s grandma and we’ll likely stay at both campgrounds. I can’t wait to take my daughter on the Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen. I haven’t hiked it since high school but your pictures are making me anxious to go back!
I heard the area is especially gorgeous in the fall! Enjoy your trip and especially the hike with your daughter!
We are absolutely thrilled that you are getting so much enjoyment out of your Harvest Hosts experiences. This was our goal when putting the program together and we are “tickled pink” as my mother would say! Thanks so much for posting your beautiful photos and as someone else mentioned, they should be on a Harvest Hosts brochure!
You know we love Harvest Hosts!! Glad you like the pictures! 🙂
I’ve thought about joining Harvest Hosts before but thought they wouldn’t be for us. But you have renewed my interest. We are going to travel the East Coast next year, so I think we will join. Those gorges look fantastic, thanks for the tip about taking rain gear, sometimes I get lazy and don’t take my camera on treks, but I will definitely take it on this one. Your blog will give us some great ideas, so thank you!
Thanks for reading and your comment! We have really enjoyed our Harvest Host membership and think you would too. Yes definitely take your camera on that hike – it’s an amazing place.
Wow, absolutely beautiful pictures of magnificent places in NY. I live in NY and know how beautiful a state it is but it still takes my breath away. My husband and I will be putting our house up for sale in the spring, and we’ll be sure to visit those places. So thanks for sharing with us. Great blog!