We left Long Point State Park today (after a successful first attempt at using a dump station) and drove west along the shores of Lake Ontario, and then south to the Finger Lakes region. It was another pleasant drive on a two lane roads with very little traffic. Our GPS kept insisting the best route was the interstate, but we ignored him, instead choosing to stay near the shore in hopes that we would catch a glimpse of the lake. It wasn’t to be and in the end we barley saw the lake, but I am still confident that our route was more interesting than 200 miles of interstate.
Here’s our site at Keuka Lake State Park. A nice grassy area with a gravel pad and woods in the back. All the sites here are really nice with lots of big trees and a strip of woods for privacy between each one. Some of the non-electric sites even have gigantic Weeping Willow trees with trunks too big to fit my arms around. Since they’re calling for temps in the mid-90s this week though, we’re glad to have an electric hook up so we can run our air conditioner.
The campground is mostly empty. The loop we’re in has 50 sites, and probably less than 10 are occupied. After dinner we took a walk around one of the other loops (also with 50 sites) and only saw one camper. The lack of visitors could be due to the fact that it’s Monday and all the weekend campers left yesterday, but I suspect that this campground is one of the less popular ones in the area. Fine with us – we like it quite, and busy campgrounds with lots of screaming kids are exactly what we hope to avoid.
While the campground is located right on the shore of Keuka Lake, none of the sites are actually on the water. There are, however, a network of hiking trails that wind through the woods down to the lake. A pleasant 10 minute hike took us to a rather wild looking lake with clear water and swathes of wild flowers along the shore.
I think Phineas was excited to see the water…
A few fun fact about the lake:
Keuka Lake is about 20 miles long and is shaped like a Y which distinguishes it from the other long thin “finger” shaped lakes in the region. Because of it’s unique shape the early settlers called it Crooked Lake. In the late 1800s when the wine industry began to take off the name Crooked Lake was not considered elegant enough and it was changed back to the original Seneca name of Keuka (which means lake with an elbow in Seneca).
Keuka Lake is the only lake in the area that flows both north and south.
In the late 1800s the Adirondack region became an immensely popular tourist destination for those seeking a country vacation away from the New York City heat. The only problem- mosquitos -lots of them. Some enterprising local business men took it upon themselves to solve this problem and announced that they had imported brown fruit bats who consumed the entire population of mosquitos around Keuka Lake. A stamp was produced and all outgoing mail from the town of Hammondsport (at the southern tip of the lake) was stamped with the slogan “The town with no mosquitos”.
Today the lake is known primarily for its dozens of wineries and superior fishing. Tomorrow we’ll do some more exploring.