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Rediscovering Finger Lakes: Check These Interesting Attractions While Social Distancing

Rediscovering Finger Lakes: Check These Interesting Attractions While Social Distancing

By: Jordan Fuller


While the Finger Lakes are known throughout the world for producing fine wines, particularly award-winning Rieslings, the region is also home to a host of other activities for visitors of all interests. The best part is, that many of these can be enjoyed all while practicing social distancing.

For those looking for Outdoor activities, the Finger Lakes doesn’t disappoint. From biking and hiking to a host of fishing and boating options there is something for all water-lovers. State parks with abundant scenic beauty, including the Watkins Glen State Park and its gorge trails featuring 19 waterfalls, are must-sees for outdoor lovers, and for those who always have their golf clubs in the trunk, there are courses throughout the area to keep you busy.

With nearly 134,000 acres of water, the 11 Finger Lakes, along with Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, and the abundant smaller lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, there are countless opportunities to cast a line in search of your favorite catch. Nowhere in the world produces a consistent supply of trophy-sized trout, bass, salmon, pike, carp, walleye, and catfish. 

All four seasons are active on the water for fishing, from steelhead stream fishing in the winter months to king salmon in the summer, which is cause for the Finger Lakes region to be near the top of the list for every angler’s best locations. Options range from the complex downrigger fishing onboard a boat, to just a simple cast from the shore. And what better way to practice social distancing than being on a boat in the middle of one of the area lakes?

A visit to New York cannot be complete without a visit to one of the many state parks set among the Finger Lakes area. It has been a long-standing mission of the state to preserve natural areas where visitors can immerse themselves among the setting of the lush, pristine landscape. Visitors and locals alike can head out for a hike or take to the water on a kayak during the summer, and look to the winter months to cross-country ski or take a snowshoeing hike through the woods.

The amazing lake views along with the lush forest trails and gushing waterfalls, the state parks have long been a welcome escape from reality for visitors and locals in the Finger Lakes region.

Also, a highlight of Western New York’s outdoor choices is the area’s golf opportunities, specifically the Ravenswood Golf Club. The award-winning 18-hole course is just minutes from Rochester, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. Selected as the 5th “Best New” course in the United States upon its opening in 2003, Ravenswood is widely considered to be the Top Public Golf Course in the area.

Designed by Robin Nelson in 2002, the layout seamlessly connects the holes by taking full advantage of the gently undulating landscape to give a natural flow to play. Be wary on the front nine and its challenging par 3’s, while the back is protected by water hazards to keep every player on their toes. Finishing on the par-5, 18th is not for the faint of heart, with a green tucked into the woods and the hill to form a natural amphitheater surrounded by seven greenside bunkers to guard against even the slightest mishit approach, so keeping a sand wedge handy is advisable.

Per the club’s website, the golf course is open for play with several COVID-19 restrictions in place. Carts are available to all players, with two riders per cart. Single riders will need to pay an upcharge and all tee times need to be made in advance, either by phone or online.


About the Author

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and a traveler. He loves to play different golf courses around the world. Jordan also owns a golf publication site,, where he shares some golf tips."