The natural setting is the very core of what makes the Finger Lakes so unique. Don't think the outdoor fun starts and stops in the 11 major lakes of the Finger Lakes either; there are a number of parks, resorts and more to entertain you in the fresh air.
In the winter, you can go to one of the many ski resorts, like the Greek Peak Mountain Resort in the Cortland area. There are also a number of hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing trails throughout the Finger Lakes. Snowshoeing fans can also rent or bring their own shoes to pad through the snow-covered winter wonderland. The Finger Lakes are also great for ice fishing when the weather gets cold enough.
The summer months bring out the best in the Finger Lakes as well. Boating, fishing, kayaking and other watersports certainly play a large role in what makes the Finger Lakes so special but there is just as much to do away from the water. The numerous state parks in this region, as well as the Finger Lakes National Forest, let you experience nature at its finest; you can camp, hike, bike and more in most of these parks. They also feature some wonderful scenery including waterfalls and gorges.
If you're looking for a little more action there is always Watkins Glen International, host of NASCAR in the Finger Lakes, IMSA, the SCCA and more throughout the racing season every year.
You can also take to the sky during your next stay in the Finger Lakes. Hot-air balloons and gliding both have a home in the Finger Lakes. The Liberty Balloon Company gets you in the air in one of their hot air balloons anywhere across the Finger Lakes. Harris Hill has been a landmark for motorless flight since before WWII. Just outside Elmira, you can take to the sky in a glider and check out the National Soaring Museum.
The outdoors is a great piece of the Finger Lakes experience and is not to be missed. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a relaxing day in the sun, a hike through the woods, or an exciting day on the water, you can find just about everything to do here in the Finger Lakes.