Jaron’s Blog

Cycling Keuka Lake

Last weekend was Cornell’s Fall break, and my friend Fred and I took a cycling trip. It was a delight. Pictures and descriptions follow.

Day One

Map of day one.

We left Ithaca around 10:30 AM, right after a big rain storm rolled through. We biked the Black Diamond trial to Trumansburg, where we had lunch at Felicia’s.

Fields outside Taughannock Park

We then headed straight between the lakes through parts of the Finger Lakes National Forest, where there were scores of dead (and live!) tiny snakes all over the road.

Fred biking between Keuka and Seneca

Some sort of radio building in the national forest

The road and fall trees in the national forest

Upon reaching Seneca we took the scenic highway down to Watkins Glen, stopping by Red Newt and Damiani wineries, Finger Lakes Distilling, and the Stonecat cafe.

Fred inspecting the vines near Seneca

Grapes and lake Seneca

A garage near Red Newt

Tanks outside Red Newt

View from the Stonecat porch

Wine and snacks at Stonecat

Beams of sunlight illuminate Seneca

Fred waving outside the distillery

The porch of the distillery

The distillery

Right before Watkins Glen, I crashed in the gravel on the roadside while trying to look back at Fred, scraping my hands and losing a reflector on my spokes. We got into town, checked into the hostel, cleaned up my wounds, and had dinner at the wonderful Graft cafe downtown.

Food at Graft in Watkins Glen

Day Two

Map of day two.

We left Watkins Glen at 7:00 AM, just minutes after first light. The morning ride to Hammondsport at the base of Keuka lake was beautiful and suggested that it was going to be a nice day. How naive we were…

The road outside Watkins Glen

Horses running towards me

Fred biking between Seneca and Keuka

A house between the lakes

Great views at the top of a very steep hill

A tiny unnamed lake

Towards Waneta lake

A barn and Keuka with mist on the hill

The purple foot logo

We reached Hammondsport a little after 9:00 AM. With our brunch plan (the Village Tavern) opening at 10:00 AM, we killed some time in a lakeside park, and then in a incredibly quaint square park with a gazebo in the center of town.

Keuka lake from the edge of Hammondsport

Keuka lake from a park

Fishermen on Keuka lake

Fred and the gazebo

A church in Hammondsport

Hammondsport from the central park, with our brunch spot to the left

"Coolest small town in America"

Coming out of brunch around 11 AM, it was now very overcast and a dense fog had set into the hills. We stopped at Dr. Konstantin Frank winery, and I popped a tube braking too heavily coming down a very long, very steep hill.

Fred coming up a hill outside Hammondsport

Misty vineyards outside Hammondsport

Misty vineyards and a barn

More misty vineyards

Misty vineyards and Keuka lake

Dr. Konstantin Frank sign and Keuka

Fred and the fork of Keuka lake

With the last light scheduled for 7:00 PM, we decided to skip biking the fork of Keuka in favor of getting to Fox Run vineyards on Seneca, which has wonderful paired wine flights and cheese boards. We also stopped by Wiemer vineyards, where we were lucky enough to be assigned a tasting with their estate manager, who was incredibly fun and accommodating to the point of running out to the vineyards to fetch some botrytized grapes to taste.

Cow staring at me between Keuka and Seneca

Another cow staring at me

Wine and cheese at Fox Run

The estate manager of Wiemer with some botrytized grapes

The estate manager of Wiemer eating a botrytized grape

We bought a bottle of wine at Wiemer to drink in the hostel, then went back to Watkins Glen. We chose our dinner venue by 1) the likely volume of food and 2) minimizing the wait. We settled on Rooster Fish Brewing Pub.

Some Wiemer wine snugly fit on the bike

A building in Watkins Glen

The wine, safely in Watkins Glen

A huge pork sandwich at Rooster Fish

Day Three

On the third day we got up later, had breakfast sandwiches at a bakery in Watkins Glen, and biked home by around noon.

Map of day three.

A mural in Watkins Glen

Fog and the road on the way to Cayuga

A barn on the way to Cayuga

Fred with a good view

The road and a pretty tree