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Welcome to a Water Wonderland


The long, thin tendrils of the Finger Lakes scratch the back of Western New York, touching every opportunity for outdoor pleasure and stretching into the nucleus of a rich wine-making region. The Western New York Finger Lakes -Seneca, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Hemlock, Canadice and Conesus-provide unlimited opportunities for fishing, boating and other outdoor fun and entertainment both off shore and on. For more information call Finger Lakes Association: 800-KIT-4-FUN.

The Genesee River begins its northward trek as a tiny burble-barely a stream-in Gold, Pa., a place where the three great watersheds of the eastern U.S. meet. On one farm, water on one side travels down the Allegheny River to the Ohio, the Missisippi and the Gulf of Mexico, while water on the other side ends up in the Susquehana system and the Chesapeake Bay. Northbound water flows through the Genesee to Lake Ontario and eventually via the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic.The river grows powerful as it reaches Letchworth State Park, cutting a magnificent gorge in the primordial rock and cascading over three majestic waterfalls. Continuing north, the Genesee loops through valley farmlands and into the City of Rochester, where it plunges down three more waterfalls-in particular the spectacular 96-foot High Falls-before spilling into Lake Ontario. Fun on the river means white water rafting, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking...you name it.

The Seaway Trail, the longest scenic byway in the United States, follows the Niagara River, Lake Ontario's shoreline and the Saint Lawrence River. This freshwater coastline ambles past historic forts and museums, scenic parks and quaint villages, providing ample attractions and activities. Swimming, boating, fishing and other water-related sports, as well as camping opportunities, are plentiful. The Seaway Trail is marked by distinctive green and white signs.

Lake Ontario boasts the country's best salmon fishing and thrilling boating and sailing opportunities. Visitors find a broad sandy beach, wooden boardwalk with Victorian gazebos, long piers, a 1930s bathhouse and a concert pavilion-and, oh yes, a rare 1905 Dentzel menagerie carousel. The Charlotte/Genesee Lighthouse, one of the Great Lakes' oldest, offers a small museum tracing the history of lighthouses, lake transportation and the Genesee River.

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