Finger Lakes Parks, Nature Centers and Museums
The Finger Lakes region is fortunate to have an abundance of parks and nature centers where you can explore the natural environment and enjoy magnificent views and spectacular waterfalls. Here are a few of the finest and our personal favorites.
Close to Naples
Cumming Nature Center
Located in Naples and open on weekends, the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center is a 900-acre preserve that has 6 miles of hiking trails through woods and wetlands for your enjoyment in the spring, summer and fall. It offers guide walks, educational programs, and special events such as sugar mapling in the spring and a timber sports competition in the fall.
Right here in Naples is Grimes Glen, a long deep gorge with spectacular waterfalls.
Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area
Six miles south of Honeoye, the park offers beautiful views of the Honeoye Lake valley.
Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area
Pristine woodlands and well-maintained trails on over 6000 acres of state land are available for lots and lots of outdoor activities.
Ontario County Park
In Bristol Springs near Naples, this park has over 400 acres of open space and woods. The views from the “Jump Off” are some of the best in the Finger Lakes region–and it’s only a short .1 mile walk from the parking area.
In the Surrounding Area
Letchworth State Park
The park is about an hour drive southwest through very pretty rolling countryside. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” , Letchworth State Park has some of the most gorgeous, breathtaking scenery in the United States. The Genesee River roars over three waterfalls and the cliffs carved by the river for thousands of years are almost 600 feet. Just too much of a wow factor to miss.
Taughannock Falls State Park
The park is located in Trumansburg approximately 67 miles from Naples. A 215 waterfall plunges 400 feet into a rock amphitheater.
Watkins Glen State Park
About a 45 minute drive, Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes state parks. The glen’s stream descends 400 feet through a steep gorge with 19 waterfalls along its path. There are gorge paths that wind over and under the waterfalls as well as rim trails that overlook the gorge. It is such a spectacular site it’s definitely worth the drive.
Bristol Mountain Fall Sky Ride
From the last weekend in September and every weekend to October 31 sky rides run from 12 pm – 4 pm.
Museums and Historic Sites near Canandaigua
A multitude of museums and historic sites are located throughout the region.
Just a short drive
Ganondagan – Victor
This is the site of a Native American community where thousands of Seneca lived in the 17th century. Learn about their culture and how it influenced our contemporary society and take a tour of a replica of a Seneca longhouse.
Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum – Canandaigua
The 19th century Federal style mansion of the Granger family who played a significant role in the development of Canandaigua, two barns that hold collections of almost 100 antique carriages and sleighs and farming tools, and a 19th century law office are open to the public seasonally. In the summer and fall carriage rides and tours are offered. Sleigh rides are available in the winter season.
Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion – Canandaigua
The park features a 40-room Queen-Anne style mansion constructed between 1885-1887, nine formal gardens, and a greenhouse conservatory complex. Open daily mid-May through October. It is also home of the Finger Lakes Wine Center.
Corning Museum of Glass
Corning, New York is located an hour southeast of Naples and is home of the Corning Glass Museum. Experience glassblowing demonstrations, explore 45,000 objects and 35 centuries of glass art and history, and make a glass souvenir of your own.
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film
Approximately one hour from Naples, the Eastman House in Rochester is the world’s leading museum of photography and home of one of the oldest film archives considered to be one of the finest in the world. Also, on the grounds are the fully restored mansion and gardens of George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company and the inventor of motion picture film.
Genesee Country Village & Museum
In Mumford, New York, it is one of the largest living history museums in the country. In this authentic 19th century country village, see what life in the Finger Lakes used to be. There are many restored historic houses and buildings to wander through and much to learn.
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum – Hammondsport
Only twenty-five miles from Naples, the museum pays tribute to the memory of pioneer aviator, Glenn Curtiss. Among his many claims to fame are the first long distance flight in America (between Albany and New York City), developer of the first amphibious aircraft, and the “Father of Naval Aviation” since he sold the first “aeroplane” to the U.S. Navy in 1911. The museum has an extensive collection of early airplanes and motorcycles as well as a working historic aircraft restoration shop.
Harriet Tubman House
Head an hour and a half east to Auburn, New York to the Harriet Tubman House where she lived. The museum celebrates the life of this African-American leader and abolitionist who helped over 300 people escape from slavery.
Susan B. Anthony House
The Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester was the home and political headquarters of the legendary civil rights leader who fought for voting rights for women and equal rights for all.