Archive for the ‘Syracuse’ Category

By Elizabeth Doran | syracuse.com

Construction on the pedestrian bridge began in May. (Steven Billmyer/ sbillmyer@syracuse.com)

Construction on the pedestrian bridge began in May. (Steven Billmyer/ sbillmyer@syracuse.com)

The new pedestrian bridge connecting Fayetteville’s Canal Landing Park with the Erie Canal trail opened officially on July 1, 2013.

The bridge project, along with various other Canal Landing Park improvements, received two $150,000 awards from the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.

As part of the event, quad-amputee John Robinson and his family, joined by members of his disability rights advocacy organization, Our Ability, will pass through Fayetteville as part of “Journey the Erie Canal.”

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by David Figura | Syracuse.com, link to original post

Central New York is an outdoors wonderland. The diversity of eye-opening and mind-clearing settings a little more than an hour’s ride from Syracuse is incredible.

There’s picturesque waterfalls; lush, green hiking trails; multi-facted nature centers; the breath-taking scenery around the Finger Lakes; Adirondack-like woods; nationally recognized birding areas – ocean shore-like settings on Lake Ontario.

There’s 15 weekends, beginning with this weekend and extending through Labor Day. With that in mind, here are 15, great Central New York outdoors destinations that will reveal how generous Mother Nature has been to us.

Take the Figura Challenge. Visit them all this summer.

Take your family, your significant other or just check out the spots yourself. Pack a lunch or dinner. Make a morning, an afternoon or a day of it. Take pictures.

Send your experiences and photos to me at dfigura@syracuse.com. Briefly note what you liked, what you didn’t like and recommendations for others who are planning to visit there. I’ll compile your impressions each week on my outdoors page on Syracuse.com.

Have I left out any of your favorites? Drop me a line. The guidebooks from Footprint Press can provide maps & all the details you’ll need to explore these and other places. Meanwhile, here’s my list:

Birding in Central & Western NY

Birding in Central & Western NY

1). Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge: A mecca for bird lovers. Enough said. The refuge headquarters and visitor’s center is off Route 20, west of Auburn. For more, see fws.gov/refuge/montezuma or call 568-5987.

2). Fair Haven State Park: Features high bluffs above sandy beaches and hilly woodlands. Inland, there is Sterling Pond. Fishing is excellent and very accessible. Rowboats, paddleboats and canoes are for rent. The park is located off Route 104A in Fair Haven. For more, see nysparks.com/12 or call 947-5205.

3). Sterling Nature Center: This 1,400-acre nature center located in the northeastern corner of Cayuga County in the town of Sterling on Jensvold Road boasts more than 10 miles of hiking trails and two miles of lake shore. The center is open dawn to dusk. One particular highlight is its huge great blue heron rookery (nesting area). For more, see cayugacounty.us/web/Departments/Parks/Sterling or call 947-6143.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

4).Taughannock Falls: The hiking trails at this state park offer spectacular views and unique geological formations, including the 215-foot falls, which is 33 feet taller than Niagara and is the highest vertical single-drop waterfall in the Northeast. It’s located on the western side of Cayuga Lake off Route 89.For more, see nysparks.com/parks/62 or call 607-387-6739.

5). Fillmore Glen State Park: This park is an oasis of cool, dense woods crowding into a long, narrow gorge. Its hiking trails offer great views and unique geological formations, including five waterfalls and a botanically rich glen. Located off Route 38 in Moravia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/157 or call 497-0130.

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes

6). Bear Swamp: A picturesque state reforestation area in Sempronius, in southeastern Cayuga County off Route 41A, with several vantage points overlooking Skaneateles Lake. It contains about 15 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Enter by the Colonial Lodge restaurant/tavern in Sempronius. (It’s also a good place for a meal or drink afterward).

7). Baltimore Woods Nature Center: This outdoors gem, located off Bishop Road in Marcellus, features more than six miles of hiking trails, numerous outdoors-related programs and an interpretative center. A great place to check out woodland wildlflowers along hiking trails and also at the center’s Faust Garden. A heads up: no dogs allowed. For more, see baltimorewoods.org or call 673-1350.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

8). Beaver Lake Nature Center: The popular, county-run facility offers nine miles of hiking trails and more than 400 annual nature/outdoors-related programs. It offers a rich mix of habitats, that create the possibility of seeing more than 200 species of birds and more than 800 varieties of plants. It also features a small lake, which visitors can enjoy with rented kayaks and canoes. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/beaver-lake-nature center or call 638-2519.

9). Labrador Hollow Unique Area: Nestled in a valley on the Onondaga/Cortland county line on Route 91 east of Tully, this area offers an Adirondack-like, forestry feel and picturesque Tinker Falls in one part — and an expansive, bio-diverse wetland and pond made accessible by a raised boardwalk in another. The area’s 1,474 acres is a favorite spot for hikers, birders, nature lovers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

10) Highland Forest: This county run park, which is tagged the “Adirondacks of Central New York,” is located in southeastern Onondaga Couny in Fabius. It features more than 20 miles of year-old trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. It also overs group camping sites for youth and a huge lodge with an eye-opening view of a valley below. A self-guided nature trail is the perfect introductory hike. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/highland-forest or call 683-5550..

11). Pratt’s Falls: Scenic trails leading to a 137-foot waterfall beacon visitors to bring a well-stocked picnic basket and a sense of adventure at this county park, located on Pratt’s Falls Road in Manlius. In addition to hiking, Pratt’s Falls offers an archery range. This park has been used for national, state and local orienteering events that allow participants to navigate through a marked course using only a map and compass. For more, see onondagacountyparks.com/pratt-s-falls-park or call 435-5252.

12). Chittenango Falls State Park: An eye-opening, 167-foot waterfall is the main attraction. Glacial sculpting of 400-million-year-old bedrock is responsible for this scenic feature. An interesting variety of both plants and wildlife may be found along the trails. Located off Rathbun Road in Cazenovia. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/130 or call 655-5205.

13). Green Lakes State Park: The highlights of this popular park in Fayetteville include two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest. The lakes offer opportunities for swimming, fishing and boat rentals. Hikers, joggers and mountain bikers can take advantage of more than 10 miles of trails. Camping facilities are available. And yes, there’s also an 18-hole golf course. For more, see nysparks.com/parks/172 or call 637-6111.

14). Clark Reservation State Park: This park is a geologic wonder of the last ice age and a botanist’s paradise. The park’s natural features include rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops, woodland meadow, a wetland and glacial plunge basin lake in which surface waters and bottom waters do not mix. Features include five hiking trails. Fishermen and birders are frequently visitors here. For more see, nysparks.com/126 or call 492-1590.

15). Selkirk Shores State Park: This state park’s campsites overlook a bluff on Lake Ontario. In addition to Great Lakes swimming, visitors can expect outstanding fishing and sunsets, plus hiking and biking trails. Birders take note: It’s on the direct migration route for a wide variety of bird species. It’s located off Route 3 in Pulaski. For more, see nysparks.com/84 or call 298-5737.

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By Glenn Coin, syracuse.com, link to original post

The Central New York Land Trust has asked the state for permission to build a mile-long hiking trail through the woods and wetlands of the Riverwalk Nature Preserve in the town of Clay.

The trail would be built on about 100 acres donated to the trust in 2011 by the Bragman Companies, which built the adjacent Riverwalk development. That 178-home development was featured in the 2012 Parade of Homes.

The trust’s land near the Oneida River has numerous wetlands, which are regulated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Building the trail would require a number of bridges over wetlands areas.

Take A Hike - Finger Lakes

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

The trail, which has already been laid out, will meander through forest of old, large trees, including shagbark hickories, hemlocks and red and sugar maples, said Jeff Devine, executive director of the land trust. “The trail system will take visitors on an interpretive journey that highlights the various ecological communities and connects the interesting natural features of the site in a manner that preserves their integrity,” Devine said.

The area is open to the public now from a parking area on Guy Young Road, Devine said, but hiking is difficult. “You need boots,” he said. “It can get pretty wet in spots.”

Planning for the donation of the land and building of the trail started nine years ago, Devine said. He said he did not know when trail construction would start or when the trail might open to the public. “That depends on how quickly the permit gets approved,” he said.

In 2006, students at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry studied the property and proposed a variety of plans for the trail.

DEC is accepting comments on the proposal until May 23. Comments can be e-mailed or sent by regular mail to:
Kevin R Bliss
NYSDEC Region 7 Cortland Sub-Office
1285 Fisher Ave
Cortland, NY 13045

Copies of the plans are available in the DEC Cortland office.

For other hiking option in Central NY, pick up a copy of Take A Hike – Family Walks in New York’s Finger Lakes Region.

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Old Growth Trail at Green Lakes State Park

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Walk/Bike CNY is a new website sharing information on walking and biking opportunities in the Syracuse area.  In addition to highlighting the county’s trails, the site offers tips to stay safe while walking and biking.

source: PTNY newsletter

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Kayaking Seneca River and Onondaga Lake, Liverpool

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To best fulfill large stocking orders from U.S. sporting goods retailers, Swedish company Point65°N has moved production of its Apollo, Snap OnTop Kayaks to the Roth Global Plastics manufacturing facility in Syracuse, NY. Roth Global Plastics owns the world’s largest blow mold machine which can extrude up to 1,000 pounds of high-density polyethylene, enabling the production of items up to 15 feet long and 6 feet in diameter in its Syracuse plant. (The next largest machine in North America handles 250 pounds.)

“We are exceptionally pleased to bring the manufacturing of these products to Syracuse,” says Richard Ohman, Founder & Owner at Point65°N Kayaks, Sweden. “Roth provides not only the expertise and efficiencies we require to produce these boats, but offers technology not available in China.”

“It’s rare that foreign companies bring manufacturing into the United States and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said John Pezzi, the Roth’s Vice President of Plant Operations. “The seasonality of the recreational water sports is perfectly counter-cyclical to that of our septic tank manufacturing business and helps keep the facility at a higher overall level of utilization throughout the year.”

“As the exclusive U.S. Distributor for Point65°N kayaks, we find significant advantage in having these products manufactured just across town,” states Geoffrey Lewis, president of WYNIT Distribution, LLC. “Our product management team now has exceptional access to key stages of the production process, ensuring that all requirements for the delivery of these products to our retail customers are on-track and properly executed.”

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The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission has released its free, 2012 Erie Canalway Map & Guide to introduce residents and visitors to the many things to see and do in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. People can obtain a copy at visitor centers, libraries, cultural heritage sites, and canal locks all along the New York State Canal System.

The guide is also available for download online.

“Whether you like boating, cycling, history, nature, or simply spending time with friends and relatives, you’ll find things to do and places to discover all summer long,” said Erie Canalway Director Beth Sciumeca.

The eight page newspaper-style guide includes a map of the National Heritage Corridor, as well as a list of canal-related cultural heritage sites, boat rental and tour companies, places to cycle on the Erie Canalway Trail, and more.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said: “The annual Erie Canalway Map and Guide is a great way to get the word out on all there is to see and do across New York’s historic, scenic Canal Corridor throughout the year. We are proud to partner with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor on this excellent publication to help make it possible.”

Funding support for the guide was provided by the New York State Canal Corporation and Brookfield Renewable Energy Group. The guide reinforces Brookfield’s message regarding the importance of safety on the waterway.

The map and guide, along with the website , are among the efforts by the heritage corridor commission to increase awareness about the waterway, trail, and national significance of the Erie Canal.

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Click here to read: Hiker impressed by ‘Inukshuk’ he found on Finger Lakes Trail, south of Syracuse

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The Cranx Indoor Bike and Sports Park in DeWitt offers fun for everyone

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