History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Eastern Region

history waypoints

History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Eastern Region

Eastern Finger Lakes Region: Watkins Glen, New York United States

Created By: Diane Lebo Wallace

Tour Information

Features key places of historic, cultural, and environmental interest near the Eastern region of the main Finger Lakes Trail, a 586-mile long-distance walking path across New York State.

Learn more about the Finger Lakes Trail System

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Watkins Glen won its place in motorsports history on October 2, 1948, when the first post-World War II road race was hosted on its village streets. Learn more about the historic circuitDrive the original 6.6-mile Grand Prix course, it's a... Read more
The village of Watkins Glen, first settled in 1791, is known for its spectacular state park and its long history of auto racing. The settlement of the village began in 1791. First named "Jefferson" in 1842, the village was later renamed in ... Read more
Known for its natural beauty, the Watkins Glen State Park features a series of waterfalls and gorges with an almost two-mile hike passing 19 waterfalls and ascending over 800 stone steps. The glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot ... Read more
At this spot the green flag dropped for 23 sports cars to start the first road race in the United States after World War II. The event was sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), sponsored by the Village of Watkins Glen, and at... Read more
Historic Montour Falls with its spectacular Chequaga Falls in the heart of downtown is home to seven natural glens and more than 20 waterfalls. It features multiple nearby points of interest: Montour Falls Historic District: Officially plac... Read more
The primary purposes of Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is the largest WMA in New York State, encompassing 11,237 acres. It is... Read more
The winding trails at Robert H. Treman State Park follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls. Amenities include camping sites for tents and RVs; cabins, swimming in a stream-fed pool beneath a waterfall, and n... Read more
It's worth a side trip from the Finger Lakes Trail (map M17) to visit the spectacular 165-foot falls. Buttermilk Falls State Park takes its name from the foaming cascade formed by Buttermilk Creek as it flows down the steep valley side towa... Read more
The History Center of Tompkins County offers exhibits, special events, and both guided and self-guided walking tours to help residents and visitors learn more about local history. It also engages individuals in education and research to pre... Read more
In April 1789 on four hundred acres of the old maize lands of the Iroquois three pioneers -- Jacob Yaple, Isaac Dumond and Peter Hinepaw from Kingston NY -- cast seed and in September 1789 brought their families. Twenty souls built house... Read more
The Paleontological Research Institution’s Museum of the Earth was established in 2003 to provide the general public with a unique opportunity to explore our world through a mix of natural history displays, interactive science features, a... Read more
The botanic gardens on the Cornell University campus feature an arboretum, wildflower garden, herb garden, and extensive botanical collections along with miles of woodland and park-like trails through natural areas on and off campus. The Bo... Read more
Get to know the birds of the forests, farms, and waterways across New York State. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Visitor Center is filled with science exhibits and artwork, nestled within a 230-acre sanctuary with 4 miles of trails f... Read more
Danby State Forest is located on the Allegheny Plateau, which is made of sedimentary bedrock that formed some 350 million years ago when the region was covered by an ancient saltwater sea. Geologists believe that the plateau was created dur... Read more
The hamlet of Brooktondale was first settled in the late 18th century. It has a long farming history due to its abundant silt loam soil. After the Civil War, the newly constructed railroads transported the area’s ample agricultural produ... Read more
The Shindagin Hollow State Forest is located on the Allegheny Plateau, which is made of sedimentary bedrock that formed approximately 350 million years ago when the region was covered by an ancient saltwater sea. Geologists believe that the... Read more
The marker reads, "Iroquois hunting grounds, then Town #23 in military tract prior to being first settled in 1797. In 1817 became one of the first nine towns in Tompkins County."   Learn more about the markerExplore Dryden with the Dryden ... Read more
Hammond Hill State Forest is a popular area year-round for its network of trails suitable for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The forest was established between 1935 and 1950 in an effort to reduce soil e... Read more
The majority of Potato Hill State Forest was acquired in 1938 and 1940, with two additional purchases in 1975 and 1980. The name of this forest attests to the large scale planting of potatoes in the area by early Irish Immigrants. The highe... Read more
Robinson Hollow State Forest, like many of New York's state forests, had originally been cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Allegheny Plateau are thin, relatively s... Read more
Between 1931 and 1976, approximately 2,280,500 pine, spruce, cedar, larch and red oak were planted to aid in reforestation of the area. The trees were planted by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp S-125 based in Slaterv... Read more
Hoxie Gorge State Forest encompasses 2,115 acres of land. Public Forest Access Roads off of Steve Russell Hill Road provide 2.6 miles of recreational access. There are also two separate segments of accessible trails for those with impaired... Read more
The collection found throughout the 1890 House Museum offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time to 19th century Cortland. The unique history tells the stories of the Wickwire family, their servants, and the Wickwire Wire Mills Fac... Read more
The marker reads, "The boyhood home of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell was located near NYS 13 about 3-1/2 miles east of De Ruyter." Marker location: Latitude & Longitude: 42° 46' 37.6428", -75° 52' 35.5656" Near FLT Map ... Read more
The first pioneer settlements in this area began in 1784 when Deacon and Jesse Catlin created Catlin Settlement in what is now the hamlet of Lincklaen. The forested hills in this area were cleared for crops and pasture land. The settlers di... Read more
The Taylor Valley landscape is woven with a mix of northern hardwoods, hemlock, and conifer plantations. The wildlife and plants on both sides of the valley are quite abundant, and a large wetland complex located in the area only adds to th... Read more
The South Otselic Historic District includes 60 contributing buildings from commercial, residential, ecclesiastical, and industrial life. Among the notable buildings are the Methodist Church (ca. 1867), Gladding Corporation factory and off... Read more
Pharsalia WMA - the oldest WMA in New York State - has some of the largest blocks of forest in the region and supports a diversity of birds and other species which prefer such habitat. It is one of the few areas of the state outside the Adi... Read more
Following the recent rehabilitation of Berry Hill fire tower, which included upgrades to enhance safety and accessibility, the tower is now open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. Berry Hill is the only fire tower on public la... Read more
Bowman Lake State Park is a nearly 1,000-acre remote recreation and camping area Scenic park roads wind through evergreen and hardwood forests. A sandy lakefront offers swimming and light boating activities. The lake is regularly stocked wi... Read more
The forest is named after the stream and its tributaries that run though many sections of the forest. All of the surface water in Wiley Brook State Forest flows south to the Susquehanna River. Wiley Brook is a tributary to Yaleville Brook,... Read more


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