Trail description

Framing Seneca Lake Valley.

We'll leave the cozy Red House Country Inn and head to Seneca Lake. As you exit the driveway, turn right (South) onto Burnt Hill Rd for .3 mile and watch for the Ravine Trail on your left. Take the Ravine Trail for .25 miles for a gentle ascent through a fern-filled forest til you get to the Interloken Trail. Head South on the Interloken Trail for less than a mile til you reach Matthews Rd. The Interloken Trail takes you through forest and pasture. In late May, I saw (and smelled) fragrant pink azaleas as well as Mayapples just setting their fruit and wild turkeys scuttling across the trail. Right before you hit Matthews Rd, you'll cross a meadow with grand views across Seneca Lake. I wondered what kind of hawk would nest in the bird house towering above the field? We saw no trace of a tenant but we did see bobolinks bobbing across the meadow singing their songs-perhaps luring us (and maybe the grazing cows) away from their ground nests.

After crossing the pasture (and closing the gate), turn right (West) on Matthews Rd (unmarked). We'll follow this country road, lined with trees for much of the first half, then farms and vineyards for the second half. We'll have some great views of Seneca Lake as we travel to our B&B.

Fringed Polygala along the Trail

Today's hike is much shorter (less than 5 miles) but you're rewarded with a wine tasting or beer tasting at the end. Follow Matthews Rd, passing County Rd. 4, Satterly Hill Rd (which we'll take tomorrow) and continue on Matthews Rd til you get to the stop sign on State Rd 414. If you are tired, you can head North for .4 miles to the Magnolia House B&B but if you have some energy, turn South. An even shorter highway trek will take you to Chateau Lafayette Reneau winery or Atwater Estate Winery or if you are a beer drinker to the 2 Goats Brewery. Save your appetite for Stone Cat (unless you want a yummy roast beef sandwich which is it for the food menu at 2 Goats) Either way-left or right at the stop sign--you've got it made. But, be careful, Rt. 414 is a busy stretch of road so be mindful of cars turning into driveways and fast-moving traffic.

Culinary aside:

This is hardly an aside since Stonecat is one of my favorite restaurants on Seneca Lake. In fact, I planned my B&B so I could be within walking distance to Stonecat Café.(Google maps says "200 ft or 43 seconds to walk"). Whether dining on the outdoor deck with the gardens in the foreground and the sunset on the horizon or seated at inside elegance, you'll find menus that change with the season-- lots of local ingredients and some of the best smoked meat & fish in the area. Try their Farinata, a yummy chickpea pancake topped with a local blue cheese (or maybe the Pub Plate for that juniper smoked sausage) for a starter or some of "cult favorites" that are always on the menu for dinner. Vegans, vegetarians, gluten-freetarians, and omnivores will all find good selections at Stonecat. The wine selections are equally local and they have a great little bar where you'll find pub grub, local beers, wines, and spirits as well as an occasional winemaker.

Food & Lodging:

I chose the combination of the Magnolia Place B&B and Stonecat. It was a short walk from the Red House Country Inn and it allowed us to do some wine-tasting and beer sampling-and get to one of my favorite restaurants. Another option would be a longer hike from the Red House and a stay at the Fox & Grapes B&B and Dano's Heuriger for dinner. This would lead you through the northern part of the Finger Lakes Forest and you could take the No-Tan-Takto Trail north and come back via the Interloken Trail (see the Cayuga Trails Club maps and descriptions). The important part is to stay off 414 and hike through the FLNF and the country roads leading down to 414. If you do take the longer route, you'll find yourself back at the Red House for another night before heading down to Seneca Lake or Watkins Glen.

Traveling the Trails.
Following the Railroads and Canal from Lake to Lake.

Day 3
Finger Lakes Forest to Seneca Lake

View Day 3 in a larger map