Welcome to the first official week of summer in the Finger Lakes! At Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, we're so excited about the warm and sunny days ahead, that we're dedicating a full week of blogs to what each Finger Lakes Insider is most looking forward to this summer!

School is out, the weather is warming, and summer has officially started!  With each day slightly shorter than the last, Campfire at Cheerful Valley, Finger Lakesthere are so many things that I look forward to in the summer.  Bonfires with my friends at their lake houses include things like s’mores, and roasted hot dogs.  The sweet mixture of the hot marshmallow and milk chocolate goes absolutely perfect with the crumbly graham crackers, and that IS the taste of summer.  Although our hands and faces get sticky with all the sugar, we laugh it off, and jump in the lake for a late-night swim.  The warm water against the cool air feels great and we rinse the chocolate and marshmallow from our faces. 

When I’m not at my friends’ lake houses, you can often find me swimming and hiking at Onanda Park.  It is incredibly amazing.  One of the main reasons that draws me there is the natural beauty of the waterfall which flows so gracefully, leaving me in awe every time.  With the option of hiking in the water or up the path, I have the ability to pick hiking in the water on a really warm day or hiking the path on a Onanda Park - Canandaigua, Finger Lakescooler day.  In the summer, surrounding streams warm up, even in the shady parts of Onanda Park.  However, opportunities for walking through water aren’t limited to Onanda, seeing as there are so many streams and brooks to play in around Canandaigua, which includes Sucker Brook.  The brook ends up leading out to Canandaigua Lake and is always filled with frogs, small fish, and children looking to see what they can find.

The Ontario County Pathways has always been one of my favorite parts of the Finger Lakes.  I recall wandering down the twenty-three mile pathway and being blown away by its pure beauty.  The quiet peacefulness of the path left me breathless.  In the summer, the trees slightly hang over the path, leaving it nice and cool to walk, run, or even ride your bike. Every once in a while I have been quiet and fortunate enough to see a chipmunk or deer meandering about.   The amount of wildlife there is stunning.

With peacefulness on the mind, the lake is an amazing place to go.  Whether I’m on a boat, a kayak or canoe, swimming, or on the Canandaigua Lady, the lake always puts me at ease. Its crystal blue water and warm temperatures make any day enjoyable.  There are plenty of places to fish from, such as the pier and the Canandaigua Outlet.  Squaw Island is also located in Canandaigua Lake.  Once used as a Seneca refuge place for the Seneca women and children, the small island is still filled with trees and birds.  As New York State’s smallest state park, Squaw Island sure does get a lot of attention!

Great food, friendly people, and special trips to get ice cream at A’s Sweets ‘N Treats in Cheshire make my summer so much fun, and exciting.  These are just a few of the things I get excited about doing in the Finger Lakes in the summertime.