The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘East Syracuse NY’

July 2 Sightseeing Activities – Green Lakes State Park

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area. This blog post is a continuation of sightseeing activities on Sunday, July 2 (day 2 of our weekend getaway). In previous blog posts, I wrote about an unplanned stop in Manlius NY, a planned stop at Chittenango Falls State Park and our drive around Oneida Lake.

Our last sightseeing stop for the day was at Green Lakes State Park.  Earlier this year we purchased an annual New York State Park Empire Pass that provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks and recreation facilities.   Green Lakes State Park was one of three New York State parks at which we used our Empire Pass during our weekend getaway.

Green Lakes State Park features two small lakes, Green Lake and Round Lake, which have an unusual blue-green color.  The lakes lie at the base of a gorge.  The lakes and the gorge are remnants from the end of the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago.  Green Lake and Round Lake are probably the remnants of the plunge pools of enormous waterfalls that existed during the ice age.  As expected for plunge pools, the lakes are fairly deep in comparison to their area.  Round Lake has a maximum depth of 170 feet: Green Lake has a maximum depth of 195 feet.

There is a level loop trail around Green Lake and Round Lake.  There is a short trail between Green Lake and Round Lake that connects the two lakes.  All together, the trail around the lakes is 3.25 miles.  I can easily bicycle 3 miles on level ground; however, no bicycles are allowed on the trails around the two lakes.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to walk all the way around the two lakes, but that is what we planned when discussing our weekend getaway.

At its northern end, Green Lake has a sandy swimming beach, lawns for sunbathing and picnics, a building with changing facilities and a concession stand.  Visitors can easily reach Green Lake and begin walking the trail around the two lakes from there.

_LG22393Green Lake

When we arrived at Green Lakes State Park, it was too hot and humid for a pleasant walk around Green Lake and Round Lake.  We decided to walk around Round Lake.  We drove through the park, looking for easy access to Round Lake.  We learned that the only ways to reach Round Lake was either by walking around Green Lake or by hiking down steep cliffs.  We settled for a hike from the camp store near the Pine Woods Camping Area down to Round Lake and back up.

_LG22392Round Lake
It was definitely worth the hike down to the lake!
Look at that gorgeous blue/green color of the lake!

I would like to make a return trip to Green Lakes State Park and attempt the walk around both lakes.  Perhaps a fall trip would be best, when the air is cooler and less humid.

Before returning to our hotel, we stopped for dinner at Grimaldi’s Ristorante.  The restaurant is located within walking distance of the hotel at which we stayed.

20170702_210358994_iOSBob at Grimaldi’s Ristorante

We highly recommend this restaurant. The entrees were generously proportioned; the food was delicious; and the service was excellent.

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Our Main entrees at Grimalidi’s

Bob had Homemade Lasagna; I had Chicken Parmigiana, served with Rigatoni. Our meals included crusty bread and salad.

A plate of cotton candy served with the bill was totally unexpected.  What a pleasant surprise!  Neither of us has had cotton candy in a great many years.

20170702_214153240_iOS
Bubblegum-flavored Cotton Candy

In case you are wondering, we didn’t eat the entire plate of cotton candy.  We left most of it behind!

We returned to the hotel at 6:00 pm, where we stayed in for rest of evening.

Warren PA to East Syracuse NY

We departed home at 6:50 am, on July 1 (Saturday) en route the Syracuse NY area for a 2-night stay. It was thundering and raining, when we left home.

We ate breakfast in Frewsburg NY at Sally’s Deli & Catering.

Sallys_Deli-portrait-16x20-vertical-01

On Saturday Sally’s has a breakfast buffet, beginning at 7:00 am. It was our first time there. I am glad that we chanced upon it, while looking for a place to eat. Sally’s is a tiny place, with a pleasant dining area. The breakfast selections that included scrambled eggs, bacon, corned beef and potatoes, potato casserole, sausage, French toast, pancakes, fruit, pastries and hot beverages were more than adequate. The food was delicious. We liked everything, with possibly the exception of the corned beef and potatoes. I am sure it was a personal taste issue in regard to the corned beef and potatoes.

The rain stopped, while we were eating breakfast. We caught up with the rain again a short ways west of the Friendship/Boliver exit on Interstate 86.  We drove in and out of rain rest of the way to Syracuse. For the most part, the rain didn’t last long.

Our next stop, after breakfast, was in the village of Honeoye Falls. The small village of Honeoye Falls is located approximately fifteen miles southeast of Rochester, NY.  The village includes a small waterfall on Honeoye Creek, which flows through the village and gives it its name.

_LG22248Honeoye Falls, NY

This was our first time in Honeoye Falls. How we missed knowing about this village is beyond me. We have been within a few miles of the village many times over the past 19 years. Now that we know of its existence and how picturesque the village is, I am sure we will make a return trip to Honeoye Falls sometime in the future.

We stopped for lunch at the Clifton Springs Travel Plaza on Interstate 90. Our lunch at Burger King (a Whooper with Cheese meal and a Junior Whooper with Cheese meal) was much more expensive than the cost at home! I should have planned this trip better and brought along food for picnic-style lunches.

Before stopping for lunch a couple accidents had slowed traffic on Interstate 90. Interstate traffic was moving well, after lunch.

Around 1:00 pm we stopped at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We saw lots of geese, a few great blue herons, and several ducks.

_LG22266Great Blue Heron

_LG22270Canadian Goose

_LG22292Close-up Picture of Canadian Goose

_LG22284Duck Family

It thundered and rained about halfway around the 3.5 mile Wildlife Drive. We stopped near the end of the drive and waited out the rain. Near the end of Wildlife Drive is a new viewing platform and eagle monument.  It stopped raining momentarily, and I snapped a picture of the new structures.

_LG22301New Viewing Platform and Eagle Monument at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

The eagle monument was built In honor of the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Soon it began to rain again.

We departed Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge around 2:00 pm. We were notified a few times of severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings, soon after departing the refuge.  The rain and wind were pretty wild, as we made our way east!

We stopped at an indoor flea market, located in Elbridge NY along NY Route 5. We shopped, while waiting for the storm to get ahead of us. There was a nice selection of merchandise, reasonably priced. I came out of the store empty handed, though.  The stop served its purpose, as the storm did get ahead of us.

_LG22305Storm Chasing

The white building seen in the photograph displayed above is the Inn Between Restaurant, located in Camillus NY.  The restaurant provided an excellent contrast against the dark sky.

We checked into Best Western Plus East Syracuse around 3:30 pm. Our room number was 225.  We turned off the air conditioning soon after entering the room. The room stayed comfortably cool throughout rest of the afternoon and evening. Our room was comfortable, but small.  The walking space between the furniture was narrow.  The bathroom was of moderate size. Our room included a microwave, refrigerator and single-serve coffee maker. There were both tea bags and coffee in the room for the preparation of hot beverages. In my experience tea bags aren’t always provided, along with coffee.  There is a beverage station in the lobby, too, where hot beverages may be obtained. I read that the hotel was recently renovated. Our room appeared to be fairly new. We spent 2 nights here, using reward points as payment.

We ate dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s, located within walking distance of hotel. We took the car, though, in case it rained. It didn’t rain. We both ordered chicken entrees, with the garden salad bar.

Rather than order dessert at Ruby Tuesday’s, we went to a nearby Dairy Queen and ordered small blizzards.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Rite Aid and picked up beverages and snacks. It was around 6:00 pm, when we made it back to the hotel. We stayed in for rest of the night.

Please check back later.  I will be sharing additional blog posts about our East Syracuse NY Weekend Getaway in the near future.

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