When our Fall vacation had to shift two weeks early due to work commitments, it started to seem a bit late to plan a European trip. Especially as I had to go to Montreal for work the week before that.
Considering various drivable locations instead of Europe, we came up with:
- Two days in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Three days in the Finger Lakes area of New York
- Two days in Prince Edward county
Yes, those are all areas with numerous wineries, so we did do some tasting and drinking (and eating to go with it). But they are also quite beautiful areas that get great Fall colours.
In Niagara, we did some hiking on the gorgeous Thanksgiving Monday in the Niagara Escarpment (where is nearer Niagara Falls than Niagara-on-the-Lake). You take steel steps down into the escarpment to a series of trails. The waterfront is especially gorgeous—the water is teal-coloured (like Lake Louise), for some reason.
The Finger Lakes area is particularly known for its gorges and waterfalls, and hiking options are plentiful. The first one we attempted was short distance-wise, but had the built-in challenge of having to walk through a creek to get a good view of the waterfall. Given that I had waterproof boots on, it was fun.
Buttermilk Falls, the next day, was a longer, gorgeous walk near Ithaca. It offered great views of the waterfall and gorge the whole way.
We went for a second hike that same day: to Taughannock Falls. This one took more effort (largely in the form of stairs) before we got to the views. (We’d been here on our last visit, but had taken a different trail then.)
While in the Finger Lakes area, we also took the time to visit the Corning Glass Museum. It was interesting, with exhibits on the use of glass in industry, medicine, and science; live demos of glass-makings; historical glass artifacts; and many glass art works.
We took time for one final hike on our travel day between Finger Lakes and Prince Edward County, to cutely named Tinker Falls. It was a more rainy day but we got enough of break to do a shorter but very cool trail that brought us to, behind, then up and around the waterfall area.
Prince Edward County does not have falls, gorges, and ravines; it’s more of a pastoral country area. Pretty also, though.