Friday Daytime Activities

Full Day Activities 

Explore Watkins Glen (Bus 1).  Since Watkins Glen is such a glorious destination, many of our activities today will center on this beautiful gorge. One bus will head to Watkins Glen for the morning for Easy to Moderate activities. If you opt to go to Watkins Glen for Friday Morning half-day, you will need to choose one of the three half-day morning activities below and either the visit to the Farm Sanctuary or to the winery when you register for your Friday activities. A group lunch spot will be determined in advance for those on this bus.

    Morning Half-Day Options: (Bus 1)

  • Watkins Glen AM 1: Easy-Moderate Hike. Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. If time allows, we'll continue past the upper parking lot along the Finger Lakes trail to a pavilion along a small lake formed by the river. Hike length will be approximately 3-4 miles. Elevation gain is 600' mostly on stone stairs. Bring: Hiking boots or sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera - Included 
  • Watkins Glen AM 2: Photography Tour. The spectacularly beautiful gorge at Watkins Glen is the backdrop as take a slow paced hike with camera in hand to capture a perfect photo.  Stone steps have been carved in the wall of the gorge to make climbing easier as we rise 400 feet over two miles.  There are 19 waterfalls in the gorge.  Do you have a lens that is wide enough to capture a high waterfall in this narrow gorge?  During the hike we will take the time for multiple photos at a variety of settings.  A small tripod may also be helpful in some well shaded areas.  You should be familiar with the basic functions of your camera. Hike length will be less than 3 miles. Elevation gain 600' mostly on stone stairs. Bring: Hiking boots or sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera. Included
  • Watkins Glen AM 3: Sketch the Glen. Learn to do very quick thumbnail pencil sketches of the Glen. This outing is suitable for beginners. We'll supply the guidance and effective instruction if you bring your own sketching pencils and a small sketch pad. Hike length will be less than 3 miles. Elevation gain 600' mostly on stone stairs. Bring: Hiking boots or sturdy shoes, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera, sketch pad and sketching pencils. Included

       Afternoon Half-Day Options: (Bus 1) For folks who visited Watkins Glen in the morning

  • Watkins Glen PM 1: Visit the Farm Sanctuary. The rescued animals at Farm Sanctuary love visitors as much as you’ll love touring the farm animal shelters. The Farm Sanctuary is home to hundreds of rescued cows, pigs, turkeys, and other farm animals — and each has a special story. Their stories of struggle and survival, against all odds, give the public insight into the realities farm animals face in the modern factory farming industry, but also introduce us to inspiring individuals through their heartwarming tales. After a one hour tour, where you'll meet a few farm animal friends, you can browse through an Education Center, filled with literature, videos, displays, and cruelty-free gift items. Bring: Camera, water, snacks. Cost: $6
  • Watkins Glen PM 2: Private Tasting at Magnus Ridge Winery. This is one of the more popular tasting rooms near Watkins Glen, and you will get a chance to taste wine and hard cider along with cheese pairings for the wine. We'll head to our private tasting room for a guided tasting, after which we'll be free to browse items at the extensive wine-inspired gift shop, check out the cafe in the back room, and enjoy a glass of wine and snacks out on the pretty patio overlooking a small garden and koi pond.  Bring: Camera, water, snacks. Cost: $7 includes private group wine tasting (and one cider) with cheese pairings. Additional hard cider tastings are extra. 

Below are other Full-Day options that may visit Watkins Glen at some point during the day. See activity descriptions for details.

***SOLD OUT*** Set Sail on Schooner True Love & Visit Watkins Glen State Park (Bus 2). We'll start our day with a sail aboard the vintage 1926 John Alden Malabar VII Schooner "True Love" that was featured in the 1956 movie "High Society" (Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby). "True Love" is just that .....True Love. She is a beautiful and magical sailing schooner that is said to have a profound impact on all who sail her. This is a truly stunning vessel from another age that has been lovingly restored, modernized and coast guard certified. This is a unique way to enjoy the deep blue splendors of Seneca Lake so bring your cameras! After the cruise, we'll enjoy lunch at the fun Wildflower Cafe in the town of Watkins Glen, before walking an additional 5 blocks up to Watkins Glen State Park, where we'll explore the Gorge Trail and the 19 waterfalls in the glen (see description above). Bring: hiking boots or sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera. Cost: $32 for the cruise.***This activity has sold out and you can no longer register for it.***

***SOLD OUT*** Morning Paddle & Hike in Catharine Creek Marsh, and Afternoon Visit to Watkins Glen State Park (Bus 2). We'll start out from the harbor in the picturesque village of Watkins Glen, then kayak through a canal into Seneca Lake and into Catharine Creek. Once we reach the Catharine Creek Marsh we will disembark for a hike. The abundance of plant life in the marsh provides ideal habitat for a diversity of wildlife from small insects to turtles, muskrats, ducks, beaver, deer, and great blue herons. There are hiking trails and wetlands to explore. We will spend about 45 minutes paddling to the marsh, an hour and a half exploring the marsh and another 45 minutes back. This is a guided tour by Summit and Stream Adventures. Bring: Water shoes, Hiking boots or sturdy shoes that can get wet, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, hat, and plenty of water. Cost: $54. Minimum of 8 people; maximum of 12. ***This activity has sold out and you can no longer register for it****

***SOLD OUT***Strenuous Hike: A Day of Waterfalls. For those who want to experience the best waterfalls of the Watkins Glen area, we present this all-day hike.  First stop -- the world-famous Watkins Glen hike. Since this group will have its own van, the group can take its time exploring both the splendor of the gorge and the more quiet solitude of the glen rim.  Once back at the van, the group will travel to the practically unknown Excelsior Glen, an undeveloped gorge only a few miles away. Here, you'll spend two hours following a faint trail up a gorge, at times crossing and re-crossing the river on rocks. A good sense of balance and caution will be required for this area, as there are some slippery spots. About 45 minutes from the road, the trip ends beneath another grand waterfall.  Once back at the car, we'll make a stop in town at the Colonial Inn for some of the best homemade ice cream you'll ever have (served in one of the biggest scoops you'll ever see).  From there, we head south to the nearby Town of Montour Falls, where we'll stop and visit three -- count 'em -- roadside waterfalls: Aunt Sarah's Fall, She-Qua-Ga Falls and Havana Glen. By the time you're done and on your way back to camp, you'll have a camera full of spectacular footage and a day of spectacular memories. Hike length: 8 miles.  Bring: hiking boots or sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, lunch, camera. Included.  ***This activity has sold out and you can no longer register for it.***

Bike the Catharine Valley Trail.  The 24 mile (12 miles each way) Catherine Valley bike trail is an abandoned railway line with paved sections and primarily hard gravel surfaces. Because it was a railway line, the grade slopes are very gentle. The trail starts in the town of Watkins Glen and passes beside the river south of Seneca Lake where you can admire the big boats cruising along beside you. In the town of Montour Falls, you’ll have to take a few moments to admire the stunning Chequaga Falls that cascade down a rugged rock formation, in amongst the various historic properties that line the streets of the town. The rest of the trail takes you through beautiful forested territory, with a steep cliff on one side of the path and a wooded hill to the other. We'll stop for lunch in the village of Millport under the picnic shelter. Pop over to the main drag in town and check out the gluten free store housed in a 150 year old building. You’ll think you’ve been transported back in time. The ride back is even better than the ride out, because it’s mostly downhill all the way, and you can look forward to an ice cream when you return to Watkins Glen. Bikers must wear helmets and bring water, lunch, sunscreen, and a fanny pack to put it all in. Cost: $26 includes bike rental, delivery & pickup

***SOLD OUT*** Historical Tour: Rose Hill Mansion, Ganondagon, and Sonnenberg Mansion. . Experience a taste of 19th-century life when you visit Rose Hill Mansion, a National Historic landmark in the beautiful Finger Lakes. Built in 1839, the elegant Greek Revival house was the center of a busy and productive farm. The tour focuses on the Swan family, who lived in the house from 1850-1890. Through letters, photographs, and diaries, explore the family’s joys and sorrows and their interactions with neighbors and the many workers required to keep the large house and farm in working order. Next we'll step back further in history to Ganaondagon, the site of a Native American community that was a flourishing, vibrant center for the Seneca people. Americans everywhere owe a debt to the Seneca people; as one of the six nations comprising the Iroquois Confederacy, their democratic ideals served as an inspiration for the U.S. Constitution. Visit this site where thousands of Seneca lived 300 years ago, tour a full-size replica of a 17th-century Seneca Bark Longhouse, walk the Medicine Walk Hike, climb the mesa where a huge palisaded granary stored hundreds of thousands of bushels of corn, and learn about the destruction of Ganondagan, Town of Peace, in 1687. The 2-mile Medicine Walk Hike has information about plants that were traditionally useful to the Seneca. Finally, we'll end our day of historical exploration at Sonnenberg Gardens, a New York State Historic Park offering one of the few remaining estates in the U.S. with a Queen Anne-style mansion and formal gardens. Built in 1887, Sonnenberg's 40-room Mansion offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like in the late nineteenth century.  Bring: sturdy shoes or sneakers, camera, bug spray, sunscreen, hat, water and lunch, snacks and/or money for purchases. Cost: $24. ***This activity is sold out and you can no longer register for it.***

Winery Tour. The Finger Lakes area is known for its amazing wineries; there are more than 200 in the area! Today, we'll go to three of the best to see what they have to offer. First up is Anthony Road where we'll tour their beautiful presentation garden, and the production and bottling area, before returning to the tasting room to sample their wines. Next up is the scenic Ventosa Vineyards, where we'll sample wines with cheese pairings, and enjoy lunch on their deck overlooking the lake. Bring your own, or buy lunch from their cafe. Their menu consists of soup, salads, panini, wraps, pizza, desserts and more - all made from the freshest ingredients grown in their gardens. Next up, we head over to Zugibe Vineyards, where we'll sample their award-winning wines with chocolate pairings. We'll relax outside on their spacious patio as the day winds down. Bring: camera, water and lunch/snacks and/or money for purchases. Cost: $28 includes private tour and tastings and a souvenir glass.

Half Day Morning Activities

CANCELLED. Intermediate/Advanced Horseback Riding. Wanna be the ultimate cowboy or cowgirl? Here’s your chance to spend a couple hours on an experienced horse that will carry you through the rolling landscape of the Finger Lakes Region on beautiful trails ranging from simple to rugged terrain. You’ll ride through Finger Lakes National Park, and marvel at the beautiful view of Seneca Lake and the surrounding hills. The stable staff pride themselves on matchmaking horse to rider, to give you the best experience possible. All trail rides include a briefing session and information about the horse that is selected for you. This activity is for intermediate to advanced riders only. Even though you may not ride on a regular basis, you have a firm seat, you are confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops). You must wear long pants and boots or closed toe shoes. Sandals, clogs and other open-toed shoes are not permitted. Bring along bug spray, sunscreen, a handheld camera and a fanny pack to hold it all. Cost: $99 includes 2-3 hour guided ride, safety briefing, all equipment and guide tip. This activity has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

In Camp: Boating from the Camp Dock. Want to sleep in and have a leisurely morning? The camp waterfront has canoes, row boats, sail boats, and more that you can take out on the lake. Included

In Camp: Sports/Athletics. Find a partner and play a game of tennis or ping-pong, or get a group together for hockey, softball, and more. Included

Half Day Afternoon Activities

In Camp: Nature Walk at Camp with Dave. We missed him last year, but our very own Dave Liebman is back to educate and amaze us with the flora and fauna of the area. Our camp sits on 200 acres, so there are many diverse habitats to explore. We'll learn about some of the critters and plants of the area. Included.

In Camp: Sports/Athletics. Find a partner and play a game of tennis or ping-pong, or get a group together for hockey, softball, and more. Included

In Camp: Pool Open. Come relax by the brand new pool with old and new friends. Included.

Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America Newsletter