Riding and Paddling in the Finger Lakes

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Two memorable outings in a beautiful part of New York State

We set out from Corning New York toward the village of Watkins Glen, which to me only conjures up the famous racetrack…and specifically, a few concerts that have taken place over the years that jogged my memory.

But Watkins Glen is much more than racing cars, though the track IS pretty cool, a winding 4 miler that is one of only two curvy tracks like this used in NASCAR events. The village is set on the bottom of one of the largest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake, and we set out on kayaks to explore it.

At the far end is a giant plant that I thought was a paper mill, but it actually one of two salt factories on the lake. They have pipes that go below the lake and mine the salt, these two factories produce rock salt, the kind you use for softening water.

At the far side of the lake are striking cliffs, some marred by graffiti, and others still displaying paintings made by Indians who first lived here long ago.

As usual, paddling on a sunny morning with fun people is something that can’t be beat, and I enjoyed my new TBEX friends as we paddled toward the cliffs.

The day got even better when we drove north to Burdett, where we met the women behind Painted Bar Stables, who offer horseback riding, lessons, and boarding. Erica, the boss woman, and a true horsewoman entertained us with her spiel about the personalities of each horse and matched us all up perfectly with the right steed.

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Erica told me that she bought 100 acres here in Burdett for $2500 per acre and that this area is full of homes with horses in the back. It’s pretty common to have a small place and still have your own horse. She is interested in sharing tales about traveling with a horse and attended our TBEX conference to learn more.

Riding on a trail on a pretty day is magical. There is just something about being on a horse that makes me happy.

Painted Bar Stables, Burdett NY.