Whetstone Gulf State Park – Lowville NY

Whetstone Gulf State Park – Lowville NY

Located along a three-mile long gorge, Whetstone Gulf State Park features a small campground with 62 sites (24 of which are electric). The sites are all very spacious and mostly wooded, with two picnic tables per site as well as a stone campfire pit. The campground offers flush toilets and hot showers, a single washer/dryer room ($1 per wash/$2 per dry), a designated swimming area and beach, and easy access to a few hiking trails including a five-mile loop around…

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Green Lakes State Park – Fayetteville NY

Green Lakes State Park – Fayetteville NY

Green Lakes State Park is aptly named, as the centerpieces of the park are two glacial lakes showcasing a deep green to turquoise hue. These lakes were formed roughly 14,000 years ago during the last ice age when the massive ice sheet covering this area of New York gradually receded northward as the climate warmed. The torrents of water from the melting ice carved out two deep basins, which became Green Lake and Round Lake because all of the more…

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Along the Shores of Seneca Lake

Along the Shores of Seneca Lake

As we talked with more and more people about our travel plan to drive through the Finger Lakes, nearly everyone who had visited the area told us not to miss Watkins Glen. We weren’t originally planning to stop in the Glen because our planned route took us around rather than through the southern end of Seneca Lake. Earlier in the summer we booked five nights at Sampson State Park, which is roughly 25 miles north of Watkins Glen. Because we…

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First Taste of the Finger Lakes

First Taste of the Finger Lakes

Driving into the Finger Lakes region for the first time was an oddly familiar experience for two people raised in and around Pennsylvania farm towns. If not for the road signs proving that we were indeed in the state of New York, the area could easily be mistaken for Cross Roads, Fawn Grove, Sidman, or any other area with a strong farming backbone. That is, until you see the first winery, followed quickly by a second, then a third, maybe…

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Ives Run Campground

Ives Run Campground

As we departed the Loleta Recreation Area, our journey took us out of the Allegheny National Forest before connecting to PA Route 6, named by National Geographic as “one of America’s most scenic drives.” We passed a sign for Route 666 (cue the AC/DC music in the background), saw a place called Inferno Tattoo, kept driving past a sign for Burning Well, definitely did not stop at the Wolf Den Motel, and soon wondered where exactly this scenic route was…

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Loleta Recreation Area, Allegheny National Forest

Loleta Recreation Area, Allegheny National Forest

Located at the southern edge of the Allegheny National Forest, the Loleta Recreation Area is one of 43 designated recreation areas inside the national forest, with facilities ranging from simple boat launch ramps to full campgrounds with electric hookups and modern bathhouses. The Loleta area features 38 campsites between two loops, with the non-electric campsites in the upper loop recommended for tents and small RVs, and the electric campsites in the lower loop suitable for tents and RVs up to…

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Portage, Raystown, and Beyond

Portage, Raystown, and Beyond

Boaters on Raystown Lake speak of a legend with the nickname “Raystown”, a man seemingly capable of repairing anything with an engine. The legend stems from his ability on the water and the origin of his houseboat, a vessel he acquired and then completely overhauled and repaired to once again make it lakeworthy (you can read the whole story here). On one weekend in July, we were lucky enough to spend a couple of days on the lake with the…

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The Sun Sets on Our Time in Sidman

The Sun Sets on Our Time in Sidman

As the last of the Fourth of July fireworks once again fade into memory, our time in Sidman quickly draws to a close. We’ve nearly finalized our travel plans through Labor Day weekend as these first few days of July slip by, and while we’re anxious to hit the road again, we remain reluctant to actually leave. The past few weeks were well-spent reconnecting with family, lending a helping hand when possible, and forging new stories to tell around future…

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Of Thunder and Floods – Johnstown PA

Of Thunder and Floods – Johnstown PA

Nestled in a deep valley at the confluence of the Little Conemaugh and Stonycreek River, Johnstown PA stands as a testament to the tenacity and resilience of early settlers and the American industrial complex.  Settled in 1770 by German immigrants, Johnstown was originally named “Schantzstadt” in 1800 but the name quickly became anglicized to the modern version.  Over the first half of the 19th century, the city grew into a thriving port and transfer point along the Pennsylvania Main Line…

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Exploring Bedford and Cambria Counties

Exploring Bedford and Cambria Counties

Thanks for joining us today – we’d like to start by inviting you along for a virtual stroll down the winding country lane into the small town of Sidman PA.  Don’t worry about packing a snack, we’ll have a couple of treats along the way.  Just stay on the left side of the road and be careful around the corners.  Ready to go?  Our first stop will be a short hiking trail along Laurel Run on the east side of…

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