The Finger Lakes region of Upstate, NY is most famous for its wineries that produce a wide variety of mostly sweet white wines. A visit to the area is typically associated with weekends spent indulging in too much of the sweet stuff while trying to visit as many of the wineries as possible. Much to our surprise, it turns out that the area has a lot more to offer, especially if you love the outdoors. So when we were fortunate enough to be invited to take a trip kayaking the Chemung River in Elmira, NY with Southern Tier Kayaking Tours, you can bet we jumped at the chance to take in some beautiful scenery and clean fresh air.
Kayaking has quickly become one of our favorite ways to get out and explore a new area. The combination of being out on the water and partaking in an activity that lets you both be active, (when paddling) or just be lazy (while letting the current float you down the river) is what Lauren and I would call the perfect day. Having never been to the area, we elected to take the Paddle the Palisades tour and enjoy a 6-mile guided trip. That way we could learn about the local wildlife and take in the sights, while not having to worry about plotting a course.
Our trip began just South of the city of Corning, NY where we met up with the crew from Southern Tier. They had everything waiting and ready for us, which means it was only minutes before we were in the water and on our way. Of course we had to get our life jackets on and learn the basics of kayaking safety first.
Once in the water, we were on our way down the river.
Within moments we had out first wildlife spotting (geese totally count )
Even though it was early Spring and the leaves hadn’t come in yet, the views were absolutely stunning.
After paddling (and coasting) for a few miles, our guide gave us the option to stop for a bit and explore one of the banks of the river.
It was a great way to stretch our legs a bit and explore an area that was otherwise inaccessible. Our guides made the experience extra cool by taking the time to educate us on the area and show us some of the fossils that dated back to when this whole area was covered in the glacial ice that formed the Finger Lakes.
We also got to see some of the smaller bits of wildlife that call the Chemung river home.
After playing on land for a bit, it was time for us to get back into the water and make our way down the rest of the Chemung River. We finished up our trip at Fitch Bridge right outside of the town of Elmira, NY, and then rode back to our car in style!
Overall the tour was about 2.5 hours and was definitely on the easy side as far as the activity level goes. The crew was extremely friendly and informative and let us go at a pace that was comfortable for us. In addition to our trip along the Chemung River Southern Tier offers quite a few different kayaking packages, as well as custom tour planning for a more involved trip.
Details for Southern Tier Kayaking Tours