The Finger Lakes region is a treasure trove of exploration, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and artisanal craftsmanship. For those with a passion for adventure, we’ve curated the ultimate guide to pair Finger Lakes breweries with nearby hikes. Let’s dive into the journey!
1. Brewery: Ithaca Beer Co. – Hike: Robert H. Treman State Park
Ithaca Beer Co.
Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, Ithaca Beer Co. is a beacon for craft beer enthusiasts. Established in 1998, this brewery has been at the forefront of the craft beer movement, offering a wide array of brews that cater to all tastes. From their flagship Flower Power IPA to their seasonal selections, there’s something for everyone.
Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the brewery, where they’ll learn about the brewing process, ingredients, and the passion behind each pint. The on-site taproom offers a cozy ambiance, perfect for savoring a flight of beers or indulging in their farm-to-table menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Address: 122 Ithaca Beer Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850 Website: Ithaca Beer Co. Phone: (607) 273-0766
Hike: Robert H. Treman State Park
Just a short drive from Ithaca Beer Co., Robert H. Treman State Park offers an unparalleled hiking experience. The park is home to twelve waterfalls, including the stunning 115-foot Lucifer Falls. The Gorge Trail, a 4.5-mile round-trip hike, takes you through rugged gorges, past cascading waterfalls, and along the serene Enfield Creek.
The park’s rich history is evident in the preserved Old Mill, which dates back to the 1830s. For those looking to extend their adventure, the park offers camping facilities, picnic areas, and a swimming hole fed by natural springs.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, Robert H. Treman State Park provides a variety of trails to suit all abilities. The breathtaking scenery and well-maintained paths make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
Address: 105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 Website: Robert H. Treman State Park Phone: (607) 273-3440
2. Brewery: Wagner Valley Brewing Co. – Hike: Seneca Lake Trail
Wagner Valley Brewing Co.
Situated on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Wagner Valley Brewing Co. is one of the oldest craft breweries in the Finger Lakes region. Established in 1997, it’s part of the Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery, offering a unique blend of wine and beer experiences.
The brewery features a diverse selection of handcrafted beers, ranging from traditional lagers to robust stouts. Their Sled Dog Doppelbock is a local favorite, boasting rich flavors and a smooth finish. Visitors can enjoy a guided brewery tour, where they’ll witness the art of brewing and learn about the history of this family-owned establishment.
The Ginny Lee Café, located on-site, offers a delightful menu that pairs perfectly with their beers. With a spacious outdoor deck overlooking Seneca Lake, it’s an ideal spot to relax and savor the local flavors.
Address: 9322 NY-414, Lodi, NY 14860 Website: Wagner Valley Brewing Co. Phone: (866) 924-6378
Hike: Seneca Lake Trail
The Seneca Lake Trail is a picturesque path that runs along the largest of the Finger Lakes. Known for its crystal-clear waters and lush vineyards, the trail offers a serene hiking experience that caters to all skill levels.
The trail is part of the larger Seneca Lake Loop, a 7.6-mile trail that provides stunning views of the lake, vineyards, and surrounding hills. Whether you choose to hike the entire loop or just a portion, the well-marked paths and gentle terrain make it accessible for everyone.
Along the way, you’ll find opportunities for bird-watching, fishing, and photography. The trail also passes through several parks and recreational areas, offering amenities like picnic spots and restrooms.
Address: Seneca Lake State Park, 1 Lakefront Dr, Geneva, NY 14456 Website: Seneca Lake Trail Phone: (315) 789-2331
3. Brewery: Rooster Fish Brewing – Hike: Catherine Valley Trail
Rooster Fish Brewing
Located in the charming village of Watkins Glen, Rooster Fish Brewing is a pioneer in the Finger Lakes craft beer scene. Established in 2007, this brewery is committed to sustainability, using locally sourced ingredients and renewable energy in their brewing process.
Rooster Fish offers a wide variety of beers, from their popular Kölsch-style ale to their rich and flavorful stouts. Their tasting room, adorned with rustic décor, provides a cozy atmosphere to enjoy a flight or a pint of their handcrafted brews.
Visitors can also explore the brewery’s unique beer garden, where hops grow alongside seating areas, creating an immersive beer-tasting experience. The on-site pub, The Wildflower Café, offers a menu filled with locally sourced dishes that perfectly complement their beers.
Address: 223-301 Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891 Website: Rooster Fish Brewing Phone: (607) 535-9797
Hike: Catherine Valley Trail
The Catherine Valley Trail is a hidden gem in the Finger Lakes region, offering a 12-mile pathway that follows the abandoned Chemung Canal and railroad. The trail is a blend of history and natural beauty, providing a gentle hike suitable for all ages and abilities.
Starting in Watkins Glen, the trail takes you through wetlands, forests, and historical sites, including old locks from the canal era. Interpretive signs along the way offer insights into the region’s rich history, making it an educational as well as a recreational experience.
The trail is well-maintained, with both gravel and paved sections, making it suitable for hiking, biking, and even cross-country skiing in the winter. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to spot various bird species, deer, and other native animals.
Address: Catherine Valley Trail, Montour Falls, NY 14865 Website: Catherine Valley Trail Phone: (607) 535-4511
4. Brewery: Two Goats Brewing – Hike: Finger Lakes Trail
Two Goats Brewing
Perched on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Two Goats Brewing is a rustic brewery known for its breathtaking views and commitment to sustainability. With a solar-powered brewing process and a focus on using local ingredients, Two Goats offers an authentic Finger Lakes experience.
Their beer selection is as unique as their location, featuring a rotating menu of craft brews that highlight the flavors of the region. From their flagship Two Goats IPA to seasonal specialties, there’s a beer for every palate.
The brewery’s timber-framed tasting room, complete with a large deck overlooking the lake, offers a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy their offerings. Don’t miss their signature roast beef sandwich, slow-cooked to perfection and served on a local bakery’s roll.
Address: 5027 State Rte 414, Burdett, NY 14818 Website: Two Goats Brewing Phone: (607) 546-2337
Hike: Finger Lakes Trail
The Finger Lakes Trail is a remarkable network of trails that spans over 1,000 miles across New York State. Accessible from various points near Two Goats Brewing, the trail offers a diverse hiking experience, ranging from gentle paths to challenging terrains.
One of the popular sections near Seneca Lake is the Crystal Hills Branch, providing a mix of forested paths, open meadows, and stunning vistas. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the well-marked trails and abundant wildlife make it an enjoyable experience.
The Finger Lakes Trail is also part of the North Country National Scenic Trail, connecting with other major trail systems. Along the way, you’ll find shelters, campsites, and interpretive signs detailing the natural and cultural history of the region.
Address: Finger Lakes Trail, Bath, NY 14810 Website: Finger Lakes Trail Phone: (585) 658-9320
5. Brewery: Lucky Hare Brewing – Hike: Taughannock Falls Overlook Trail
Lucky Hare Brewing
Nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine country, Lucky Hare Brewing is a small-batch brewery that has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With a focus on quality and creativity, they offer a diverse selection of craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours.
Their tasting room, located on Seneca Lake’s eastern shore, provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. With both indoor and outdoor seating, guests can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and surrounding vineyards while sipping on their favorite brews.
Lucky Hare also hosts regular events, such as live music and food truck festivals, creating a vibrant community space. Their commitment to sustainability and collaboration with local farmers ensures that each pint is a true representation of the Finger Lakes region.
Address: 6085 Beckhorn Rd, Hector, NY 14841 Website: Lucky Hare Brewing Phone: (607) 546-2036
Hike: Taughannock Falls Overlook Trail
The Taughannock Falls Overlook Trail offers a front-row seat to one of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the Northeast. Located within Taughannock Falls State Park, the trail leads to a breathtaking view of the 215-foot waterfall, taller even than Niagara Falls.
The Overlook Trail is a short and accessible 0.75-mile round-trip hike, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Paved and well-maintained, the trail offers several viewing platforms to capture the perfect photo of the falls.
For those seeking a longer hike, the Gorge Trail provides a 1.5-mile trek along Taughannock Creek, leading to the base of the falls. The park also offers picnicking, fishing, and boating opportunities, making it a versatile destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Address: 1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY 14886 Website: Taughannock Falls State Park Phone: (607) 387-6739
Conclusion: Finger Lakes Breweries Paired with Nearby Hikes
Pairing Finger Lakes breweries with nearby hikes is an explorer’s dream come true. From the rich flavors of craft beer to the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, this guide offers a one-of-a-kind adventure in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.