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Tilly’s Travels – Finger Lakes, NY

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Hi! My name is Tilly. I am a Rat Terrier mix and I love to travel with my mom, Marinda. I have a new feature on my favorite animal hospital’s blog, where I will be sharing tips from my travels for my fellow canine comrades who also love to explore the world. Here we go!

The Trip Low-Down:

  • Gettysburg
  • Finger Lakes – Cayaga Lake and Seneca Lake
  • Binghamton – Cutler Botanic Gardens

Gettysburg

Gettysburg is a great place to visit or stop by.  It has many places to walk around.  Some areas, restaurants and shops are not pet friendly.  We ate at O’Rorke that is very pet-friendly.

Finger Lakes – Cayaga Lake and Seneca Lake

Shopping

There are many farmers markets throughout Finger Lakes. They are open on different day and time of the week. Many of them are dogfriendly. We went to the East Hill Market in Ithaca that opens on Wednesday from 4 – 7 p.m. It was very small with about 20 vendors.

I love ice-cream! The Cayuga Lake Creamery sells ice-cream and fast food. Look for the special flavor. My mom ordered the special, which was “Vanilla Ice-Cream with Fresh Blackberries and Montezuma Winery Black Currant Liquor”. I know, it is the longest ice-cream name ever, and it was delicious! There is a sitting area by the pond, but we sat in the car, because my mom said that there were too many ants and bugs.

Goats love me! They have goats. When the goats saw me, they were so curious about me that they stuck their heads out, and  watched me and followed me around the barn. I was so scared when some of them got too close to smell me. This farm has a little shop that has goat cheese tasting, and they also sell goat cheesecake. We got there after it closed, and we didn’t get to do any cheese tasting.

This is a small shopping area, with very few restaurants. My mom was disappointed of the selection of shops there.

State Parks and Waterfalls

There are many State Parks in Finger Lakes. One daily entrance fee of $7, with paid ticket, will give you access to all the State Parks for the day. We visited 2 of the State Parks.

The waterfall is located outside the state park entrance, but in order to park our car, we have to enter the park. The Gorge Trail, which is rated Strenuous, is located to the right of the falls. There are a lot of steps to climb. My mom and I climbed up to the overlook, took some pictures, and headed back down.

This is my favorite park. It has 2 waterfalls: Upper Falls and Lower Falls. The Lower Falls is located by the parking lot, and the Gorge Trail takes us to the Upper Falls. It is about 0.75 miles from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls. Along the Gorge Trail, there are areas where I could go down to play in the water. I had so much fun playing in the water that I got all wet. We also drove to the Overlook. It has a small parking lot where it’s free to park. It gives you a view of the Upper Falls without having to walk 0.75 miles. The view is beautiful, but not as pretty as viewing it from below.

This is one of the most beautiful state parks. Unfortunately, it rained all day when we were there. At the entrance, the attendance told us that the dog friendly trails might be very muddy. She told us that dogs are not allowed on the Gorge Trail. The Gorge Trail is very narrow, and it is very deep with over 800 stone steps. She said that last year they lost 2 dogs on the Gorge Trail. If the dog panicked or got scared, it might jump the short wall or slip off to the trail and fall to its death. Very sad. Because of the muddy trails and that we won’t get a nice view of the waterfall, we left the park.

This is a beautiful trail with many steps, too. There are many waterfalls on this trail. The entire trail is uphill going up to the top, and downhill on the way back, depending on where you park.

Ithaca Falls is not easy to find. It’s located on Lake Street, and we drove right passed it and didn’t even see it. It’s a pretty waterfall, and there is no trails at this waterfall. A little path leads to the falls, and at the base of the falls was lose rocks. I got so scared when some rocks I was standing on were wobbly. My mom carried me to stable ground. It’s a quick stop.

Cornell University is located at the Cornell Plantations. Driving around the plantation took us uphill and downhill on bumpy roads. There are many things to see at the plantations, but my mom only took me to dog friendly places.

The arboretum is beautiful and clean. There is a mile paved trail around the arboretum. At the top of the trail, it has 2 overlooks with an amazing view of the arboretum. One of the overlooks has a huge bell that you can ring. My mom tapped it lightly and the sounds traveled loudly throughout the arboretum. It probably can get pretty loud if she was to hit it harder. My mom noticed that there were no trash cans in the arboretum. Be prepared to carry your trash (i.e. poop bag) out.

This is gardens is small. The first hour of parking is free, and there is a minimum fee of 75 cents. My mom put a dollar in the parking machine, and it gave her a little about 1.75 hours of parking time. The gardens have different section. I walked the entire garden about 45 minutes, but I didn’t smell every plants at the garden.

The Botanical Gardens has a trail to the Mundy Wildflower Garden. We took the trail instead of moving the car. There was a long staircase that took us to the bottom to a path which lead us to the wildflower garden, and this means, on the way back, I got to climb the staircase and I love steps. My mom was disappointed that there were no flowers left on the plants. The garden is located by the river, and there were a lot more bugs that my mom didn’t notice anywhere else. One bit my mom, and she said it was painful. The secret is to keep moving, don’t stop.

Winery, Brewery, Cidery

There are over 100+ wineries, breweries and cideries in Finger Lakes. My mom took me to 2 of the pet-friendly ones.  Find more wineries here and breweries here!

This is one of the wineries that sell ice wine. My mom said that it is very yummy and sweet. The winery and brewery is pet-friendly, but in order to shop for wine, we have to go into the wine shop. The older lady at the cashier was not friendly. I don’t think she likes dogs. My mom asked if she could shop while carrying me in her arms, and the old lady made this face and told my mom that she doesn’t want me breaking things. Fortunately, my mom was able to shop with me in her arms, and that I didn’t have to stay out in the car by myself in the rain. My mom tasted some ice wine and grape juice, and she loved them. The brewery is connected to the winery, and the people at the brewery were much friendlier. They have root beer on the tap. My mom bought a growler to take some root beer home. I thought growlers are for beer.

The cidery has a very mean white cat with skin cancer guarding the doors. I was able to get into the store without getting attacked. The ladies there were so nice to me. My mom tasted some hard cider, and she said that it tasted like champagne, very bubbly. While walking around the store, I noticed that I was being watched – the white cat was walking from one door to another waiting for me to leave. My mom has to carry me out so that I don’t get attack.

This waterfront trail is located at the bottom of Cayuga Lake. It has several sections: Cass Park, Dog Park, Stewart Park, Children Gardens, etc… My mom thinks the children gardens is very pretty. I didn’t go in, because I don’t think it is dog friendly. My mom took me to the dog park, and I met some nice little dogs, but I wasn’t interested in playing with them. We went for a walk around Stewart Park, and it was a nice walk, but I have to watch my steps because there were a lot of goose poop everywhere – in the grass and on the trail. The view of the lake is pretty.

Binghamton – Cutler Botanic Gardens

The gardens are located about a hour South of Ithaca. My mom took me there on our way home. It is located off the highway, hidden in the corner of the exit behind some buildings. It took us awhile to find it, because my mom thought that the GPS was wrong because she couldn’t see the gardens. The gardens is small, but it is very beautiful and clean. The flowers were colorful. It has paved walking paths around the gardens. On the way out, my mom noticed a No Pets Allowed sign, but she contacted the gardens via e-mail, and the nice lady told her that it was dog friendly. It is best to check before stopping by.

Tilly’s Travels Photos:

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