Know what makes Schuyler County a favorite summer destination for New Yorkers when you book a trip in this beautiful and historic county. Schuyler County is known as the birthplace of American road racing. But beyond that, it has plenty more to offer travelers. Here you can experience a little bit of everything: the adrenaline rush of racing, scenic hiking, arts and culture, wining and dining, recreational fishing, and a small-town atmosphere
Much of Schuyler County’s recent history is primarily tied to road racing, which is apparent in many tourist draws. If you’re a road racing enthusiast or simply curious about his subculture, head to Watkins Glen International, the home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the state. If you’ve always wanted to travel back in time, take the opportunity to drive on the original Grand Prix Circuit here in the county. You can even pretend to be a pro race car driver when you book the Drive the Glen Experience.
After all, that high-octane racing winds down and explore the many state parks around the county. You will find a section of the stunningly beautiful Finger Lakes National Forest north of the county. The rest of the county is dotted with state parks and trails such as the Watkins Glen State Park, the Catherine Valley Trail, the Sugar Hill State Forest, and more. If you’d like to add a little spirit to your trail, add the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and the Finger Lakes Beer Trail to your itinerary.
If you’d like to get straight to business, make a beeline for Schuyler County’s productive lakes and streams. The county’s combination of scenic views and abundant waters will guarantee you a fishing experience you won’t soon forget.
Like the rest of the Finger Lakes region, Schuyler County is famous for its productive bass fishing. Still, the county attracts many more fish species, particularly warm-water ones, because of many shallow and heavily vegetated waters. Ice fishing tends to be great in these shallow waters, as they tend to freeze over quickly.
Southeast of Schuyler County, you will find the highly productive Cayuta Lake. Largemouth bass and chain pickerel are the most common fish species here, followed by walleye and panfish such as bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch. Other fish species you might find here include pumpkinseed, rock bass, white sucker, common carp, and brown bullhead. If you’re keen on catching bass, check them out near vegetation and structure. Looking for walleye? Drifting or trolling for this fish species during spring is the most productive way to target them.
Find even more largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and other panfish in the Waneta-Lamoka Lakes. The catch in both lakes is pretty much the same, though Waneta Lake is stocked with muskellunge annually, while Lamoka Lake has some smallmouth bass. The two lakes are connected by a canal that you can access with a medium-sized boat.
Not enough time to venture out of the county seat? Access the southern tip of the great Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen. The most common catch here includes lake trout, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass. You can target other fish species in this part of town: brown trout, rainbow trout, some landlocked Atlantic salmon, largemouth bass, and northern pike. Catherine Creek and its tributaries have many naturally produced rainbow trout.
If you take them to the Finger Lakes Preserve, children will fall in love with fly fishing. This institution has several ponds that are stocked with rainbow trout. They encourage catch-and-release, but anglers can keep one rainbow trout catch for free.
Watch a car race at the Watkins Glen International, drive through the historical and original Gran Prix Circuit, and honor the greats at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Drivers Walk of Fame.
Some of New York State's wine trails pass through Schuyler County. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail and the Finger Lakes Wine Trail are two of the best to join. Want to sample wine from all over the state? Join the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, which hosts over 80 wineries from all over New York.