Sarah Novak 2017-04-05 01:05:31
Lush vineyards and renowned warships, vintage small-town main streets and working lighthouses, pristine natural shorelines and vibrant city harbors—all are highlights of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail along the southeast shore of Lake Erie. From west to east, this section of the Seaway Trail tour extends about seventy-five miles from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border to Dunkirk, New York, plus short excursions just off the trail. Along the westernmost stretch of the Seaway Trail are scenic shoreline views, imposing bluffs, a variety of bird life, and lakeside recreation. A side trip 15 miles south of Erie leads to the borough of Waterford, a classic small town that was a key location during the French and Indian War. Once a major center for shipbuilding, commercial fishing, and transportation, today the city of Erie, Pennsylvania, celebrates its maritime heritage and role in the War of 1812 at a revitalized waterfront. Cruises, boating, and sportfishing are popular in the bay and the lake beyond. Birding, hiking, and other outdoor recreation are year-round at the seven-mile peninsula Presque Isle and nearby natural areas. East of Erie, for fifty miles along the lakeshore, climate and geology combine to create prime conditions for vineyards, especially for Concord grapes. Increasingly, additional grape varieties are cultivated here, with wineries offering tours and tastings. After a stop for hawk-watching during migration seasons at Ripley, New York, the Seaway Trail continues to Barcelona Harbor. A key port for access to the country’s interior during the French and Indian War, the harbor is now a prime spot for recreational fishing and boating. A scenic excursion from here—along a former portage route for native peoples and early French explorers—leads through the town of Westfield to Mayville and Jamestown, both on Chautauqua Lake. Nearby is the village of Lily Dale, a center for Spiritualism and a community of Victorian cottages. Back along the Lake Erie shore, the Seaway Trail continues past a bird-watching and fishing area once the scene of War of 1812 skirmishes and near the historic lighthouse on Point Gratiot. At the city of Dunkirk are boating, fishing, birding, picnicking— and shipwreck diving—on and around the harbor and pier. Vineyards along Lake Erie, courtesy North East Chamber of Commerce. VISITOR INFORMATION Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau Main Gate, Route 394 Chautauqua, NY 14722 716-357-4569 www.tourchautauqua.com The North East Chamber of Commerce 44 W. Main St., North East, PA 16428 814-725-4262 www.nechamber.org Town of Westfield 23 Elm St., Westfield, NY 14787 716-326-3211 www.townofwestfield.org Village of Westfield 23 Elm St., Easton Hall Westfield, NY 14787 716-326-4961 www.villageofwestfield.org VisitErie 208 East Bayfront Parkway Suite 103, Erie, PA 16507 800-524-3743 www.visiterie.com
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