Fall is the most beautiful time of year. Cooler nights, warm days–what could be better? The perfect time to walk or hike or run. I recently read a blog describing a couple of hiking trails in Chautauqua County that are not far from the Inn.
So last week I played hookie and drove up to check them out. It was a gorgeous fall day, the sun coming out after a day of rain. In some areas the colors were magnificently brilliant, and in others burnished gold.
We we headed to the Chautauqua Gorge State Forest where there was supposed to be a short trail (1/4 mile). It was a gorgeous drive out there–but I will warn you, the last mile is on unpaved road only wide enough for one vehicle. At the end of the road, there is limited parking (only 4 – 5 cars) and the trail is not particularly well marked. It is right beside an entrance to another trail, which is the Fred Cusimano Overland Trail.
The short trail that we started on was leaf covered, fairly wide, and went downhill. The walk was worth it, because at the bottom of the gorge is some beautiful running water (makes me want to come back on a hot summer day). The walk back up the trail was made difficult by the ruts in the trail.
We then ventured down the Cusimano trail. Research afterwards told us that part of the trail is about 7 miles long, and better parking is available at the other end. Again, it is a wide trail, and well marked. There was a visitor’s book to sign in–fun to look at where other folks on the trail had come from.
We drove back slowly, stopping at a picnic area that has a short trail loop around it. There is also an entrance to the Chautauqua Rails to Trails which we have definitely put on the list for a visit soon. It also appears that there is more parking on the other end of this section of the trail.
What a fun day! Hungry from our efforts, we took a short drive (again with beautiful scenery) to Andriaccios Restaurant in Mayville. I was pleased to see that they had added outside seating, and were doing inside dining as well. Bellies full of Italian food, we headed back to the Inn.