The Finger Lakes is a popular visitor destination, especially in summer and fall. It’s known for its 11 narrow lakes, wineries, historic towns, and many lovely roads and trails for running. Our guide to running in the Finger Lakes is organized by ‘lake area’, from east to west, with recommendations for each area. Our top three places to run in the Finger Lakes are Seneca Lake Park, the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, and the Cornell University campus. Other good multi-use trails are the Cayuga-Seneca Trail, the Outlet Trail, and the Catharine Valley Trail. It’s also fun to explore some of the quieter, open farm and vineyard roads, notably our routes in Keuka Lake and the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. For trail running that’s not too challenging, we love Sampson State Park, Robert Treman Park, the Harriet Hollister Spencer Recreation Area, and the Cascadilla Gorge Trail.
A couple of notes about running in the Finger Lakes. Winters are severe — roads might be snowy/icy, and many trails are not maintained and/or are used for X-C skiing. Also, use our guide for the prettiest and safest areas for lakeside running, since many of the roads alongside the water don’t have water views and/or are quite busy with little shoulder.