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New York's Falls to the Finger Lakes
New York's Falls to the Finger Lakes

A Niagara Falls Fresh Air Adventure!

10 Unique Day Trips From Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the great wonders of the world, and well worth a visit on your Fresh Air Adventure. After you’ve been to the Falls, gotten drenched on the boat ridden and taken it all in, keep the adventure going throughout Western New York. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite activities you didn’t know you could do, not far from Niagara Falls.

Photo by Ivan Torres from Pexels

 1. Find NY’s Largest Wildlife Refuge

Described as one of the best kept secrets in Western New York, the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for visitors with over 10,000 acres to explore and let the kids burn off energy. With a state-of-the-art visitor’s center, dozens of trails through 3 different wildlife habitats and thousands of animals, you can stay busy and moving for hours here, stretching your legs and enjoying the fresh air. The Refuge is a favorite spot for bird watches with over 266 bird species and thousands of seasonally migratory birds. It’s also home to over 42 species of mammals as well as fish, reptiles and amphibians so keep your eyes peeled as you wander the trails.

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: One hour

 2. Drive under the Erie Canal

If this isn’t your first New York road trip, you’ve likely crossed paths with the Erie Canal before- but have you ever driven under it? The Erie Canal Culvert in Medina is the only place where you can drive under the canal instead of around it or over it! Listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, this feat of engineering was built as the alternative to expensive bridge construction and road changes. Drive through the tunnel and make sure to honk!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls:  One hour

John Kucko photography

3. Feed Zebras, Ostriches, and Buffalo

Hidden Valley Animal Adventures put you face to face with some of the world’s most exotic animals! A visit here gets you up close and personal with the animals as you drive the 2-mile route through the park. Experience over 400 animals living just as they do in the wild, roaming freely on the land. Home to 40 species from across the world, the animals of Hidden Valley are a friendly bunch, approaching cars in hope of finding some grain feed (which you can purchase before you head into the park). When was the last time a buffalo stopped by to say hi?

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: One hour

  4. Explore the Cobblestone Museum

For 60 years the Cobblestone Museum has been welcoming travelers with an invitation to learn about cobblestones. This unassuming stone has a rich construction history and visitors can explore several original cobblestone structures to marvel at the feats of engineering. The open-air museum is a National Historical Landmark to promote the discussion and exploration of historic preservation, and a great way to immerse yourself in the history of our country.

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: One hour, 10 minutes

 5. Walk the JELL-O Brick Road

Follow the JELL-O brick road to the JELL-O Museum and explore the history of America’s most famous dessert! Chances are you’ve had JELL-O before, but what do you really know about the jiggly and delicious dessert that’s been beloved through the ages? JELL-O was  invented in LeRoy in 1897 and rapidly rose in popularity throughout the country thanks to clever and aggressive advertising campaigns. See vintage JELL-O marketing from the early 1900s through the 2000s, find exclusive recipes, browse the fun JELL-O gift shop and of course, enjoy the JELL-O brick road!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls:  One hour, 10 minutes

6. Ride an 1800s Railroad

Step back in time with a train ride at the Arcade and Attica Railroad! One of the last operating steam trains in New York, the railroad offers weekly passenger rides as well as themed rides, like Murder Mystery Dinners and Train Robberies. The train offers unparalleled views of the scenic countryside in Wyoming County, which is virtually

unchanged since the railroad was laid in the 1880s. The historic train station takes you back to a time where rail travel was new and exciting. Everyone will love hearing the whistle sound off as you leave the station!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls:  One hour, 10 minutes

7. Hike to Pet Cows

This isn’t your typical walk through the woods- this is a walk to pet a cow! You’re in for a treat when you sign for a guided tour with Trail Otter in the Finger Lakes. Start your hike on a working farm where you meet the cows that just can’t get enough cuddles. After you’ve had your fill of making furry friends, head down an abandoned railroad bed for 1 mile to discover a spectacular waterfall. It’s an experience you can’t have anywhere else!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls:  One hour, 30 minutes

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

8. Take Your Tastebuds to Puerto Rico

Tucked in the heart of Mount Morris is the Boriken Restaurant, a culinary gem serving up traditional Puerto Rican dishes. Described as “a taste of the tropics in Upstate New York”, the Boriken is known for their authentic and delicious Puerto Rican food, with a menu ranging from mashed plantain and churrasco to pork, cod and chicken. The kid’s menu puts a Puerto Rican twist on classic favorites like mozzarella sticks and mac and cheese, and the dessert menu is not to be missed!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: One hour, 30 minutes

Cuba Cheese Museum

 9. Visit the Cheese Capital of the World

Once the rolling hills of Cuba NY were filled with dairy cows, and with dairy cows comes cheese. So much cheese in fact, that this small town was the cheese capital of the world for the first half of the 20th century! Get to know the delicious history of cheese in Cuba in the largest Cheese Museum in North America and even try a piece of two. The museum is located inside the historic, restored Palmer Opera House. Don’t forget to stop by the Fudgery next door too!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: One hour, 45 minutes

10.Have the best ATV Ride Ever

To the south of the Falls, Tall Pines ATV Park is tucked in the wooded retreat of Western NY Wilds. Tall Pines is the premier ATV park on the East Coast, with over 90 miles of trails to explore, along with mud holes, an obstacle course and even a MotoX track. The park is located on a working farm and visitors can get a peek at the small-town farm life when you stay the night in a cabin or on the campground. Don’t forget to stop by Kent Beer Company, the on-site brewery!

Scenic drive time from Niagara Falls: Two and half hours

Suggested Destinations

Cuba Cheese Museum

12 W Main Street
Cuba, NY 14727
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Tall Pines ATV Park

1812 Jones Road
Andover, NY 14806
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JELL-O Gallery Museum

23 E. Main Street
LeRoy, NY 14482
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Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

1101 Casey Road
Basom, NY 14013
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Cobblestone Museum

14393 Ridge Rd.
Albion, NY 14411
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Erie Canal Culvert

Culvert Rd.
Medina, NY 14103
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Arcade & Attica Railroad

278 Main Street
Arcade, NY 14009
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Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

2887 Royce Road
Varysburg, NY 14167
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