New Year’s resolutions can be tough: eat healthy, stay positive, be mindful, work out more, travel… the list goes on. In fact, just knowing where to start can be overwhelming. But most resolutions boil down to three major categories – caring for your body, your mind, and your soul.
You don’t have to go all-out to accomplish your goals. Instead, settle in and start here with our list of activities to try and places to explore that will have you feeling focused, mindful, and full of life as you kick off the roaring 20s.
Winter Sightseeing at Letchworth State Park ©Larry Tetamore
Experience Nature and Take in the Natural Beauty at Letchworth State Park
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” Letchworth State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful spot for a scenic hike – and a dose of fresh air. With 66 miles of hiking trails, this park is a perfect spot to explore while getting those steps in, clearing your mind, and feeling connected with nature. Trails can be utilized for biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. On the water, kayaking, white water rafting, and swimming are offered seasonally. Or simply hop in your car and drive the park, stopping at the most scenic points. Don’t miss The Humphrey Nature Center, which highlights the historic significance of Letchworth State Park all year round.
Test Your Limits and Take to New Heights at Bristol Mountain
Bristol Mountain provides 138 acres of skiable terrain as well as 1200’ of vertical rise in this premier ski resort. Lesson packages are offered at the resort to accommodate any experience level from beginner to expert, while 38 slopes and trails contain awe-inspiring views and a variety of inclines. And though skiing is the main reason Bristol comes to mind – the fun doesn’t end there. The mountain also features an aerial ropes course and ziplining available throughout the summer and fall seasons – so you can take to the trees and leave your worries behind.
Owasco Lake - Emerson Park
Let the Waves Carry Your Worries Away on Owasco Lake
Owasco Lake, the sixth largest Finger Lake, reaches a span of 27 miles and goes down 177 ft. at its deepest point. It’s a serene place to spend an afternoon, as Owasco features beautiful scenic areas around the lake and is an excellent spot to take some much-needed relaxation time. Stop and cast a line (the lake contains several different species of fish, including trout, bass, walleye, and pike) or swing by the Owasco Marine for boat rentals and have some fun in the sun.
Just Juice 4 Life @efish404
Enjoy Smooth(ie) Sailing at Just Juice 4 Life
Just Juice 4 Life offers organic juice and smoothies to support health and wellness. The menu targets certain areas in each individual’s life that they wish to work on – stress, low energy, even lack of sleep – using only organic, vegan ingredients in all of their drinks. Just Juice 4 Life is all about the healthy lifestyle, whether here or on the go. Try a few different recipes or go “hard core” with a juice cleanse (offered from 1-7 days).
Strike a Pose and Namaste the Day Away at Blackbird Studio
Blackbird Studio offers Pilates and yoga classes, strengthening mental and physical health, along with BB Barre classes – a combination of ballet, Pilates, and yoga class that targets muscles in the chest, arms, thighs, butt, and abs. With 10 instructors, all experienced and specialized, you’re sure to find a schedule that fits your needs whether visiting from near or from afar. Step in the front door and you’ll find a sense of community and positive vibes. Be sure to take advance of their Newcomer Special when you arrive, offering unlimited classes for your first 15 days for just $15 a piece.
The opportunities are simply endless (and the region seemingly is too). With over 9,000 square miles, fourteen counties and eleven lakes, you’ll never run out of ways to continue to hone your focus, find your passion, and feel alive.
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Try these other mind, body, and soul-satisfying activities while visiting:
- Bahar Nature Preserve, Skaneateles, NY: 25-acre preserve, overlooking the 100-foot deep Bear Swamp Creek Ravine. Trail includes a 65-foot crescent of lakeshore, home to Carpenter Falls. Good for hiking, canoeing, kayaking and more.
- Spotted Duck Creamery, Penn Yan, NY: fresh local custard made from duck eggs from the local ducks on site and organic ingredients (no corn syrup or artificial flavoring found here). Custard flights offered in six or 12 flavors, or single scoops.
- Chimney Bluffs State Park, Wolcott, NY: massive earthen spires meet the shores of Lake Ontario, one of the region’s natural wonders. Day-use services include picnic areas, nature trails and restrooms. Other activities include fishing, hiking and more.
- D&K Ranch, Interlaken, NY: a small horse ranch offering horseback riding on the Finger Lakes National Forest trails, along with secluded cabins to stay the night in. Focused on small groups and fostering meaningful connections between horse and rider.
- Gaffer District’s Chocolate Trail, Corning, NY: decadent and delicious… food for the soul. Follow the Chocolate Trail to discover sweet specialties found only in the historic downtown, from chocolate fudge to chocolate tobacco.
- Harris Hill Glider Rides, Elmira, NY: the Soaring Capital of America! Rise up and let your spirit soar, from early April to the end of October, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and select days, weather permitting.
- Nor’easter Mountain Coaster at Greek Peak, Cortland, NY: a breathtaking good time, with enough adrenaline-pumping excitement to make every moment a memorable one. Step back into nature to tour this majestic mountain on the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster. Control the speed in the two-person car (up to 28 mph), navigate pitches and turns, and enjoy an exciting descent through the forest.
- Wildflower Café, Watkins Glen, NY: featuring a menu of local and organic items (whenever possible). Healthy preparations and fresh options, found in downtown Watkins Glen.
- Chat-A-Wyle Restaurant, Apalachin, NY: slow down and enjoy an old-time atmosphere, with breakfast, lunch, and the best in comfort food. Eight homemade soups daily, served in brick-oven-baked bread bowls. Quiches, sandwiches, salads, fondues, and homemade desserts, in a place founded on the principles of love, connection, and belonging.