Wonderful walkability & why it matters

5 lakefront parks within 30 minutes

“Can I get there on foot?” At this Canandaigua Lake vacation rental cottage, the answers is definitely “yes.”

WalkScore defined

A company in Seattle created the WalksScore website. Real estate giant Redfin noted that walkability increases the value of real estate, and partnered with the folks at WalkScore.

The WalkScore index assigns a numerical walkability score to any address in America.

With a big-city bias towards urban living, New York City tops their list, with a WalkScore of 89 (very walkable). According to the index, most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Small city walkability

In the City of Canandaigua, a neighborhood just one block from downtown earns our highest WalkScore of 80 – again very walkable.

Our principal residence on North Main Street, located a half-mile from downtown Canandaigua, gets a WalkScore of 54 (somewhat walkable). Under the index, some errands can be accomplished by foot.

When our vacation rental cottage is occupied by guests – I love walking to work from or Main Street house.

Walkability on Canandaigua Lake

Walkability is a positive feature of urban living, but what about lake living?

Can you reconcile away from it all with walkability?

By way of background, I grew up in Woodville, a tiny hamlet on the scenic – but distant – south end of Canandaigua Lake. With a 30-minute drive to get there from Canandaigua, it certainly qualifies as away from it all.

All the cottages in Woodville are built on the lake side of Route 21. On the other side, a steep shale cliff comes right up to the road.

Cars always park on the lake side of this busy road. So if you want to stretch your legs, you’re forced to walk on the pavement. With traffic (including 18-wheel trucks) that often exceed the 30 mph speed limit, pedestrians feel very unsafe.

Though beautiful, Woodville has a WalkScore of 8 – Car Dependent, where Almost all errands require a car. Likely, the only reason it scores that high is because it has a seasonal bar/restaurant on the south end of the lake. I worked there as a teenager.

Years after I left Woodville, we began searching for a cottage of our own. We discovered a cottage for sale on the northeast shore of Canandaigua Lake . It’s just 400 steps away from the city line.

Even in the winter that it was listed for sale, it was easy to reach. We stopped by to see it every time we grocery shopped at Wegmans. We talked about operating it as a vacation rental cottage finally decided to buy it.

With the lake right in front, a private golf course in back, on a 10-mph cul-de-sac, it still checks the box for away from it all. Best of all, it’s walkable.

Our cottage location earns a WalkScore of 33, or “car dependent,” where “Most errands require a car.”

“33” sounds low, and it should be higher, because the WalkScore folks way off in Seattle failed to include in their calculation the 7 lakefront parks within a mile of the cottage.

I e-mailed to WalkScore to fix that glitch in their index.

Where can you walk to?

Our WalkScore of 33 is highest of any Canandaigua Lake vacation rental cottage.

And unlike anyplace else on Canandaigua Lake, you don’t need a car at our cottage. One of the things we enjoy here is that we drive less and relax more.

Competing properties on West Lake Road earn a WalkScore of no higher than 3Almost all errands require a car.

While there’s no bad place to stay on the lake, walkability shows the difference between the east or west side:

Map the difference

WalkScore lets you calculate distances and maps for time and travel modes.

From the west side, here’s what your 30-minute walk accomplishes:

30 minute walking range from West Lake Road

From the west side, if you walk 30 minutes, you barely reach NY Kitchen. Worse, your walk there offers no shade trees or lake air to cool you.

Here’s where you can walk in 30 minutes from our cottage:

30 minute walking range from Fallbrook Cove – it’s all nearby!

But at our location, a 30 minutes walk gets you NY Kitchen, 5 lakefront parks, 4 places for wine & beer tastings, shops, CMAC concerts, restaurants, Wegmans and more.

Here’s what’s in walking distance of our location:

Save time, gas & money at this convenient location

Walkable Canandaigua lakefront

Canandaigua Lake is 16 miles long, with 7 parks concentrated on the north end, within the City of Canandaigua.

You’ll love exploring Canandaigua by foot.

Kershaw Park on Canandaigua Lake
Kerhaw Park is a popular walking destination

The chain of lakefront parks, lakeside attractions and the adjacent resorts make the City of Canandaigua the “Chosen Place.”

And at this cottage, it’s all nearby!

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Twisted Rail Brewing Company

If you have only enough time to visit one microbrewery, then you should choose Twisted Rail Brewing Company.

Twisted Rail Brewing Company in Kershaw Park on Canandaigua Lake

It’s located in the historic Muar House i Kershaw Park. It has three decks that overlook Kershaw Park and two adjoining parks.

Twisted Rail is in the historic Muar House, overlooking Canandaigua Lake

The staff is friendly and they serve a variety of beer, wine and kombucha. On weekends, you can hear live music. Twisted Rail even has occasional fireworks displays.

The small sign advertises “Yoga & Beer” at the Twisted Rail Brewing Company

Twisted Rail is a favorite spot for locals, many of whom bring their dogs after a walk along the lakefront. How cool is that?

Here’s a map to Twisted Rail Brewing Company:

Twisted Rail is just over a mile from Fallbrook Cove

You can visit Twisted Rail and even take home a growler of your favorite beverage. So be sure to check it out.

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CMAC Concert Calendar

CMAC concert venue is 1 mile away – you can walk there

Here is this summer’s lineup for the CMAC Performing Arts Center:

June 7, 2019The Avett Brothers
June 9, 2019Brooks and Dunn
June 14, 2019Bush and Live
June 18, 2019Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
June 20, 2019Father John Misty and Jason Isbell
June 22, 2019Michael McDonald and Chaka Khan
June 29, 2019Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
July 5, 2019Third Eye Blind & Jimmy Eat World
July 6, 2019Little Big Town
July 12, 2019Luke Bryan
July 13, 2019Lynyrd Skynyrd
July 16, 2019Tedeschi Trucks Band
July 21, 2019Rob Thomas
July 23, 2019Lionel Richie
July 27, 2019Chris Stapleton
August 2, 2019Goo Goo Dolls and Train
August 6, 2019Sarah McLachlan
August 7, 2019Alice Cooper
August 9, 2019Hootie and the Blow Fish
August 10, 2019Jason Aldean and Kane Brown
August 2715, 2019Hall and Oates
August 22, 2019The Beach boys
August 27, 2019Patatonix

We studied all walking routes from Fallbrook Cove to CMAC and here’s the shortest, safest, and best-lighted path along Lakeshore Drive to the CMAC venue:

Sidewalk path to CMAC Performing Arts Center

CMAC serves food and drinks during events.

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What lives on Squaw Island?

What lives on Squaw Island?

Squaw Island is the smallest state park in New York State. Here’s a photo taken on a cold afternoon in April:

Seagulls gather and nest on Squaw Island in Canandaigua Lake

If you look closely you can see the seagulls gathered on and in front of the island. I took the photo from the City Pier, several hundred yards away.

When the babies hatch in a few weeks, the ruckus of all those hungry birds reminds us why our kids call it “Squawk Island”.

I’ll get closer when I get the boat in the water. In the summer, cormorants occupy the upper branches of the trees, and I haven’t found their nesting site yet. And when the water gets warm, I’ll try to locate a “lake biscuit” from the waters around the island.

Update: A few days later, I took some photos after sunset. This one shows the black Cormorants roosting in the tree tops:

Each Spring, Cormorants roost in the trees on Squaw Island in Canandaigua Lake

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What’s Biting on Canandaigua Lake in April?

What’s Biting on Canandaigua Lake in April?
A beautiful early spring day for fishing on Canandaigua Lake

I was driving along Lakeshore Drive to the cottage one afternoon when I noticed all these boats tightly gathered about a quarter-mile out on Canandaigua Lake.

It was a beautiful Spring day, so I came back with my camera and took these photos. I’ve never seen the boats so concentrated:

Fishing boats catching Yellow Perch on Canandaigua Lake

I’ve caught a lot of Perch on the south end of Canandaigua Lake when my parents used to live there, but it’s good to know that we have good fishing spots nearby on the north end too.

When I got back to the cottage, I opened the bedroom window, climbed out onto the porch roof, and took the photo below:

Perch fishing boats concentrated just offshore from Fallbrook Cove on Canandaigua Lake

Facing west, the photo provides a second angle. By picking out prominent landmarks on shore like the gap between Squaw Island on the left and the City Pier on the right and the public docks and Finger Lakes Resort in Lakeshore Park, you can line up on this hot spot. In surveying terms, it’s called “triangulation,” and that’s how anglers did it before cell phones and GPS.

To provide another dimension, I found the next image on the internet. It’s a satellite image showing the outline of the weed beds in dark green. The lighter green is the sandy bottom. Yellow Perch like to hide in the weeds so that’s why the anglers anchored on the weed edge.

“X” marks the Yellow Perch fishing hot spot on Canandaigua Lake

In the decades since the invasive species of Zebra Mussels made Canandaigua Lake clearer by filtering out plankton, sunshine penetrates deeper now, thereby encouraging weed growth at greater depths. Arguably, this has increased the Yellow Perch habitat. It certainly has increased the Perch fishing opportunities because anglers easily see where to anchor by the weed beds.

This would be a boring post if I didn’t include a photo of a Yellow Perch, so here’s one:

Not the big Jack Perch I was hoping for but I didn’t get “skunked.”

Now that I know about this fishing spot closer to home, I can’t wait to try it.

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Young Lion Brewing Company

Young Lion Brewing Company

We recently attended a retirement party at Young Lion Brewing Company, located at 24 Lakeshore Drive. While we had previously visited the downstairs tap room and patio, this time the event was on the second floor.

Young Lion Brewing Company is less than a mile from Fallbrook Cove

The second floor was originally built for a restaurant but when that restaurant owner backed out, Young Lion owners decided to fill the void.

The food was good, the service great, but I’m older now, and found the music too loud for conversation. It was raining the night we were there – otherwise we would have relaxed on the second-floor deck, which was available but still wet.

I tried some local unoaked Chardonnay, which I found delicious. The view from the second story room is amazing – the huge windows really capture the lake.

Located in the Pinnacle North mixed-use building overlooking Kershaw Park, Young Lion has an industrial-style vibe, a second-story large events room that has a gorgeous view down Canandaigua Lake, a tap room and an outdoor patio.

Young Lion has an outdoor patio and game area that draws a young crowd

With apartments upstairs, Young Lion draws a young crowd, something I confirmed when I took the next photo – a limo bus with a party of twenty-somethings enjoying the Young Lion selections.

This is a critical demographic for any successful neighborhood, and Young Lion has figured out how to attract the right crowd.

Young Lion is based in the Pinnacle North, a mixed use complex in Canandaigua

You can walk to Young Lion from Fallbrook Cove. Here’s a map:

Young Lion Brewing Company is one mile from Fallbrook Cove

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Lakefront Park

Lakefront Park
The public docks at Lakefront Park on Canandaigua Lake

Lakefront Park is the eastern-most park on Canandaigua Lake’s north shore. Visitors might assume that Lakefront Park is part of Kershaw Park but it’s actually a separate park

Lakefront Park has a public dock donated to the City of Canandaigua. To the east of the public dock you’ll find the Canandaigua Lady, an authentic paddle wheeler.

Here’s how Lakefront Park looks today:

Today, the Canandaigua Lady docks at Lakefront Park on Canandaigua Lake

For several decades, Roseland Park amusement rides operated on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake. Here’s one that I used to ride over the lake:

Former Roseland Park’s Starlighter ride that once ran over Canandaigua Lake

Visit the park and see if you find those two red bases today. I miss the double row of huge willow trees that used to line the path. Those trees are visible on the left side of the photo.

When Roseland closed, developers purchased the land to build a hotel complex. That complex, called Finger Lakes Resort, is now under construction, and will consist of a hotel, restaurant, condominiums and conference center. Here’s how it looked in April, 2019:

Finger Lakes Resort under construction on Canandaigua Lake

The City of Canandaigua bought two surplus parcels from the developer resulting in the creation of Lakefront Park and Lagoon Park.

Here’s a map to Lakefront Park:

Lakefront Park is a half-mile away from Fallbrook Cove

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