Hikers can find miles of trails on either side of Chautauqua Lake.
From Mayville to Panama is the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Hiking Trail, which goes through a series of state forests. There are various trailheads, so those using the trails can choose the length of their hike. There are shelters for stargazing or overnight stays, along with ponds, habitats, meadows, forest and wildlife on the 24-mile trail. It goes through area towns, and its northern end is in Chautauqua Gorge State Forest.
People can hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe or mountain bike, but all-terrain vehicles and horses are prohibited.
The Earl Cardot Trail travels through 19 miles of area state forest land. One of two overland hiking trails in the county, it passes through four towns and features waterfalls, creeks, ponds and woods.
P-J?photo by Dave Emke
The Earl Cardot Trail on the eastside begins in Canadaway Creek State Wildlife Management Area and goes south for 19 miles through area state forest land. It passes through four towns and has waterfalls, creeks, ponds and woods.
Maps of both trails are available from Chautauqua County's Parks Department.
"It gives an opportunity for anyone to enjoy nature," said Dave Sanctuary, Chautauqua County parks manager. He said the trails offer "a completely unspoiled part of the county that people can enjoy for free.'' He said they offer a chance for people to get out and get some exercise while enjoying the outdoors. Sanctuary said taking advantage of that provides balance in peoples' lives he thinks is necessary.
What: Fall Foraging
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday
Where: Audubon Center and Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road,?Jamestown
Cost: $10 for Audubon members, $12 for non-members, $5 for children 11 and under
Learn about how to collect wild edibles in a safe and sustainable way. Then, take a walk at the Audubon, sampling familiar plants along the way. For more info and to register, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.
* 7.4 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: ''Americans and Canadians in the Battle Along the Border: 1812-14 and 1837-38''
When: 7:30 p.m.?Saturday
Where: Robert H.?Jackson Center, 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown
Chris Raible, a Canadian historian and author, will be interviewed by Greg Peterson about Chautauqua County's involvement with the War of 1812 and the Canadian Rebellion of 1837. For more info, call 483-6646.
* 0.0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Ronald Dyens, classical guitarist
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Rosch Recital Hall, SUNY?Fredonia
Cost: $15 for public, $10 for students.
For more tickets, call 673-3501 or visit
* 28.9 miles from downtown Jamestown.
"You can get away from the hectic requirements of everyday living," he said, adding the county parks provide a chance to "slow things down" and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
"Anything people can do to improve their quality of life makes every part of life better," said Sanctuary. He said using the parks can allow people to be more at peace and in tune with their surroundings, which can lead to people having a better attitude.
"Solitude is a good thing," he said, adding it is difficult these days to find that solitude. Sanctuary said, however, the parks enable people to find a chance to reflect.
"Opportunities that exist are out there," he said.
In addition to the trails, Sanctuary said the county also maintains two overlook parks. Luensman Overview Park, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. through mid-November, is on Thayer Road in Portland. Erlandson Overview Park on Oak Hill Road in Carroll is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. through mid-November.
Sanctuary said work is being done on Erlandson, where signs are being installed so people can identify what they are looking at on the trail, and history of it will be provided.
The Abe Mattison Millrace Park, another county-run park, is open from 8 a.m. to dusk on Everett Street in Falconer.
The Marden E. Cobb Waterway Trail features 52 miles of canoeing with lean-tos, restrooms, firepits, campsites and tables on Conewango and Cassadaga Creek, with eight boat launches.
More information on all of the county parks is available at the county's website, www.chautauqua-ny.com.