Greens and blues as far as the eye can see await those who dare to venture beyond the cityscape.
People nationwide are drawn to Chautauqua County for many reasons. The warm and wet summer climate and heavy-snowfall winters create unique natural conditions that are complimented by a life either on the lake or inland, and much is to be discovered via both.
Be it spring, summer, fall or winter, Chautauqua County offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions. There is much to do for recreationalists who enjoy outdoor opportunities such as: hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, equestrian, hunting, angling, wildlife and bird watching, conservation, preservation, farming canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling and others.
Area residents are shown enjoying a local fishing opportunity.
With access to several lakes - Lake Erie, Chautauqua Lake, Cassadaga Lake, Findley Lake and Bear Lake - as well as a number of tributaries - Cattaraugus Creek, Chautauqua Creek and Canadaway Creek - boaters, fishermen and swimmers are provided with a wealth of opportunities to leave the shore. The Chautauqua Belle, located at 78 Water St. in Mayville, offers a summer concert series and themed cruises for those who don't have a boat of their own.
For those who would rather stay land-locked, outdoor activities are available year-round at Peek'n Peak, a resort located at 1405 Old Road in Clymer. Midway State Park, located at 4859 Route 430, in Bemus Point, is a family-friendly option for those looking to have a theme-park style adventure.
But, for those searching for something a little less strenuous and a bit more entertainment or educationally based, there are a number of avenues to choose from, such as Chautauqua Institution, a summer resort which features a nine-week season of adult learning opportunities and entertainment, which is located at 1 Ames Avenue in Chautauqua.
Other educational and entertainment-based options include: The Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary, a family-friendly, nature-based adventure, which is located at 1600 Riverside Road in Jamestown; The Lily Dale Assembly, a place where area residents and visitors can enjoy learning about spiritualism, mediumship, healings, religion, thought, philosophy and more, is located at 5 Melrose Park in Lily Dale; the Gerry Rodeo, located at 4351 Route 60 in Gerry; Stateline Speedway, located at 4150 Kortwright Road in Jamestown; and The Floating Stage, located at 61 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point.
There are also more than 25 golf courses located within driving distance of Jamestown, and many more scattered throughout the region.
Plus, many area residents and visitors enjoy the 14 vineyards located in Chautauqua County, which are part of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt.
Because there is such a wealth of natural attractions located within the county, the Friends of Chautauqua County Greenways organization, friendsofchautauquagreenways.org, has been implementing the Four Season Greenway Plan since 2012, which aims to connect towns and villages to natural assets within the county.
According to Mark Geise, deputy director of planning and economic development, the ongoing project serves to grow awareness about the beneficial natural assets in Chautauqua County that need to be preserved and promoted. The ultimate goal is to help area residents and visitors rediscover the wonder and joy of the outdoors, which there is a lot of here, he said.