Finger Lakes Museum Trail links history, tourism

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammonsport

The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance is partnering with nine museums, attractions, or historical houses to create the new Finger Lakes Museum Trail, aimed at enticing visitors and residents alike to explore the rich history and culture within the Finger Lakes region.

The partnership is a project of the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (FLTA) and the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau, based in Corning.

The Finger Lakes Museum Trail debuts with nine museum participants. These museum locations and program participants include the George Eastman House,The Strong Museum in Rochester, Historic Palmyra’s Five Museums, the Brick Tavern Museum of the Schuyler County Historical Society in Montour Falls, the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, the National Soaring Museum, and the Chemung County Historical Society in Elmira.

Renowned for its wineries and natural beauty, the Finger Lakes region is also blessed with an abundance of world-class museums. From learning about George Eastman’s photographic accomplishments in Rochester to seeing the world from a bird’s-eye view at the National Soaring Museum in Elmira, the museums of the Finger Lakes are entertaining, educational, enchanting, and exciting.

“Visitors to the Finger Lakes will find that the region is steeped in culture, art, science, and history. For example, events and developments in the Finger Lakes have had great influence on many of notable national historical milestones,” FLTA President Cindy Kimble says.

“It’s all celebrated at museums or similar facilities throughout the region. Many are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, demonstrating the caliber of these operations. These are museums and attractions that no visitor – or local resident, for that matter – should miss,” she said.

“The Finger Lakes Boating Museum is pleased and proud to partner with our neighboring houses of history in the Museum Trail. We look forward to your visiting this unique piece of Finger Lakes heritage,” said Ed Wightman, President, Finger Lakes Boating Museum.

“The Finger Lakes Museum Trail presents a valuable opportunity for the Racing Research Center to welcome new visitors who might not have known about us,” Center President J.C. Argetsinger said. “We think Museum Trail visitors will be surprised and pleased with their experiences here. Even people who aren’t race fans inevitably appreciate the cultural impact of motorsports.”

“The Brick Tavern Museum is excited to also be included on the Finger Lakes Museum Trail,” Brick Tavern Museum Director Andrew Tompkins stated.  “It gives visitors the chance and incentive to find out about the rich history of Schuyler County while stopping at a destination that they may have previously overlooked.”

To kick-off this new endeavor, the Finger Lakes Museum Trail is offering a chance for trail visitors to visit each participating museum location to win an overnight stay for two at a bed and breakfast or inn located in the region. Each participating facility is also is offering discounts on admission, gift items, or both.

The “Winter Adventure” promotion will run through June. A visitors guide with “Winter Adventure” discount details is available at each participating facility, as well as other locations across the region.

Additional information on the Finger Lakes Museum Trail, the Winter Adventure promotion is available online at

The Finger Lakes Museum Trail Partnership includes:

Rochester: George Eastman House, Strong Museum

Elmira: National Soaring Museum, Chemung County Historical Society

Hammondsport: Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Glenn Curtiss Museum

Watkins Glen: International Motor Racing Research Center

Montour Falls: Brick Tavern Museum

Palmyra: Historic Palmyra’s Five Museums

Penn Yan: Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance

Finger Lakes Museum Trail Partnership