Weather will be improving soon with opportunities to escape our indoor cocoons. Here’s a drive for one of the nice days ahead. Lake Ontario State Parkway runs parallel to Lake Ontario’s southern shore in western New York. Ontario means “Lake of Shining Waters” in the Wyandot Indian language.
This 35-mile parkway is designated as State Route 947A by the State Department of Transportation of New York. The eastern end starts at an intersection with Lake Avenue in Monroe County. The western end is an interchange in Lakeside Beach State Park of Orleans County.
The parkway connects communities and state parks along Lake Ontario’s southern shore. Roads alongside the shoreline in eastern Orleans County or western Monroe County did not exist before Lake Ontario State Parkway. The parkway is a part of the longer Seaway Trail, running from western Pennsylvania to the North County of New York.
Plans for Lake Ontario State Parkway were made in 1941. But the first section was not started until the late 1940’s with completion in the early 1950’s. The final section was complete and opened to traffic in 1962.
Lakeside Beach State Park is on the Lake Ontario shore in the town of Carlton of Orleans County. The 743-acre park provides excellent panoramic views of Lake Ontario.
Its campgrounds are open from the end of April to October each year. There are 274 campsites with electrical hook ups. The park has restrooms, showers, a laundromat, a dumping station, campground store, and beach access without swimming.
The park offers 4 miles of hiking / biking trails, with opportunities to fish or picnic. A popular attraction is the park’s new 18-hole disc golf course. Winter park activities include, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Oak Orchard State Marine Park is a few miles east of Lakeside Beach State Park. It is at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek flowing into Lake Ontario. It has a boat launch, fishing access and picnic areas. The hour ride via Lake Ontario State Parkway is 44 miles from Rochester.
Hamlin Beach State Park on the south shore of Lake Ontario has 164 tent and trailer sites. Campsites are open from May through Columbus Day. There are restrooms, hot showers, picnic areas with tables and grills. Also pavilions, snack bar, playground, Laundromat, and convenience store. It has recreation programs, a nature trail for hiking, beach area, fishing pier, and swimming in season.
Albion a nearby town in Orleans County has a population of 8,468, within an area of 25 miles. It is 30 miles west northwest of the City of Rochester, and was first settled in 1812. Lakeside Beach State Park is 22 miles north of Albion on route 98. Albion is the center of the Medina sandstone industry, and a rich farming area of apples, beans and cabbage.
A drive on Lake Ontario State Parkway provides wonderful scenic opportunities. The parkway offers many places to stop and enjoy the view and have a picnic.