The historic village of Hammondsport (population 753) is tucked between rolling wooded hillsides at the southern end of Y-shaped Keuka Lake. The village was part of a tract of land purchased by Captain John Shethar in 1796. It eventually passed into the hands of Lazarus Hammond and came to be known as Hammond’s Port – later changed to Hammondsport.
Reverend William Warner Bostwick planted the first cuttings of grapes (Catawba and Isabella) in this area in 1829. Thus began the tradition of grape growing and wine making that have made Hammondsport famous as the winery capital of New York. Hammondsport is the site of U.S. Bonded Winery No. 1.
Hammondsport is also the birthplace of pioneer aviator and inventor Glenn H. Curtiss who was born May 21, 1878. He came to be known as the “Father of Naval Aviation,” and many of his historic flights took place over the fields surrounding the village or above the waters of Keuka Lake.
Tourists and locals alike enjoy Keuka Lake for swimming, boating, sailing and any number of other water sports. Parks along the shoreline are great for picnicking and hiking. Fine restaurants and lodgings also attract many people to Hammondsport.
The Finger Lakes Trail – A beautiful 2.45 miles is waiting for hikers just west of Hammondsport. Maps are available at the Visitor Center on the Village Square.
Depot Park – Located at the foot of the lake, the park offers public swimming (with a lifeguard on duty in season), boat launching and docking, park benches and a beautiful landscaped lawn for strolling or lounging while enjoying the scenery.
Champlin Beach – Just north of the village on Route 54, this park has a dock, picnic tables and a pavilion.
The Hammondsport Circle Tour – This scenic 36-mile bike route begins and ends at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. Ride along the crystal waters of Keuka Lake, up hills by the vineyards, and see the countryside. Contact the Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau at 866-946-3386 for more information.
The Chemung Basin River Trail – With launch sites in Corning and Addison, as well as in Bath, the river basin trail is a great place to fish, kayak, canoe, geocache or just relax. Call 886-946-3386 or visit www.chemungrivertrail.com to learn more.