Roads Less Traveled

County Road 37 snakes its way through the headlands of Honeoye Lake.

Roads across the Finger Lakes Region tie communities together despite a sometimes challenging geography. Some roads allow family and friends to nurture their connections within neighborhoods and between nearby towns and villages. Some roads enable commerce, evidenced by the trucks traversing the region to deliver goods and services. Yet other roads are little more than primitive paths used by loggers, farmers and vintners to carry out their work in the forests, fields and vineyards. But all of these roads provide intimate views of our picturesque landscape. This collection of images meanders over the less-traveled roads in the Finger Lakes, discovering its hidden beauty along the way.

Technology has allowed roads to evolve from simple dirt paths to multi-lane, high-speed highways that make distance travel almost effortless – effortless, but relatively sterile, numbing the driver to the nuance and beauty of the surrounding landscape. These days, it can be enjoyable and refreshing to ramble on pathways where vehicle speed is sometimes no faster than a walking pace. The many two-lane county roads and unpaved dirt tracks of the Finger Lakes provide a stark contrast to the frenetic pace to which most expressway drivers have become accustomed.

Roads are functional structures, enabling efficient travel between two points, but roads also have romantic and emotional associations. They not only evoke the feelings related to departure and arrival, but also the emotions that happen in between: uncertainty, curiosity, excitement, change, transition and freedom.

I hope these pictures appeal to your sense of adventure and discovery, and perhaps entice you to explore beyond the interstate highways, to reach for a map and take a tour of the Finger Lakes’ back roads.


by Michael Venturino