Onondaga Lake Park

Located just outside Syracuse (in Liverpool), New York, Onondaga Lake Park is a 7.5-mile-long green oasis that attracts visitors from the area in droves. It is a haven from the hustle and bustle of city life and is the perfect place to simply throw off the cars of the modern world, yet close enough to major urban areas to make day visits convenient.

The park is located on the eastern shores of the lake and offers a variety of walking trails and the fascination of the ‘Salt Museum’, which is dedicated to the mining and processing of salt.

Those interested in a day out in the bosom of Mother Nature often start their visit at the Griffin Visitor Center, where a variety of sports equipment can be rented (kayaks are a popular choice). A firm favorite with visitors is the Bocce sets which provide fun for the entire family on the grass carpeting the area. The picnic areas at Willow Bay (and the willow Bay Cafe) and the fact that there is a playground for the younger members of the family add to the attraction of this urban green space.

There are also volleyball courts and many of the trails (including the popular East Shore Recreation Trail and West Shore Trail) are perfect for a leisurely bike ride or an inline skating experience.

Catch and release fishing is also a popular pastime for those visiting the park. 

There are also a number of lakeside trails that are set aside for pedestrians (the Shoreline Walking Trail is tremendously popular) – and the dog park at the Northern end of the Park is perfect for those who want to enjoy the company of their four-legged companions while taking in the fresh air. 

A visit to the Salt Museum provides a fun and educational experience. It was built using the original timbers from the salt warehouse and filled to the brim with interactive exhibits, it is a fascinating examination of the Syracuse salt industry – which at one time was one of the largest in the United States. 

Winter transforms the park – and brings out legions of cross-country skiers eager to enjoy the 9-mile circuit of the lake. There is also a magical ‘Lights on the Lake’ which stretches for miles – and is reason enough to visit the park during those winter evenings.

This family-orientated Park is a wonderful destination that should not be missed by anyone in the vicinity of Syracuse, New York.