Experience What Chautauqua County, NY Has to Offer
Where can you go to experience great deer and turkey hunting, wineries, ski slopes, exceptional fishing, magnificent parks, and so much more in one place? The answer is simple, Chautauqua County, New York.
A lot of sportsmen and women have never heard of this sportsman’s paradise that lies in the westernmost county of New York. Far away from the hustle and bustle of New York lies a little county that appears to have been created with the outdoorsman in mind. Forget about loud sounds and bright lights that some associate New York with, and focus on the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and all the activities that await you in Chautauqua County.
If you are able to look past the breathtaking landscape of the rolling hills, tall trees and beautiful sunrises to start the day and equally beautiful sunsets to end the day, you will find a turkey hunter’s dream just waiting to come true.
For ten years running, Chautauqua county has been in the top three counties in New York state for turkey harvest. That is a pretty good streak that doesn’t look to be broken any time soon. The spring turkey harvest for the county in 2017 was 713 birds (compared to 569 in 2016) making it the number one county in the entire state which has 56 counties open for spring turkey hunting.
If you are interested in a do-it-yourself type of hunt, it is possible to find private ground to hunt turkeys on within the county. But, if you don’t have time to knock on doors or make phone calls, public land hunting in the area is phenomenal.
With more than 20,000 acres of public land available for hunting, it is hard to narrow down a specific chunk of land to send a person. They all offer exceptional hunting opportunities. I can tell you though, that if you are limited on time, and want the best opportunity at filling your tag that Boutwell Hill State Forest, Mt. Pleasant State Forest, North Harmony State Forest and Panama State Forest all offer exceptional turkey hunting. These are just a few possibilities to get you started. With further research, you might find other lands that might better suit your needs.
If deer hunting is more your thing, Chautauqua County offers exceptional deer hunting as well.
Hunters, both local and those from afar converge on the county every fall with their bows, shotguns and muzzleloaders in pursuit of whitetails. Don’t worry about having to process the deer after a successful hunt. There are many processors in the area that can do that for you as you enjoy what else the county has to offer.
The same areas of public land that I mentioned for turkeys holds true for whitetails too. But, don’t rule out hunting private land as well. With a little work, it is possible to have some exceptional deer hunting ground all to yourself.
Try to forget about hunting for a minute and let’s focus on the world-class fisheries Chautauqua County has to offer.
Chautauqua County is home to five lakes and several waterways, including western New York’s largest inland lake. If you’re looking for exceptional walleye, bass, musky and panfish fishing, the inland lakes of Chautauqua, Cassadaga, Findley and Bear has everything you are looking for. Anglers can often be found at Steelhead Alley come spring and fall fly fishing the tributary streams that feed Lake Erie.
Speaking of Lake Erie, Chautauqua County has 50-miles of shoreline along Lake Erie. Many charter boats in the area offer fishing for walleye, trout, bass and more. If you would rather bring your own boat, there are many marinas in the area.
If hunting for big gobblers and giant whitetails, or catching big fish doesn’t fit your fancy, there is still plenty to do.
Chautauqua County has a dining experience for just about every taste bud. Whether you choose to experience an Amish style meal in Amish country near Clymer, a bistro or cyber pub in Jamestown, eating at one of the restaurants lakeside on one of the many lakes in the county, or grabbing a bite to eat while you experience one of the brew pubs or wine cellars throughout the county, there is no excuse to every be hungry during your stay.
Numerous state parks in the county provide hiking trails and picnic sites throughout the county. Museums, art galleries, shopping, cycling trails, beaches, golf courses, skiing and more can also be found throughout the county. Whatever your desires are, chances are they can be found in Chautauqua County. This is truly a four-seasons playground for all to enjoy.
After a full day of activities and a full belly you will probably need a place to lay your head. Lodging is not an issue either with dozens of beautiful bed & breakfasts, cottages, vacation homes, hotels, motels, and campgrounds to choose from. You can even find boarding for your furry friends. Whether you are looking to just get away for a night, take a long weekend or enjoy an extended vacation, you will have many choices to choose from.
Another option is Peek N’ Peak Resort near Findley Lake. Take time out of your day to play 18-holes of golf, or ride through the hills on the zipline within the resort. If you forgot something at home, don’t worry. The convenience store located on the resort grounds has everything you need.
Whether you enjoy hiking trails, taking in the splendor as you drive across the gorgeous countryside, throwing a fishing lure on one of the smaller lakes, chasing a big gobbler or whitetail, chartering a boat on Lake Erie, visiting a winery or museum, exploring one of the craft breweries in the area, visiting a farmer’s market or just relaxing at one of the Bed and Breakfasts, campgrounds, hotels or cottages in the area, you will be glad you chose Chautauqua County, New York.
For more information on all the activities available, including dining and lodging, visit www.tourchautauqua.com. Everything you need is at your fingertips.