With a sense of normalcy resuming after the pandemic, the opportunities for summer fun appear endless in Buffalo this year. Looking for new activities to add to your summer bucket list? Our Discover716 interns have everything you need for a fun and fresh summer in the 716.
Exploring Local Hiking Trails
By Nicolas Young
When people think of Buffalo I bet the first couple things that come to mind are chicken wings and the Buffalo Bills. What is often overlooked is the natural beauty of Buffalo and all of Upstate New York. There are countless activities to do in the city of Buffalo like getting ice cream at a local spot or ordering a pizza from your favorite pizzeria, but a free and healthy alternative activity to do in the 716 is hiking.
There are countless trails and paths to hike in Buffalo that can accommodate everyone’s interests. If you’re looking for a short hike for the whole family, consider hiking the Eternal Flame hiking trail in Orchard Park and see the Eternal Flame. The trail itself is located inside Chestnut Ridge Park. The short trail ends once you reach a small waterfall where you can see a flame inside the waterfall. The flame stays lit because of a leak of natural gas through the shale rocks.
If you’re a more adventurous hiker you may want to consider hiking Devil’s Hole State Park. Devil’s Hole is located in Niagara Falls overlooking the lower Niagara River Gorge. This hiking trail is probably better for a family with older kids because there are a lot of steps that need to be descended to get to the water and then ascended when you need to come back up. You can leave the swimsuits at home though because the water moves too fast to swim in and is very dangerous if entered. At the park where the start of the trail there are picnic benches to eat lunch or if you’re feeling adventurous you can take your picnic down the trail to the water and eat on one of the countless big rocks right at the water.
Kayaking in Buffalo: Three Locations to Check Out
By Errika Gonzalez
Summer in Buffalo is finally here and its kayaking season! There are so many different locations to launch that can take you through the rivers, canals, and out to beautiful Lake Erie. It’s the perfect activity whether you’re going out for a morning paddle or looking to kick back and relax after a long day of work. If you're new to kayaking or just looking for a new place to launch here are three different locations to check out for your next kayaking adventure.
Our first launch is Mutual Riverfront Park located at 41 Hamburg St, Buffalo, NY. If you’re looking to experience the industrial section of the Buffalo River, check out this launch. One of the great amenities is the roller ramp that allows easy access in and out of the water so weather you’re a beginner or pro kayaker anyone can easily access the water. Since this is such a scenic area this launch is quite popular among the kayaking community, but it’s worth the wait.
The second launch is Eighteen Mile Creek located at 6449 Lake Shore Rd, Derby, NY. This location is a natural put-in meaning it does not have a roller ramp but it still easily accessible. Once in the creek you can paddle your way out to Lake Erie or stay in the creek and admire being surrounded by all the cliffs. Throughout the creek as you approach the lake there are little beaches that you can pull up to take a break and enjoy a beverage. The creek provides calm waters with little to no boat traffic, and beautiful views.
Lastly the third launch is located off of Jackson Street in Silver Creek, NY just behind the Silver Creek Fireman’s Association. This is definitely a hidden gem but allows for easy access right to Lake Erie. Here there is plenty of parking and space to unload as well as a concrete boat ramp you can launch from. It’s a short paddle right out to the lake and is best to go in the evening for a beautiful view of the sunset. As you paddle through there are also little beaches you can pull up to and explore the surrounding area.
Visiting Local Farmers Markets
By Marissa Packard
Everyone loves a good farmers market. Who wouldn’t want to spend a warm summer day taking a stroll in the sun? The best part about farmers markets is that most end at 1 p.m. on Saturdays so you’re able to still enjoy the underrated summers in Buffalo. There is a plethora of markets to choose from this summer around the WNY area. If we're being honest, there is no doubt that you won’t go home empty handed, whether you purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from a family farm, flowers to fill your garden, homemade donuts, or even a breakfast sandwich from the local Amish vendors in attendance (North Tonawanda Farmers Market).
North Tonawanda Farmers Market is the oldest and most popular market in the North Towns. The location of this market is on the corner of Payne Avenue & Robinson St. located in North Tonawanda. This market is Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. and runs YEAR-ROUND. So, you have lots of opportunities to checkout this market.
Lockport Farmers Market is every Saturday and brings together the Lockport Community in the heart of Downtown. You can enjoy a summer Saturday by the locks with vendors varying from produce, artisans, and catch some live music.
Williamsville Farmers Market is located at the Amherst Town Hall parking lot every Saturday until late October, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. There are an abundance of quality farmers, specialty food producers, vineyards, and bakeries available for you to check out!
If you’re in the Buffalo Downtown area there is a variety of markets for you to check out every weekend or every day of the week!
Clinton Bailey Farmers and Flee Market is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Located at 1517 Clinton Street. The Market has also become a desired destination to purchase flowers, vegetable plants, Jams and Jelly, maple syrup, home baked goods, and even CHRISTMAS TREES.
The South Buffalo Farmers Market is located at Cazenovia Park Buffalo, open Every Sunday until September from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They have vendors that have locally produced goods, live music, and even yoga classes.
I LOVE everything that has to do with Elmwood so my favorite market is the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market that is every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m! All of the vendors at this market grow and produce their own products. The vendors for this year’s market vary from wineries, distilleries, bakeries, greenhouses, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more!
If you happen to catch yourself in the South Towns or happen to live there like me, here’s a few that you can check out.
The East Aurora Farmers Market is located in the Aurora Village Shopping Center every Wednesday and Saturday till November 24th from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. They provide locally grown and produced products from the WNY Area.
Hamburg Farmers Market is located at the Hamburg Moose Lodge on Church Street. They open until the last Saturday in October from 7:20 a.m. – 1 p.m. The agricultural products are available by the local farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders. There are vendors who you see every week, every other week, or just every once in a while. Local restaurants and chefs purchase the produce that are available to use at their establishments each week!
West Seneca Farmers Market is located at the West Seneca Town Hall. They’re open every Thursday until August 26th from 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. This year’s market is the eighth annual market including a variety of vendors that are in attendance along with food trucks to fulfill your hunger when you’re checking it out.
Buffalo's Golf Courses
By Damond Flynn
As the weather begins to change for the better, we are all looking for ways to get out of the house and enjoy the weather as well as the world slowly starting to return to how it was pre-pandemic. One of the best ways to do so is by going to one of many local golf courses here in Western New York. Not only is golf one of the most relaxing sports whether you are just beginning or have been playing for years, it is a great way to relax with friends or family, or even by yourself. Going to a golf course by yourself also presents the opportunity to meet new people, and perhaps even make connections with others.
Getting outside to enjoy the nice weather is crucial, especially here in Buffalo. If we are lucky, we have only around 5 months throughout the year when we can be outside and enjoy the sun and warm weather. Golfing is a great way to get outside for a couple of hours, and with numerous golf courses here in Buffalo, there is always a time and a place where one can get a tee time.
Not only is golf a great way to relax and unwind after a long day at work, but it is also a great way to get some exercise in. With most golf courses, you will be walking around 5 miles in total when paying 18 holes, so it is a great way to get some easy exercise in.
If you are looking to take advantage of the weather while you can, or just relieve a little bit of stress and forget about everything else for a couple of hours, a google search of all the local golf courses to book a tee time is a great way to start.
The Return of the Taste of Buffalo & Erie County Fair
By Mary Kate Wirfel
Unlike last summer when everything was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the return of fun, family events is back for this summer here in Western New York. That includes both the Taste of Buffalo and The Erie County Fair.
With the Taste of Buffalo quickly approaching, the event will be held for two days in July. Saturday July 10th and Sunday July 11th in Niagara Square and Delaware Avenue in Downtown Buffalo. The event usually has over 50 food venders from the Western New York area, but this year there will be half capacity. 27 different restaurants, wineries, and food trucks will participate in the Taste of Buffalo this year.
The places chosen this year are some of Western New York's favorite places to eat. Last year the event was virtual, so this year it will be nice to have things in person again. The food menu will be released in June. If you want to attend the Taste of Buffalo you must have an admissions ticket to enter the event. Tickets will not be sold at the gate this year. You can buy your tickets at the Taste of Buffalo website. Each ticket will have a specific time slot in order to keep the crowd and guests at half capacity under the New York State Community Guidelines. For more information head on over to the Taste of Buffalo website for more information about time slots and tickets.
The Erie County Fair will be doing something similar to the Taste of Buffalo. You can only buy tickets on the fair's website. Tickets will not be sold at the gates. Like always, children twelve and under will be free, but they still have to have a ticket stub present when arriving at the gates. The crowd will be at half capacity and so will the rides, games, and other shows.
You must be vaccinated in order to attend the fair and the events. Live shows and outdoor concerts will go on. Like at most sporting events, people will have to remain at a distance. As of now, guests will not have to take a COVID test in order to purchase a ticket to this year's fair. As of now masks are mandatory, but the COVID-19 guidelines become more lifted every day, so that may change. Tickets go on sale July 1st and the fair is set to open on August 11th and run until August 22nd. If you want more information, head over to the Erie County Fair's website.
By Aby Zurowski
One of my favorite things to do in summer is take advantage of the nice weather and get outside for some fresh air for my workouts. There are so many ways to stay active, but one of my favorites for summer is exploring new parks to take my dog, Myla, on a walk! The park I take her to the most is Chestnut Ridge. There are many different routes you can take as well as hiking down to see the Eternal Flame and because the park is so big, I am always finding new things to look at and I find it doesn’t get as repetitive as other parks.
Another great option is taking a walk by Canalside or the Outer Harbor. It is perfect for hot days, especially with the breeze from the lake and there is also a lot of scenery including the boats and all of the local spots at Canalside.
Another one of my favorite things to do during summer is have a beach or pool day with my friends and family. There's nothing better than being able to wind down, listen to music, go for a swim, and relax. Going along with outdoor workouts, I have also found that swimming is very effective and it does not feel like you are working out because it is fun, refreshing and effortless. It is also something your whole family can do because it has low/no impact and is easy on your joints while still working most muscle groups. I also have a very big family so it is super fun when we all get together once all of my siblings and cousins are home from college on the weekends to hangout and play different rec games like cornhole, volleyball canjam and spike ball.
Summer Pool Days
By Cassie Kamens
When the temperature gets hot, an effective way to cool off is spending some time in the pool. Swimming can be done in many ways and in many places. Public pools, private pools, lakes, and water parks are all great places to take a dip.
My favorite is the pool in my backyard which I enjoy with the company of family and friends. My younger cousins enjoy racing to get diving toys at the bottom, making wave pools, using water guns, and the occasional cannon ball competition. I enjoy floating around and soaking in the sun with an ice-cold drink in hand. I spend much of the time that I am outside in the pool, but when I’m not in the pool there are a variety of other pool side activities to enjoy.
Friendly competition in a game of cornhole, spikeball, and horseshoes are a good balance to relaxing in the pool. Another poolside activity that I enjoy is leisure reading. In my opinion, there is nothing like reading a good book on a summer day.
Backyard pools are not the only way to enjoy swimming in the summer. There are a variety of public pools that also provide an opportunity to swim. Another great place to swim is in the lake (where it is safe to swim) from the beach or a boat. Days at the beach are fun and hot so swimming is a good break from the beating sun. Thankfully or unthankfully, the lakes in 716 usually do not heat up too much, making them very refreshing. Boats also provide access to swimming water. Water parks also provide some water-filled-fun in the summer with wave pools and slides. As far as summer activities go, swimming is fun for everyone (when done safely) and a refreshing way to cool down from the heat.