Onondaga County

Onondaga County & Scenic Tour A

The communities in Onondaga County are the westernmost points on New York's Route 20 Scenic Byway. The county's name is derived from the name of the Native American people who live in the area. Today, the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Federation has a self-governed reservation of about nine square miles within the county. Through this area, US Route 20 traverses dramatic hill-and-valley terrain and the southern part of the county is Appalachian Plateau.

Pompey is the highest inhabited spot in the county. Within the community is Pratt's Falls Park. The park has scenic trails leading to a 137-foot waterfall. This geological wonder was formed by retreating glaciers and was the site of the county's first mill operation in 1796. Next is the town of LaFayette. In October, the focus is the LaFayette Apple Festival with entertainment, crafts, a scarecrow contest and lots of newly harvested apples. Within LaFayette lies the tiny hamlet of Cardiff. It was the site of the William C. "Stub" Newell farm where the Cardiff Giant -- a famous hoax -- was discovered in 1869. The "giant" currently resides at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown. 


Route 20 Scenic Tour A - The Furniture Trail - Onondaga County 

Onondaga County is steeped in a history of excellent manufacturers. One of the most widely known artists/manufacturers is Gustav Stickley, the founder of Stickley Furniture. Just minutes north of Pompey Center from Route 20 on Pompey Center Road to Route 92 north is Stickley's Manlius Factory. Tours of the factory are offered every Tuesday at 10 am, and private tours can be arranged. Or you can journey a little farther north on Route 257 to the Stickley Museum, located on the second floor of the original L. & J.G. Stickley Factory at 300 Orchard Street in Fayetteville -- above the Fayetteville Free Library. The museum is a repository for more than a century of furniture making, items that stretch from Gustav Stickley's earliest Arts & Crafts furniture to freshly cut and finished products from the factory floor. From Manlius, travel east on Route 173 (Seneca Turnpike) about 8 miles to Route 17 south and East Lake Road along the east shore of beautiful Cazenovia Lake to the Village of Cazenovia and Route 20. 

Something completely different. While you're in the area on a Sunday, check out Kellish Farm Rolling Hills of Bluegrass Americana, one-half mile north of Route 20 on Pompey Center Road. Every Sunday afternoon there are old-time music jams. Just stomp your feet or play, sing or dance.

Another not-to-be-missed destination is Beak and Skiff Apple Farms. In addition to apples, they feature a winery and distillery, just six miles west of LaFayette on Route 20.