Clift Park on Skaneateles Lake has open public swimming. Thayer Park, east of the downtown shops, is a quiet, beautiful park for relaxing and enjoying the view. Austin Park, 1 Austin St. (btwn Jordan and State sts.), has a playground, basketball and tennis courts, and a track for walking, biking, or skating. The Charlie Major Nature Trail, along the Old Short line, between Old Seneca Turnpike and Crow Hill Road, is good for hiking. Biking the 32-mile perimeter around the Skaneateles Lake is big with cycling clubs (and, of course, with motorcyclists).
However, the best outdoor activity in Skaneateles is getting out on the lake, and a great way to do so is by cruise boat. Mid-Lakes Navigation Co., 11 Jordan St. (tel. 800/545-4318 or 315/685-8500; www.midlakesnav.com), a longtime local, family-run business, organizes cruises on Skaneateles Lake, including 1-hour sightseeing, Sunday brunch, champagne dinner, and luncheon cruises. If that's too typical, try boarding a U.S. mail boat as it delivers mail to old-fashioned camps on the lake. Call for more information. They also do cruises along the Erie Canal. Most cruises are in July and August. For kayaking instruction and rentals, try NorthWind Expedition Kayaks, 2825 W. Lake Rd. (tel. 315/685-4808; www.northwindkayaks.com); for pontoon, sailboat, canoe, and kayak rentals, see The Sailboat Shop, 1322 E. Genesee St. (tel. 315/685-7558).
The Sherwood Inn owns an antique Chris Craft, The Stephanie, on which it offers sunset cruises and sightseeing tours; call tel. 800/3-SHERWOOD for more information. For fishing charters and sunset cruises on the lake, contact Lakeview Charters, 2478 E. Lake Rd. (tel. 315/685-8176).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.