New York State Route 256
New York State Route 256 is a scenic 21-mile stretch across mostly rural terrain, extending north - south from its northern junction with NY 15 on the Geneseo – Livonia town line to its southern termination with the intersection of NY 63 in the Village of Dansville, all in the County of Livingston. The northern half of NY 256, named West Lake Road, passes along the western shore of Conesus Lake, and becomes West Swamp Road from its intersection with Sliker Hill Road (at the south end of the lake) to the Village of Dansville.
New York State Route 256 links the area just north of Conesus Lake and the Village of Dansville where NY 36, NY 63, NY 436 and I-390 are in close proximity for travel in each direction. Its location is central to the area known as Western New York, positioned along the western most part of the Finger Lakes Region.
The drive passes through the towns of Livonia, Geneseo, Groveland, Conesus, Sparta and North Dansville into the Village of Dansville. The surrounding region abounds in easily accessible outdoor recreational areas, a popular winery, ciderworks, brewery, enjoyable eateries, and communities of Amish families offering baked goods, fresh produce and handcrafted items for sale.
Attractions from north to south include:
• Minnehans Fun Center and Restaurant, located at the corner of Routes 20A and 256, is a popular family attraction with miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages and indoor arcade. The complex includes a mini-discovery zone for younger children and a popular area restaurant.
• Vitale Park is a popular fishing spot maintained by the Town of Livonia and located in the Hamlet of Lakeville at the north end of Conesus Lake – a year round park with playground, restrooms, walking trails, gardens, pavilions and home of the Chip Holt Nature Center and Conesus Lake Association. The park hosts a popular Sunday night Summer Concert Series. There is a car top boat launch area here and another across the Conesus Lake outlet along Pebble Beach Road, maintained by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/coneshonlksbls.pdf.
• Deer Run Winery, 3772 West Lake Road, Geneseo – Visitors can enjoy a wine tasting and shop local products at the winery, conveniently located near the north end of the lake, between Lakeville’s Vitale Park and Geneseo’s Long Point Park. Thursday Night Summer Concerts are very popular and the winery is open year round.
•Long Point Park is a seasonal park maintained by the Town of Geneseo and located midway down the lake at the intersection of West Lake and Long Point Roads. Facilities include: picnic tables, barbeque equipment, large pavilion (available for rent), restrooms, playground, gazebos and gardens with extensive lawn, beach and public dock. Lifeguards have scheduled hours during the summer. The park’s boathouse is home to the SUNY Geneseo Crew Club.
• The Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area at the south end of Conesus Lake is accessible from Route 256 and has a car top boat launch with parking area. http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/coneshonlksbls.pdf. The section on the opposite side of Sliker Hill Road includes a nature trail that provides viewing of wetland and upland habitats and wildlife species. This entire wildlife management area is bounded on the west by West Swamp Road (NY 256), on the east by East Swamp Road, on the south by Guiltner Road, and on the north by Conesus Lake http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24432.html.
This scenic drive, the parks and recreational areas are best enjoyed during daylight hours. Locals love the area year round, ice fisherman have a passion for cold winters, but visitors are especially attracted to summer and fall.