15 Best Things to Do in Mayville, NY

Mayville, NY
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the northernmost tip of Chautauqua Lake, you'll find the Mayville, the county seat of Chautauqua County, New York.

According to William Peacock, the village took its name from the newborn daughter of Paul Busti, a General Agent of the Holland Land Company.

However, the local records do not mention May Busti.

Another story says the name came from the maiden name of Busti's wife.

In 1830, Mayville was incorporated.

Mayville was originally a portage stop because of its location on the Allegheny and Ohio rivers.

A vast countryside with rolling hills and rich heritage surrounds the village.

Some local recreational activities include boating, biking, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Here are the best things to do in Mayville, NY:

Go Fishing at Chautauqua Lake

The waters of Chautauqua Lake
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find Chautauqua Lake, an inland lake renowned for boating, sailing, paddle sports, and fishing in upstate New York.

The lake stretches for 17 kilometers and maybe as long as two miles in certain places.

Likewise, you can access public boat launches at Prendergast and Bemus points and Long Point and Lucille Ball Memorial Parks.

Ice fishing on Chautauqua Lake
Andre Carrotflower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Several marinas on the lake allow renting speedboats, powerboats, kayaks, or stand-up paddleboards.

If you love fishing, you can join tournaments for walleye, bass, and muskellunge, which attract anglers from all across the country.

You can also join guided fishing excursions.

Ride the Chautauqua Belle

The Chautauqua Belle is a steamer that will take you on a voyage of discovery.

In 2007, Captain Mathew Stage founded US Steam Lines Ltd., which purchased the steamship Chautauqua Belle from the failed Sea Lion Project Ltd.

Go back in time when steam-powered the country.

The biggest watercraft on Chautauqua Lake will illustrate Chautauqua Lake's importance in founding the United States.

While taking in the summer or fall foliage, relax with some family-friendly activity, a bite to eat, or a few beverages.

You can also join Jamestown Historical Tours on the Chautauqua Belle.

Explore the Chautauqua Gorge State Forest

Chautauqua Gorge State Forest's 538 acres provide a wide range of unstructured activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting, and hiking.

Its day-use area has picnic tables and fire rings, outhouses, and a public parking space open during the summer.

The need to conserve the Chautauqua Gorge watershed motivated the purchase of the state forest's property.

You may find the Chautauqua Gorge on the property's northern edge.

Avoid the streambed beyond the forest's northern edge, because stepping beyond that point is trespassing on state property.

An accessible 1/4-mile loop walk circles a larch and spruce plantation.

Built with crushed stone, the path is open to the public.

You can enjoy this path year-round, whatever your fitness level.

The day-use area prohibits camping.

Pitch your tents at any eight certified camping spots on Hannum Road.

Follow the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail

Between Mayville and Sherman, the western segment of the county trail system extends for more than 24 miles.

Camping lean-tos are accessible for those who like hiking, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing.

The route crosses New York State reforestation zones, Chautauqua County land, and private property.

Respect the course and take extra caution when passing private property.

Don't leave anything on the trail.

Likewise, you're not allowed to drive motorized vehicles on the property.

If you like birdwatching, you can try to spot the cedar waxwing, red-eyed vireo, ovenbird, and more than 100 more species.

It takes approximately nine hours and nine minutes to accomplish this course.

Enjoy Various Activities at Mayville Lakeside Park

This park is on the west side of Chautauqua Lake.

This lakeside park offers a wide range of facilities for visitors of all ages.

Among the amenities are a pavilion, tennis courts with floodlights, a swimming beach, a boathouse, a boat ramp, and picnic tables and grills.

You can also try the shuffleboard and play at the ball field.

A lakeside lunch is an excellent way to spend the day.

Learn Local History at Chautauqua Township Historical Society

The Chautauqua Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the region's history.

Exhibitions and displays showcase the area's vibrant heritage.

The Chautauqua County Historical Society is in an 1820s frontier home.

This home is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visit the Pennsylvania Railroad Station

Mayville is home to the historic Pennsylvania Railroad Station.

In 1925, the Pennsylvania Railroad built the 117-foot-wide three-story brick building with a hipped, overhanging roof.

In 1950, the Pennsylvania Railroad gave up on it.

The Village of Mayville bought the land in 1968.

The building became a local access cable television studio from June 1995 to the fall of 2000.

Today, the building has become the Chautauqua Town Historical Society Mayville Depot Museum.

The museum houses exhibits on Chautauqua Lake, furniture manufacturing, ice harvesting, and steamboating.

In 1993, the National Register of Historic Places added the station to its list.

See Stunning Ice Sculptures at Mayville Winter Festival

If you're around the area in February, join the winter festivity for the whole family.

The Mayville Winter Festival occurs at Lakeside Park over Presidents Day Weekend.

Created from chunks of the frozen Chautauqua Lake, the ice castle is the centerpiece of this fantastic spectacle.

Check out the food trucks, beer, wine tents, KidZone activities, hayrides, chainsaw carvings, warming fires, skating, hockey, ice fishing demonstrations, etc.

Listen to live music and watch a stunning fireworks display when the event ends.

Rent Adventure Gear at Evergreen Outfitters

Of course, you can't go on an outdoor adventure without the right equipment.

It is the only outfitter serving Chautauqua County.

Besides kayaks, canoes, and camping gear, the store features 6,000 square feet of adventure.

Attend introductory and intermediate classes on kayaking techniques such as Eskimo rolling, strokes, surfing, and rescues.

Paddle your kayak down the Conewango River, Lake Erie, and the Chautauqua Lake and its outlets.

Paddles depart Barcelona Harbor for Lake Erie sunset excursions and Long Point State Park for Chautauqua Lake moonlight cruises.

Explore the Outlet of Chautauqua Lake and Conewango Creek while crossing lesser waterways.

Bring your own equipment, or rent it from the shop.

Taste the Cheeses from Reverie Creamery and Artisan Market

This humble shop began with a simple desire to offer the best cheeses in the world.

Reverie Creamery is a small-scale cheesemaking enterprise, cheese shop, and cheese destination.

Besides selling award-winning cheeses, Reverie also stocks a wide selection of other delicacies from small American artisanal producers.

The Reverie Creamery collaborates with other dairy farms and creameries in the area.

In its Mayville shop, find cheese, artisan beer, and gourmet cuisine from different parts of the world.

Chill at Big Inlet Brewing

Big Inlet Brewing is a farm-oriented and family-friendly brewery that produces the best craft beer in Mayville.

The brewery was once a farm on Elm Flats Road, now transformed into a small-batch brewery with farm-themed decor.

It has lots of space to enjoy, including a 1,600-square-foot brewing floor and a 2,300 square-foot tasting/gathering area.

You might not want to leave once you've settled down at its outdoor beer garden and pond.

Using only locally sourced ingredients, the brewery hand-crafts beer for sale to the public.

The brewery has won several competitions for their brewing expertise.

Browse Home Additions at Cottage by Pucci

The Webb family has teamed up with the Pucci family of Fredonia to offer home furniture to Chautauqua Lake.

The Puccis and Webbs have a long-standing working connection that has included various flooring projects.

Browse the furniture, flooring, window decorations, and bedding at Cottage by Pucci to spruce up your home.

Since 1972, the shop has offered high-quality products and outstanding customer service.

Go window-shopping or bring home a new addition to your residence.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Immerse Yourself in Local Culture at the Chautauqua Institution

Exterior of a building at Chautauqua Institution
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

If you want more of the area's culture, visit the Chautauqua Institution, just six minutes away from Mayville.

During the summer, the Chautauqua Institution comes alive with a unique blend of visual and performing arts, lectures, interfaith liturgy, and leisure activities.

The institution celebrates, promotes, and studies the arts, an intrinsic part of all learning.

Fall foliage along Chautauqua Institution's street
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

Each week has a different subject, reflected in the lectures and performances offered.

Quilting Around Chautauqua, for example, runs in the fall and spring.

In the winter, horse-drawn sleighs take visitors around the grounds to enjoy the beauty of Chautauqua.

Autumn trees at Chautauqua Institution
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

Ride a Horse at Double DAB Riding Stables

If you wish to ride a horse in the Mayville area, head to Double DAB Riding Stable, just 19 minutes away from Mayville.

The stables offer a Petting Farm, Scenic Rides, Pony Rides, and an ever-expanding Petting Zoo.

It's an excellent place for the whole family to enjoy.

Take a leisurely ride across its expansive property.

Its skilled guides and well-trained horses will take good care of you.

Don't worry if you have zero riding experience.

This park has a nice picnic spot as well.

If you pack a lunch, sit beneath a willow tree and watch the animals playing while you enjoy your meal.

Get the Last Laugh at the National Comedy Center

You can reach the National Comedy Center after a 26-minute drive from Mayville.

The museum pays tribute to Lucille Ball's hometown, Jamestown, New York.

It features a library, archives, and a memorabilia collection on American comedy and the comedians who developed the art form.

Time Magazine has named the National Comedy Center as one of the "World's Greatest Places."

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, interaction, and customization, the Comedy Center offers a fun and interactive museum experience for the whole family.

Final Thoughts

Lying at the north end of Chautauqua Lake, Mayville is a gateway to several year-round tourist attractions.

Start planning your Mayville trip today!

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