Southern Hills

Picturesque Villages & Farms

Southern Hills
Picturesque Villages & Farms

Step out of the daily hustle and bustle and get away to the quaint and inviting Southern Hills of Oneida County. Slow your pace, make the drive, and find contentment in these aesthetically pleasing New England inspired villages with vintage rural character.

Founded in 1787 by pioneers from Connecticut, the picturesque Village of Clinton was widely known during the 19th century for its many private secondary schools, a distinction that earned it the nickname “Schooltown.” For nearly 100 years, Clinton’s academies and seminaries met the educational needs of hundreds of students throughout the Northeast, including U.S. president Grover Cleveland, Red Cross founder Clara Barton and transcontinental railroad visionary and university founder Leland Stanford.

Hamilton College, which sits atop a hill overlooking the village was founded in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy by the Reverend Samuel Kirkland, a missionary to the Oneida Indians, it was chartered as a college in 1812. Today it stands as one of America’s oldest and finest liberal arts colleges. Among its many prestigious alumni are abolitionist Gerrit Smith, U.S. Vice President James Sherman, painter Daniel Huntington, poet Ezra Pound, and distinguished statesman Elihu Root.

A Clinton native, Mr. Root won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912, and for many years his family tended to the gardens in the glen behind the Root homestead on the Hamilton campus. Today, the Root Glen is open to the public and has become a favorite spot for quiet walks among the shaded red-shale paths to admire 65 species of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers. Hamilton’s Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum includes over 6,000 works of art and artifacts, representing a broad range of cultures, historical periods, and artistic practices and movements.

The Village of Clinton has over 100 years of hockey history. In 2018 Clinton earned the coveted designation as a Kraft Hockeyville USA community! Hockey fans revelled as the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets took to the ice at historic Clinton Arena for an NHL pre-season game highlighting a week of national exposure for the charming little Village. Off the ice and throughout the year, visitors can peruse a delightful array of locally-owned artisan shops, specialty boutiques, restaurants and cafes.

Traditions have continued at The Clinton Cider Mill since 1903. From Labor Day through Thanksgiving, enjoy fresh-pressed cider and house-baked donuts and pies at the Clinton Cider Mill. If you’re planning a weekend getaway in warm weather months, be sure to arrive by mid-day Thursday so you can visit the Clinton Farmers’ Market on the Village green. Kick off the Christmas holiday season with the 5K Jingle Jog and the Clinton Shoppers’ Stroll, complete with horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday parade, and a fire pit for s’mores on the Village green.

A little farther south, nestled in the rolling hills is the Hamlet of Sauquoit, home of The Root Farm, a 100-acre facility providing truly special experiences without limitations. The complex features an equine-assisted therapy center with an 8,000 sq ft heated riding arena and a diverse agriculture center. Root Farm Adventures is a fully accessible high ropes challenge course, zipline and climbing wall for individuals of all abilities

The villages of Waterville and Oriskany Falls draw visitors for their graceful settings, pleasing bygone-era architecture, unique eateries, eclectic stores, and historic sites. Oriskany Falls was aptly named for the waterfalls in the center of town, formed by Oriskany Creek.

In September, check out Cruisin’ Into Waterville with entertainment for all ages including a huge car show featuring classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles, a parade, 5K run/walk, craft fair, BBQ cookout, and chili cook-off. Waterville is the birthplace of George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company

Set your camera on scenic landscape view for a pic of the massive clean energy generating windmills that dot the hilltops and ridges of local wind farms throughout the picturesque southern hills

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