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Tomtuga the northern Pirate Island

 Hey, welcome to Camp Tomtuga.

 

 We are all about camping with the historic Erie Canal in the frontyard and a real working railroad in our backyard. How cool is that.

 First, a little info about the Erie Canal. Built in 1825. The canal boating season is from May - Sept. They actually empty our section for the winter. Some of those boats passing by are doing the 'Great Loop'. Boats coming from Miami; NYC; Chicago; St Louis; Nashville and Canada etc. Check the other parts of this website for more info on that.

 There is a free NYS Canal boat launch 1,800ft east from the camp. I hope you brought your boat / kayak / canoe, whatever you got that floats. If not, we can maybe help you out. You can put in right out front here too just over the guardrail. Just watch for the poison ivy there.

 Fishing! You can fish from our frontyard all you want. I've seen bass / catfish & channel-cat / sheephead - carp and yet to see a walleye but have been told by many that they are in there. You can buy worms down at the hardware store. I might have a pole or two if needed.

 Now the railroad here is a local shortline GVT, that only has access from the west. They usually run a train on Wednesday and Friday of maybe six cars or so. Headed east (left) at 9am'ish, then back west (right) after noon'ish. Yet sometimes a ''corn train'' of a 100 cars comes thru, when the ethanol plant in Medina needs resupply. If you are really into trains, then you need to go to Lockport to see the ''Upside down Bridge'' and the Medina Railroad Museum in Medina. 

 Oh and that is engineer Neil in the engine, give him a wave.

 

 

 Ok, so thanks for staying at my camp. Here are a few Gasport businesses that you might need for your stay here. They are mostly an easy walk, all within a mile. If you need help, just knock on the camper door or message me. 

 Gasport has... a Breakfast Cafe; Two bars; Two pizza places; Dollar General; Hardware; Laundromat; Gas Station; Kid fun zone; County & Veterans Park; Veterinary; Churches; Dentists; Post Office; Propane;Farm Market. 

 

 I do sell campfire wood for $5 a BIG bundle or burn what you brought. I can start the fire for you very easily...trust me it's worth it.

 

 I also have available for free use... cornhole; washers game; horseshoes; croquet and there is a mini golf course setup here, I have the clubs. I also have a couple of bicycles that you can borrow too... and the rowboat.

Just ask me.

 

 

 Take a moment to friend me on Facebook or just take a look for more current stuff going on in the neighborhood. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pirates.chest?mibextid=ZbWKwL

 

 

 

 Here is a map of the places listed below.

 Still adding to it but it's easier than me giving you four sheets of paper...yes I use to do that.

 Scroll to the bottom of the list on the left. Those are the areas closer to camp. The website loads in the opposite direction, sorry. 

 

http://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/Camp_Tomtuga_/C5KI8qdsDS

 

 

 

 

Sunrise Cafe - 

8503 Rochester Rd, Gasport NY 14067

6am-2pm except fridays they close at 8pm. 

 Great breakfast place. They serve perch on fridays.

 Take a right out of camp and the next street by the marina is Boulton Rd. Just up from there, to the right East Ave. You could probably walk there, 0.5 of a mile.

https://www.the-sunrise-cafe.com/ 

 

 

Drum Oil and Propane -

8776 Rochester Rd, Gasport NY 14067

Just 1.5 miles east of camp.

Opens at 7am - Closes at 5pm *Closed on weekends.

 Propane at the little shed to the east (left) of the main building. Get as close as you can. 

 You can also get regular gas here under the awning. No diesel.

 

 

Crosby Gas Station - 

7953 Rochester Rd, Gasport NY 14067

Opens at 5am - Closes at 10pm

 Turn left out of camp. Cross over Main St and straight up the street. It is just over a mile out.

 Blue Rhino propane tank exchange. Also diesel sold here.

 

 

Veterans Park - 

7992 Telegraph Rd, Gasport NY 14067

 Baseball field / kids playground / bathroom.

 On the way to Crosby's gas station.

Go left and over Main St. Has bathrooms.

 

 

Gasport Laundry - 

8401 Telegraph Rd, Gasport NY 14067

0.5 miles 

 On our street, across from the Ports pizza / sub shop and Canalside Inn. Open 24/7

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100095124186321&mibextid=ZbWKwL

 

Ports Pizza & Subs -

8396 State St, Gasport, NY 14067

 On our street across from the laundry. They do deliver. 

https://www.facebook.com/people/Ports-Pizza-Subs/100057031707035/ 

 

 

Canalside Inn -

4431 Main St, Gasport, NY 14067

 Down across from the laundry. Get the Beef on Weck. Cash only place. ATM inside. 

https://www.facebook.com/people/Canalside-Inn/100042242667224/

 

 

Chop's Shop Pizzeria -

8405 Rochester Rd, NY-31, Gasport NY 14067

Closes at 11pm

(716) 772-7710

 

 The Bar is connected nextdoor and a good sit down dinner spot. Very nice place. Has live music nights too. ATM inside.

 

Chop's Bar and Grill -

Mon/Thurs 12am-12pm

Fri/Sat 11am-2am

https://www.chopsshoppizzaandbar.com/

 

 

Dollar General - 

8405 Rochester Rd, Gasport NY 14067

 In the plaza with Chops. They have bags of ice. 

Just around the block from camp 0.8 miles

8am-9pm

 

 

Stockham Lumber Hardware - 

4440 Central Ave, Gasport NY 14067

 Right in the middle of town.

M-F 7am-6pm / Sat 7am-5pm / Sun closed

 

 

Flint Veterinary Clinic - (716) 772-6149

4437 Main St, Gasport NY 14067

0.6 miles away

https://flintveterinarycarecenter.com/

 For emergency call....

Green Acres Emergency (716) 213-0283

Veterinary Emergency Services (716) 403-4370

 

 

Fort Hyde Kennels - (716) 772-2356

 8513 Ridge Rd, Gasport NY 14067

4.3 miles away

 All animals welcome.

http://www.forthydekennels.com/

 

 

Niagara Kraze - 

8411 Rochester Rd, Gasport NY 14067

0.8 miles from camp

 Indoor kid climbing walls - bounce house.

https://niagarakraze.com/ 

 

 

Royalton Ravine County Park -

4662 Gasport Rd, Gasport NY

7am - 9pm

 Get your walk on. Has nice bathrooms.

https://letsgoplayoutside.com/en/hiking/locations/usa/new-york/explore/royalton-ravine-park

 

 

Hartland Town Park -

8942 Ridge Rd, Gasport NY

 Need to cool off? Splash pad. 

Ask me for details. 

 

 

Free (donation) Showers -

 GPS this address 24 Main St, Middleport. It is NOT in this front building, it is outback of it.

 Go up to the canal lift bridge and take the laneway along the canal and behind the buildings. There is a municipal parking lot here.

 The showers are the grey doors / brick building, on either side of the stairs leading up to the police station. See the pic below.

 They are open 24/7 during the boater season May-Oct. 

5.2 miles away

The backway to this parking lot is 87 S Hartland, Middleport.

 There are water spigots here along the canal wall for boaters. If your RV needs water, I'm sure it's available for you too. 

 

*Also you can do your laundry one building away to the left.

*Village Pizza is across the street is very good. https://www.myvillagepizzeria.com/

**And some awesome BBQ at B&B bbq 105 Telegraph Rd Middleport. Get the Brunswick Stew. https://bandb-bbq.com/

 

 

 

 

Medina Railroad Museum -

530 West Ave, Medina, NY 

 Largest toy train layout in NY 200ft long. Also 484 fire helmets.

You will love this place. You will easily spend an hour here looking at all the stuff. 

https://www.medinarailroadmuseum.org/

9.9 miles

 

*If you are hungry, try either of these two places...

*Capt Kidz - 143 E Center St

*Rudy's Soda Bar & Cafe - ask for the MoJo burger

https://www.rudyssodabarandcafe.com/

 

 

NES Food Outlet -

8401 Ridge Rd, Gasport, NY 14067

 Sadly closed.

 

 

Harris Farmer's Market -

8481 Ridge Rd, Gasport, NY 14067

3.8 miles, up near NES 

 Ice Cream!!! and fruit / vegetables / bakery.

https://www.facebook.com/HarrisFarmMarket/

 

 

Schwabs Farm Market -

9035 Rochester Rd, Gasport, NY 14067

2 miles away

 Also sell deli meats / fresh baked goods and made to order sandwiches $5. 

https://schwabsfarm.com/

 

 

Becker Farms / Vizcarra Vineyards -

3724 Quaker Rd, Gasport, NY 14067

2.8 miles north of camp.

 Wine tastings / kids area / Live music.

https://www.beckerfarms.com/

 

 

Tops Supermarket -

7134 Rochester Rd, Lockport NY 14094

Hours - M-F 9am-7pm 

Sat 9am-3pm Sun 10am-2pm.

 Groceries 5 minutes away from camp. 4.1 miles

https://www.topsmarkets.com/StoreLocator/Store?L=275&M=&From=&S=

 

 There are other Tops to the west, that are open longer by about 2hrs.

The largest is 12 miles away from camp, compared to 4 miles.

5827 South Transit Rd, Lockport

 

Or always Walmart on South Transit in Lockport 

 

 

 Maple Syrup Weekend - usually in late March

Wolf Maple Products - 9355 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Middleport NY

(716) 735-9102

 Come see how maple syrup is made. It takes 40 gallons of tree sap to make one gallon of syrup. Free things to do here and not far from our camp.

https://mapleweekend.nysmaple.com/mw-producer/wolf-maple-products/

 

 

 

*** When you stay at our camp Tomtuga and are looking for things to do. Here are a few places and links. 

 Have fun...

 

 

 Maybe a lighthouse tour? Point Breeze; Thirty Mile; Olcott.

 

 Sandstone buildings of Albion and Medina -

 

 Ripley's Church surrounded by streets Medina NY -

 

 Ripley's only Car Tunnel under the Erie Canal Medina NY - http://www.lowbridgeproductions.com/erie-canal-images-culvert.html 13.1 miles 

 

 World's largest Apple Pie Pan - Orleans County Fair Grounds 12690 Rt 31, Albion NY 14.6 miles

 It's outside, so stop for a quick pic.

 

 Charles Howard former Santa School Albion NY - was at 13845 Phipps Rd, Albion NY 14411 18.7 miles 

 He is buried in Albion cemetery.

 

 

 

 

North Star Cruises -

 How about a personal pontoon boat ride on the Erie Canal. 

 Get on right down at the Medina basin. They take you over the famous culvert, which is the only spot that cars can go under the 350 mile canal. 

(716) 514-9378

https://www.facebook.com/northstarcruises?mibextid=D4KYlr

 

 

Lockport Locks - Flight of Five the Erie Canal.

80 Canal St, Lockport NY 14094

7 miles to the west.

 I can meet you here and give you a personal tour of how it works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_of_Five_Locks

 

 

Lockport Cave & Under Ground Boat Ride -

5 Gooding St, Lockport NY 14094

https://lockportcave.com/

 

 

Lake Effect Ice Cream -

79 Canal St, Lockport NY 14094

 Eat ice cream while watching the boats in the lock.

https://www.lakeeffecticecream.com/

 

 

Erie Canal Boat Company -

79 Canal St, Lockport NY 14094

 Kayak and bicycle rentals. 

https://eriecanalboatcompany.com/

 

 

Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises -

 Large canal boat that takes you on a guided tour of the Lockport Locks.

210 Market St, Lockport NY 14094

 800-378-0352

https://lockportlocks.com/

 

 

Widewaters Marina - 

768 E Market St, Lockport NY 14094

 Free showers! Has a boat ramp and docks. Gas for boats, no diesel.

https://lockportny.gov/water-activities/

 

*Don't confuse it with ''Marvin's'' hotdog stand across the street. 

Car show thursday nights in the summer.

 

 

Transit Drive-in -

6655 S Transit Rd, Lockport NY 

13 miles isn't that far far away.

 YES!!!, a movie drive-in!!!

https://www.transitdrivein.com/

 

 

Olcott Beach - 

Olcott Beach Carousel Park

5979 E Main St, Olcott, NY 14126

18 miles to fun.

 Not the best beach but must take the little kids here for the rides. Yes 25 cent rides!!! Kids must be under 52 inches, no exceptions. 

https://olcottbeachcarouselpark.org/

 

 

U-pick Blueberries - Russels U-pick Blueberries -

7499 Lake Rd, Appleton, NY 14008

 Blueberries season mid July to early Sept.

 Cherry season late June into July, only 2 weeks!!

 32 varieties of apples.

http://www.whittierfruitfarm.com/

 

 

U-pick Cherries - Singer Farms Naturals - 

6730 Lake Rd, Appleton, NY 14008

 Yep pick your own cherries and apples when in season.

https://www.singerfarmnaturals.com/

 

 

Irouquois National Wildlife Refuge - 

 Migratory bird sanctuary. 

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/iroquois

 

Bond Lake County Park -

https://bondlake.webs.com/

 

Krull County Park - 

6108 Lake Rd, Olcott NY 14126

 Has workout stations along the path. Splash pad / playground.

https://www.niagaracounty.com/departments/m-r/parks/krull_park/index.php

 

 

Fort Niagara State Park - 

1 Scott Ave, Youngstown, NY 14174

28 miles but a nice ride.

 1679 French / British 1759 / American 1796 again 1812.

https://www.oldfortniagara.org/

 Ask about the headless guy in the well.

 

Youngstown, NY - 

The Stone Jug - 358 Main St, Youngstown, NY 14174

 ...for a beer and burger. Tell Sara that Homer sent you.

https://www.stonejug1842.com/ 

 

 

Lewiston NY -  26 miles too.

 Is the place where Harriet Tubman had the Underground Railroad crossing into Canada. https://historiclewiston.org/ 

 Few great little shops;

 

Artpark for concerts - https://www.artpark.net/

 

the Brickyard for bbq.

Get the platter.

https://www.brickyardpub.com/ 

 

Jetboat tours.

Uh, your gonna get wet.

https://whirlpooljet.com/ 

 

Silo Ice Cream.

Awesome view. Ask about the bucket challenge. 10 scoops. 

https://www.lewistonsilo.com/ 

 

 

Niagara Power Vista - 

5777 LewistonRd, Lewiston NY 14092

 Other campers have raved about this place and say to take the tour of the plant.

https://nypa.gov/

 

 

Niagara Falls American side -

 

Free Parking at these locations - 

Whirlpool State Park.

Gorge Discovery Center.

Niagara Power Vista.

Niagara Falls Train Station.

Underground Railroad Heritage Center.

 You can take the FREE shuttle buses from these lots to all of the attractions. 

https://www.discoverniagarashuttle.com/ 

 

 There is also another Niagara County bus service here. It actually picks people up right here in Gasport down on Main Street. All you need to do is wave them down. It costs $2 per person per ride. $4 if you want them to pick you up here at the camp. 

 This bus only goes to Middleport and Lockport twice a day. You can get to other buses routes in Lockport. Those can take you up to Wilson and Niagara Falls but you would want to get on the free Discover Niagara Shuttle buses for a better experience and route times. 

 

https://www.niagaracounty.com/government/county_information/public_transportation_schedule.php

 

 

Fireworks Show above the Falls - Usually around 10pm from mid May (Canada Day) to begining of Oct (Canada Thanksgiving). Launched from the Canadian side. Weather permitting. 

Call for updates on times and weather 1-877-642-7275

https://www.cliftonhill.com/events/niagara-falls-fireworks

 

Maid of the Mist - Boat tour.

If you can't cross the border, take this boat tour up to the Falls.

 https://www.maidofthemist.com/

 

Cave of the Winds - Steps below the Falls https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/cave-of-the-winds

 

Niagara Falls Observation Tower - https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/observation-tower

 

Schoellkopf Elevator to the river - *Free https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/schoellkopf-power-plant-ruins 

 

Underground Railroad Museum - 

https://www.niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org/

 

 

Food - 

 I alway go to the casino. Easy free parking.

Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino

310 4th St, Niagara Falls

Look for the tallest building in town. Just don't go east of it.

https://senecaniagaracasino.com/dining-bars/

 

 

 

Niagara Falls Canadian side -

 Just about every place takes American money but you get a better exchange rate at places like the casino or exchange service places (usually just after the border bridges). 

 Also they love to charge for parking everywhere and anywhere.

 

Horn Blower -

Canada version of Maid of the Mist - 

Available on this side too.

 

The Tunnel - https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/niagara-parks-power-station/the-tunnel-niagara-falls

 

Journey Behind the Falls - https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/journey-behind-the-falls/ 

 

Niagara Power Station - https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/niagara-parks-power-station 

 

Floral Clock - 

https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/nature-garden/floral-clock/

 

Bird Kingdom - 

https://birdkingdom.ca/

 

Butterfly Conservatory - 

https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/butterfly-conservatory/

 

 

Dufferin Park - 

 

Lots to do on Clifton Hill...

Here are ticket packages - https://www.cliftonhill.com/events/niagara-falls-fireworks

 

Locomoland

Bird Kingdom

Butterfly Conservatory

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

Casino Niagara - two separate casino's.

Fallsview Casino - probably the better of the two.

Niagara Skywheel

Ripley's Upside Down House 

Niagara Speedway 

Zombie Attack

Carnival Chaos

Dinosaur Adventure Golf

Strike Gamezone 

Movieland Wax Museum

Great Canadian Midway

Big Top Amazing Mirror Laser Tag

Castle Dracula Wax Museum

The Haunted House

Ripley's selfie Studio

Louis Tussaudis Wax Museum

 

* There's probably more wax museums or tourist traps that I missed. They constantly change.

 

 

Food - Might be cheaper to eat in NY side. They charge non-residents a tax for using services here, I think 12% plus the regular tax. 

 Here are a few places that I enjoyed...

 

Flying Saucer Restaraunt -

6768 Lundy's Lane, Niagara Falls ONT L2G 1V5 Canada

https://flyingsaucerrestaurant.com/

 Our usual late night after bar hopping breakfast joint.

Fun family lunch spot for kids other than McDonalds.

 

Carpaccio Restaraunt - 

6840 Lundy's Lane 

https://www.carpacciorestaurant.com/

 True Italian place. Lots of calamari.

 

Frontier BBQ and Smokehouse -

6519 Stanley Ave

https://www.frontierniagara.com/

 All you can eat buffet style.

 

Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse -

6671 Fallsview Blvd

https://www.thecopa.ca/

 Buffet style. Great musical floor show.

 

Braza Brazilian Steakhouse -

6361 Fallsview *upstairs 

https://www.brasaniagara.com/

 Buffet style. Highend place, huge salad bar choices. 

 

 

 

 

...back to NY side

 

 

Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum -

180 Thompson St, North Tonawanda, NY 14120

23 miles from camp.

 Has antique kids rides, at old timey prices.

http://www.carrouselmuseum.org/

 

 

Platter's Chocolates Factory -

908 Niagara Falls Blvd, North Tonawanda, NY 14120

Also 23 miles from camp. 

 Store hours M-F 7am-9pm / Sat 8am-9pm / Sun 10am-9pm. 

 How about a free self guided tour of a chocolate factory. Please no Oompa hunting in the factory. If you see Mr Wonka, safely walk in a fast pace in the other direction, the dude is crazy. 

 Tour Hours Sept - April are M-F 8am-3pm. Call for summer schedule. 

(716) 693-5391

https://www.platterschocolates.com/factory-tours/

 

Buffalo Heritage Village - 

3755 Tonawanda Creek Rd, Amherst, NY 14228

16 miles is kind of close.

https://bnhv.org/

 

 

 We had a few campers come for these house tours...

Frank Lloyd Wright's -

Martin House - 125 Jewett Pkwy, Buffalo NY

https://martinhouse.org/

 

Graycliff - 6472 Old Lakeshore Rd, Derby NY 

https://experiencegraycliff.org/

 

Fontana Boathouse - 1 Rotary Row, Buffalo NY

http://www.wrightsboathouse.org/

 

Gas Station Pierce-Arrow Museum  - 263 Michigan Ave, Buffalo NY 

https://www.pierce-arrow.com/

 

 

Buffalo Waterfront - 

Buffalo Naval Park - https://buffalonavalpark.org/ 

 Come see the Sullivan's ship and a submarine tour.

 

Buffalo Riverworks - https://buffaloriverworks.com/

 Has a riverside ferris wheel.

 

Silo City - https://www.silo.city/ very unique. 

 

Swannie House - greatest dive bar in Buffalo. 

 

Pearl Street Grill - https://pearlstreetgrill.com/

 

Anchor Bar - https://anchorbar.com/locations/buffalo-ny/ 

 Birthplace of the chicken wing, order the salad because their wings are terrible....no really. 

 

Ralph Wilson Children Museum - https://exploreandmore.org/

 

Buffalo Heritage Carousel - https://www.buffaloheritagecarousel.org/ 

 

Letchworth NYS Park - 

1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY 14427

worth the 60 miles.

 The Grand Canyon of the east.

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/79/details.aspx

 

 

Glenn H.Curtiss Museum -

8419 State Rt 54, Hammondsport, NY 14840

103 miles but a beautiful ride.

 Cars / Trucks / Boats / Airplanes

https://glennhcurtissmuseum.org/

 

 

Finger Lakes Boat Museum -

8231 Pleasant Valley Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840

https://www.flbm.org/ 

 

 

Sutton Co -

 This guy invented a spoon for fishing and now his third generation granddaughter runs the place. 

120 S.Main, Naples, NY 14512

 

 

Darien Lake Amusement Park -

9993 Alleghany Rd, Darien, NY

29 miles basically two streets

*Not the NYS Camping Park.

Six Flags park at the moment. 

https://www.sixflags.com/darienlake?utm_source=googlebusinessprofile&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Google+Business+Profile

 

 

* Ok so you want to go to Niagara Falls and into Canada.

 The best way is using Route 104. It's about 40min ride. On this road you are on the escarpment and lots of farmer markets / wineries etc. The Route 31 way is very conjested.

 Rt 104 all the way to Lewiston (not Route 18 South or Creek Rd Ext.) Cross over the Niagara Scenic Parkway and take the first left. Stay LEFT on Parkway, not 104. They both  bring you down into Niagara Falls, but Parkway is better. You end up on Whirlpool St and 3rd St to a right on Main Street to the bridge.

 You will see the tallest building here which is the Seneca Niagara Casino. Don't go to the east of that. It is a very bad neighborhood area. 

 To go into Canada, i recommend using the northern most bridge crossing Queenston / Lewiston Bridge. *Except when returning to the USA. There is about a 5 mile stretch with no exits up to the border, If it's busy like on a holiday weekend, you are stuck there for hours. 

 The Rainbow bridge is in the middle and you can somewhat see the Falls to the south. It can get very busy. If you are in an RV, stay to the far left. There is a small sign to follow. You go around the building on the left and park. The border agent comes out to you to inspect the RV. Coming back to the USA, stay to the right. It's the last booth in the car line-up but I have used the bus lane when it was available. Just tell them you didn't feel comfortable in the small car lane. Remember take left and look for 3rd St to get to Lewiston and back to Camp Tomtuga.

 The Peace Bridge out of Buffalo usually has lots of openings. The RV inspectors are to the left of the building and up against it. Coming back into the USA, stay to the last right lane. Yet I have used the tractor trailer lane when available. 

 

*You can cross into Canada using only an enhanced drivers license. You don't need passports. Children under the age of 16 need a birth certificate. 

 

 *Do NOT get caught going into Canada if you have had a DWI in your past. You need to ask for a ''ETA'' Electronic Travel Authorization from the border agent. If you don't, you could be staying in a Canada jail for a bit and be banned after that. 

 

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-402?language=en_US

 

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/inadmissibility-interdiction-eng.html

 

 

 

Stuff in Canada to do...

 

 

Whirlpool Aero Car -

3850 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 3E8

 Cablecar from the 1916, that goes out over the whirlpool in the Niagara River. The Whirlpool is where the river goes left and then under itself. 

https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit/attractions/niagaras-fury/

 

 

Locomoland -

5020 Centre St, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N7

 Toy train fun for kids.

https://www.locomoland.com/

 

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake -

 Full of little shops that the wife will love you for. Maybe pick the boys up at the Irish Pub?

Also lots of worldly known wineries here. 

 

The Irish Harp Pub -

245 King St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0

 

 

Avondale Dairy Bar -

461 Stewart Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S1J0 Canada

 Ice cream straight from the factory. Out in the middle of no-where.

http://avondaledairybar.com/

 

 

Sunset Beach -

1 Lombardy Ave,St Catherines, ON

 Can get busy and wavey. Small crappy boat ramp.

 

Jones Beach - 

142 Broadway Ave, St Catherines, ON

 More private, less wavey than Sunset Beach. Take the path out to the point.

 

Port Dalhousie -

1 Lakeport Rd, St Catherines, ON L2N 7P4

 Nice popular beach with a carousel. 

Lots of boat traffic. 

 

Marina side -

61 Lighthouse Rd, St Catherines, ON

 Tricky to find by car.

 

 

Kilt and Clover -

17 Lock St, St Catherines, ON

 Great Irish bar, with $12 steak night. 

https://thekiltandclover.ca/ 

 

 

Theodore Tugboat -

 Come see this full sized actual working Tugboat. Kind of like the Thomas the Train. He travels around to different events and is also an Airbnb at times. 

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealTheodoreTugboat?mibextid=ZbWKwL

 

 

Queenston Bridge - This is the northern bridge of the three. I prefer this bridge going into Canada especially for Toronto. But not coming back into the USA. Coming back it's a five mile stretch that on busy holidays you are stuck here for hours with no relief.

 

 Bridge looking at Canadian Customs. 

https://www.nittec.org/traffic_map/index.html?cid=1011

 

 Bridge looking at USA Customs 

https://www.nittec.org/traffic_map/index.html?cid=1021

 

Rainbow Bridge - This middle bridge is right at Niagara Falls. Can get very busy. Expect over 1 1/2 hour delays during peak holiday times. 

 

 Rainbow Bridge looking at Canadian Customs. If you are in a RV, keep LEFT on the bridge. There is a very small sign for Buses and Campers. Look for the break in the center divider and pull up to the building on your right. You will see parking spots. The agents come out to you for inspection. 

https://www.nittec.org/traffic_map/index.html?cid=1011 

 

 This camera looking at USA Customs. If you are in an RV, keep to the FARTHEST RIGHT car lane. It is marked as the RV Lane. I have used the bus lane when available. Just tell them you felt uncomfortable in the small car lane. They were fine with it.

 Coming out of the inspection booth, Main St is the first immediate left. Go up to 3rd St take a left. It turns into Whirlpool St and then the Niagara Parkway. Keep right coming up to Lewiston and take the first right before the 104 exit which is on Rt18. No biggie, it just saves you a few seconds. You take a right on 104 east to Camp Tomtuga.

 If you are going to Buffalo, go straight up to the casino and turn right after you pass by the gas station there.

https://www.nittec.org/traffic_map/index.html?cid=688

 

Peace Bridge -  The lower bridge of the three. Closest to Buffalo NY. The QEW highway to Niagara Falls Canada is a very easy ride. Much better than the American side. 

 

 This camera looking at the Canadian Customs at the Peace Bridge. If you are in a RV, keep to the LEFT. See the building in the center ahead. You will have that building on your RIGHT. Take the booth closest to that. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPMgP2C3_co 

 

 This camera looking at the USA Customs at the Peace Bridge. In an RV, stay to the farthest RIGHT car inspection lane. It is marked for campers. It is a little wider but not much. I have used the tractor trailer lane next to that when open and available. They didn't care and sometimes use it for cars when really busy. 

 Coming out of the custom booth go to the RIGHT. It will get you off the property. Going left gets you lost into the local neighborhood. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9En2186vo5g

 

* If you are going to Toronto. It's about 106 miles.

 My recommendations are to take the QEW from Niagara Falls to the Stoney Creek area just east of Hamilton. Then Lakeshore Rd into the city of Toronto. More times than not you are stuck at a stand still in traffic in Toronto. Using this route along the lake, you are always moving and have sights to see. It actually takes about the same amount of time too. Stop into these little lake harbour towns. See little McMansions here that are door to door and well over $1Million each. 

 This route keeps you off the high QEW bridge at Hamilton. You end up on the lower bridge. Don't bother going into the city of Hamilton either. *Except to go see Theodore Tugboat. 47 Discovery Drive, Hamilton ON

 This is a must see. Full size Tugboat that's like the Thomas the Train version of boats. 

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealTheodoreTugboat?mibextid=ZbWKwL

 

 So first put Adventure Village and then Dieppe Veterans Memorial Park into your GPS. This will give you the route without my writing it all here.

https://www.adventure-village.ca/

580 Van Wagners Beach Rd, Hamilton, ON L83 3L8

https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/national-inventory-canadian-memorials/details/7335

6Z9 1033 Beach Blvd, Hamilton, ON 

 If you miss Exit 88, Look for the exit Eastport Dr just before that bridge; then stay to the right for Eastport W; then right onto Lakeshore Road.

 You can take Lakeshore Rd right up into downtown Toronto or get onto the Garden Expressway at Cirque du Soleil, 2150 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8V 1A3, Canada.

 

 *Or how about a double decker train ride from Niagara Falls to downtown Toronto? and return trip. 

Three trains a day back and forth. 

 You can also take a train from the USA side into Canada and continue on to Toronto. $39.

Amtrak #63 5pm USA -7:43pm Toronto.

VIA #98 8:20am Toronto -10:44am USA.

https://www.cliftonhill.com/falls_blog/go-train-to-niagara-falls/

 

*One more thing if you are going to Toronto. Please visit 'Little Canada'. It's not cheap but a cool experience of a minature city. Checkout their Niagara Falls section. Plus they can create a minature you to take home or have you put onto their layout. 

https://little-canada.ca/visit/

 

Some RV services that campers have been looking for...

 

RV Portable Water -

 We don't offer water here at Tomtuga because we have none. I am working on expanding the electric grid and then comes the water and sewer. 

 But there are a couple of options...

 

 Free water taps are at the boater services in Middleport. It is very tight to get into the parking lot from Main St but go the back route and it's a bit easier. GPS this 87 S Hartland St, Middleport. 5.4 miles from camp. Go to the very end and to the right is the parking lot entrance. The water taps are up along the canal as are power outlets. Plus the free showers are in this lot. 

 

 Clean Water 25 cents per 50 gallons - 

The water plant for the city of Batavia has a kiosk out front of the building. 480 Lehigh Ave, Batavia NY. 29 miles from camp. It is open 24/7. Has a garden hose and a 4 inch option. It takes quaters and yes it's $0.25 for 50 gallons of water. Easy to get up to and out. 

 

Sewer Black Water - 

 Again we don't offer disposal services. I don't want people dumping their gray water on the ground either. If you use the free showers option in Middleport, That will help with your full tank issue. I shower there every night myself. 

 

 There is a free dumpstation at the city of Batavia Sewer Plant at the end of Industrial Blvd. 29 miles from our camp. Batavia is exit 48 on the NYS Thruway. 

 Actual address is Batavia Wastewater Plant 5 Treadeasy Ave, Batavia NY 14020.

 They are open 7am - 3pm. Go around to the left side of building for the office door entrance. Then the dumpstation in back around the other side of the building. 

 No Blue Water! Must be regular human disposal. 

 

 

 The Flying J Truckstop -

8484 Alleghany Rd, Pembroke NY 14036. 21 miles from camp.

They are at exit 48A of the NYS Thruway.

 Has water and sewer and the RV gas / diesel pumps.

 There's a keypad for the dumpstation, where you need to go inside and get a code. The fee is $10 to dump.

 They also have awesome showers that I recommend.

 So if you are on your way here using the Thruway, you might want to dump first. Then we are basically 20 minutes up the street. 

 

 Camping World -

Hamburg NY and Churchville NY,  has a free dumpstation in their lots.

 

 Colton RV - has a free one too. Not sure at which Buffalo location. 800-628-4889

 

 Sorry, but I guess this is why I'm half or a third of the price of some County / State / Company campgrounds.

I'm $35 a night with 50amp and WiFi. You are pretty much alone on 2 acres. I also allow multiple dogs, as long as you clean up after them. 

 The closest County campground is five miles away and $48 for a tent site and $68 for a RV weekend night.

NYS campsite is $22 a night if you can get in.

The local KOA is $70 - $125 a night. 

Private campground minutes from the Falls is $57 for a tent site and $76 / $133 a night for RV. 

 

 

Propane - 

 

Drum Oil and Propane - 

8776 Rochester Rd, Gasport 1.5 miles from camp.

 The little shed out in front of the huge propane tanks, that are to the left of the main building. Get as close as you can to the door. 

 They have no problem filling RV's tanks.

 

 

Ok, one last idea on going into Canada.
 
 So there is a free bus shuttle that goes from Lockport to Niagara Falls NY on the weekends. It is probably at least a 40 minute ride oneway. This bus starts at the Erie Canal Discovery Center at 24 Church Street in Lockport. That is about 7 miles west of my camp. 
 Buses on the weekend leave at 10:30am / 12:30 / 2:45 / 5:15pm.
This bus leaves Niagara Falls at 8:45am / 11:15 / 1:15 / 3:30pm back to Lockport.  
*Get the Lockport 10:30am and Falls 3:30pm.
 These buses in the Falls also do a seperate loop that covers all the tourist stuff along the Niagara River and it's free. 
*Buses have bike racks and free WiFi and AC.
 
 
 There are two ways to go across into Canada, well four actually. Walking / taxi / bus / train. Here are the last two options. *Yes taxis can cross the border up to five miles in I believe. 
 
Bus across the border is a company called FlixBus. 
 They pickup passengers at the NY side at Niagara Falls Visitor Center,10 Rainbow Blvd at 2:35pm and 5:50pm. 
 This bus goes from Canada to NY at two locations. One is the Fallsview Casino and the other is at the Falls complex right at the Falls at 9:25am. The costs is like $11 per person each way. 
 
 Amtrak #63 Maple Leaf train crosses into Canada at 4:46pm and arrives at their GO Train station at 4:51pm. It costs just $10 (Or $39 to Toronto arrives at 7:43pm) It is not near the Falls but is right next to the local GO Transit bus station. It is a very long walk to the Falls.
 The VIA #98 Train goes from Canada to the USA at 10:17am, again for just $10 per person each way. (Toronto 8:20am - USA 10:44)
 
The Canada GO Bus is #12 that goes from the Falls to Toronto every 30 minutes in the summer. Or take the train. Was like $11 for seniors or $22 per person each way. 
WEGO is the local Canada Parks bus line for local Falls rides.
 
 So that option is more towards people in Canada coming into the States, with morning crossing from there and evening back into. 
 An option would be to get a hotel there and spend the night? 

 

 

One more item.

 These are additional places for those that have camped here and headed up to the state of Maine area. I actually get more campers that stop off here to see the Falls and then are going that way north. Most to the national park Acadia. So here are a few stops that I have been too and recommend. 

 

 The Route...

Instead of using Route 90 the NYS Highway, I suggest The Seaway Trail, just some 454 miles. This consist mostly of Route 5 that runs along Lake Erie to Buffalo; In the city take I-90 North to Lewiston NY; Then Route 18 north along Lake Ontario. Beware of low bridges west of Rochester along the parkway, from Route 261 Braddock  Bay to the 390 Expressway. So take Route 259 to Route 18 to 390 to bypass the low bridges.

 Route 104 in Rochester up to the 1,000 Islands is great for tall campers. 

 

 Or maybe take Route 20 through the center of NY. Basically from Buffalo to the tops of the Finger Lakes to Albany. It continues to Boston. 

 

*Also check out my 'Train' page for even more awesome stops up north here. 

 

 

Sylvan Beach, NY -

 On the eastern shore of lake Oneida sits this beach with an old time amusement park. It also is not far from the Erie Canal. 

https://www.sylvanbeachamusementpark.com/

 

 

Boldt Castle, NY -

 This gentleman put a lot of love into a building for the woman of his life. Come see this gem that sits in the St Lawrence River as one of the 1,000 Islands.

https://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/

 

 

Mt Washington, Vermont -

 Here is the highest point on the east coast of USA. You can drive up it on approved vehicles or take the best route on the Cog railway.

https://www.thecog.com/

 

 

Ben and Jerry's, Vermont -

 Yes, the famous ice cream factory is up here in northern Vermont. Take the tour of this awesome place.

https://www.benjerry.com/about-us/factory-tours

 

 

Quobby Lighthouse, Maine -

 This pretty little lighthouse is the most eastern point of the USA. Cool place to get a pic.

https://westquoddy.com/

 

 

USA Route 1, Maine to Key West -

 You need to be up here at the top of Maine and then at the bottom of Key West, to get your pics at both starting and ending of USA 1. 

 

 

USA Route 20, Maine to Oregon -

 This roadway goes from Boston Maine to Newport Oregon. Forget Route 66, take on this challenge of crossing the country. 

https://historicus20.com/index.html

 

 

Lincoln Highway, Jersey to California -

 The highlights of this route are places like ...

 Atlantic City / Liberty Bell / Lancaster / Gettysburg / Shanksville / Pittsburgh / Canton / Fort Wayne / Chicago. 

https://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/

 

 

Sandbanks, Canada Provincial Park -

 The BEST beach that you will ever!!! I have been to Daytona and Key West and Tampa. This beach in Canada on Lake Ontario beats them all. 60ft high sand dunes, that you swear you were in a desert. I can't recommend this place enough. 

https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/sandbanks

 

 

The Home Christmas Store -

 Come see Christmas.

 57 Williams St, Lyons NY

https://evolveforthehome.com/about-us

 

 

Texas Hots - 

 Hotdogs in Wellsville NY

https://thetexashot.com/

 

 

Seneca Farms -

 Ice cream in Penn Yan, NY Keuka Lake.

https://senecafarmsny.com/

 

 

All Things OZ, is in NY??? -

 Yes, a museum about Frank Baum here in the Finger Lakes area of NY. Come see the wizard. 

219 Genesee St, Chittenango NY 13037

https://allthingsoz.org/all-things-oz-museum.html 

 

 

It's a Wonderful Life in Bedford Falls but really in Seneca Falls, NY - 

 It truely is here in Seneca Falls NY. Frank Capra use to live here and was inspired by the area. That bridge over the icy waters that Clarence and George jumped off, really exsists here. Plus its past is true. A man died here trying to save a woman. On April 12 1917 Antonio Varacalli gave his life for another to live. 

 Actually the Erie Canal that runs right out front here, in a long sort of way goes under that very bridge. 

 

https://homeinthefingerlakes.com/george-baileys-its-a-wonderful-life-bridge/

 

https://www.wonderfullifemuseum.com/

 

 

Watkins Glen, NY -

 Yes, the famous International Raceway NASCAR Track but also an awesome NY State park right downtown, that is a must see.

https://www.theglen.com/

 

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/watkinsglen/maps.aspx

 

 

.

 

 

***

 

 Thought about the definition of camping....

 

 The dictionary version

Camp·ing *noun

 The activity of spending a vacation living in a camp, tent, or camper.

"visitors can go camping in the vast wilderness surrounding the mountains"

 

My way of thinking...

 Camping is attempting to survive a period of time, at a location and in a different environment. In a level of comfort away from ones "stuff". Using a smaller version of ones stuff.

 With the added mix of mother nature and her whims of weather.

 Plus add in local creatures in their home enviroment.

 

 Camping also determined by ones choice of level of comfort in their container or module.

 

 Some of the camping extremes go from...

Rubbing sticks for fire to interior gas / electric fireplaces.

Invasion of mosquitoes to bears.

Snow pack to summer A/C.

Grape leaf ...to outhouse ...to bidet.

 

Happy Camping

 

 

 

The 'Bad and the Good...and he's Ugly'.
 The bad was in 2018, I was in the hospital with an appendix scare. I still have it and now the scars where they were supposed to pull it out.  The good is last year (2019) was the day I shook hands on the deal to buy this land in Gasport. It was as much of a surprise to the owner as it was to me. It looks so different from that day. Still I stop and stare at all that has been accomplished so far. Actually, it only took eight days of heavy machine work and a few days of cutting trees and a great neighbor pushing dirt around. Yet I have lots more to do. 
 
...so thinking that I need to attach a name to this property other than ''the camp in Gasport''. Seeing how I have too many places that I currently take care of, like the eight lawns that I mow. For example, there is 'The cottage that never gets used in Java'..too long of a name I know. Or I enjoyed the 'Bruggmart' moniker that I had on my house in Bethany, as it really does have one of everything. I could call this 'the North Pole - East' being that the museum uses the property to the west as the NP. Yet that is only for a few weekends in the winter. I'm here mostly for the canal and living the pirate life, this should be more of the backstory. 
Tortuga is an island just off of Haiti that a lot of pirates used as their base. So why not play off of that. 
 
 Of all the pirate islands of the Caribbean, there was one that was oddly located in the northern country of the Americas. Up in the formidable waters of the Erie Canal sits the island of Tomtuga. 
 Similar to its sister island of Tortuga, this island is a dangerous, boisterous, filled with drunken and bawdy souls. Tomtuga is a pirate heaven not named after a turtle resemblance but a marauding older fat grumpy bastard that when awaken he snorts and grunts, then rolls back over to continue his siesta. Yet watch him, he sleeps with one eye open...kind of creepy but it might be a hereditary thing. 
 This island lies south in the Erie Canal and butts up to the steel passage of the GVT. Don't ever cross over the dreaded GVT for it is haunted swamps of the croakers. 
 Tomtuga a mountainous rocky knoll of an island that is not easily accessed. As Stated and Telegraphed by many, it's confusing thoroughfares off of the mainland of Gasport that are referenced by many names. Obviously meant to confuse potential conquers over the centuries.
 To the east lies the fishing harborage of Gasport Marina, is a misnomer being not a gasport; nor a marina; and certainly not a fish insight. 
 History tells of a ruined 17th century brothel yet to be found or re-established here, with better linens and rates that will include free WiFi and HBO per stay. Having found in one of the few local islands' caves, a large pre-Columbian sculpture of a topless woman with the butterface of an Easter Island escort. 
 There also seems to be rumors of a local curse. Hidden amongst the deep tree canopy is the Uniroyal tree. Here any mention of how oppressively hot this island is and a set of all-season radials fall from the trees. Too cold and a set of dry rotted winter tires, rolls out from the Firestone bushes. As you can imagine the tires pile up. Might not be so bad if they were needed but this is an island with no vehicle transportation. 
 Beaches include...well none. There are no beaches it's all rock and poison ivy. 
Yet it has a freshwater inverted bottomless lake. Meaning the silky-smooth bottom is on the top and the gleaming brown water is below that. It is very efficient that way, in less accidental drownings and fewer tadpoles infestations. 
 
 I dare thee to set foot on the island of Tomtuga!!! No really, it has lots of poison ivy and it gets everywhere. 
Yee been warned!!
...And please take your garbage with you. We are no longer the town landfill. 
 
 Oh, I forgot, the widely known, yet seldom seen very scary Sasquatch is here too...and his cousin the Abdominal Snowman / Yeti.
They run a combo ice cream & hotdog cart called 'Ice-Foots' most weekends. Blurry photo-ops are usually held at late-afternoons and for a slight fee. Check their media pages for more detail info. 
 
Capt Bruggs
 

 

Pirates-Chest.com

Our location and how to contact us...

 

On the Erie Canal

Gasport, NY

 

Call or text: email for phone number

 

*best way to catch me...

Email:

Capt-Bruggs@pirates-chest.com

 

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pirates.chest

 

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014350205814 

 

*worst way to find me. Still don't know how to tweet...

Twitter: twitter.com/PiratesChest1

 

         *Watch

      your  wake!!!

      Slow Please!

    10mph

      and less in some places.

 The western Erie Canal does have speed limits. 

 The Canal Corp staff at the locks and the lift bridges, actually keep track of your times passing thru. They contact the staff at your next stop, to let them know traffic is coming and to expect your arrival time. Some staff even operate two separate lift bridges.

 Slow down.

 Also bank erosion.

 Even though the banks of the canal is covered in large rocks, your wake is undermining it.

 This is why we have these ''Guard Gates'' that you pass under every few miles. If the canals embankment has a blowout, these drop to prevent mass water exiting. It has happened.

 Watch your wake. 

*Please put contact info on your outdoor gear like kayaks; canoe; dingy; life jackets / preservers; throw rings; bumpers / fenders. Anything that can come off your boat.

 The reason is, say if your kayak slipped off without you knowing and is found out by itself. Now local fire depts and the Coast Guard will be out looking for a potential water rescue victim(s).

 These rescue teams can contact you without doing a massive search for a non-existing emergency.

 We all want to find those in need of help, but wayward items just puts undue stress on resources.

 Thank you. 

Hungry??

 If you are out on the Great Lakes or other waterways around them and looking to eat. 

 'Dock and Dine' lists eateries that you can easily access by boat. In most cases you can dock right there or it is a very short walk. 

 Check them out or send them a link to your favorite place for them to list.

 

https://www.dockanddineloop.com/ 

 

https://www.facebook.com/dockanddines/

 Hey, do you live on the Erie Canal or close by and want to be a local host? 

 Hosts help people on the canal like the walkers; cyclists; kayakers; boaters and others. All these groups are so different, yet use the same space here on the canal. Local people that live on the canal, see all the people and some want to help. 

 Mixed in the listing on the webpages here will be a few Erie Canal Hosts. They might have a private dock; a place to pitch a tent or RV spot; a parking spot for your car or trailer for an extended stay; a local onsite person to help with issues or as a guide. 

 Does that sound like something you want to assist with? Send me a message and I will try to explain the details better. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYSCanalwayWaterTrail/permalink/1015667725630626/ 

 Do you need your boats AC unit serviced?

 Located in Tonawanda NY, western end of the Erie Canal. Call Tim (716) 831-0333

https://www.hvactms.com/ 

 Fellow big boat owner and good guy.

 

 Need a Ford Bronco rental in Buffalo NY? 

https://turo.com/us/en/drivers/11434229 

 How about do you need a campsite on the western Erie Canal?

 You are in luck...

https://www.hipcamp.com/en-US/new-york/tomtuga-on-the-erie-canal/on-the-erie-canal-gvt-railroad

 

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