The Oregon Trail

East of I-81, all the way to Albany, US-20 follows the route blazed by the old Great Western Turnpike over gradually steepening roller-coaster hills, past sweet-corn stands, dairy bars, and cabbage fields, and into the western reaches of picture-perfect Cherry Valley. Just south of the highway, the attractive little hamlet of Cherry Valley (pop. 497) contains a small local history museum. Cherry Valley Museum (49 Main St., 607/264-3303, daily summer-fall, $6) recalls this tiny crossroads’ early-19th-century boom period as a rowdy turnpike stagecoach stop. A small monument in the village cemetery on South Main Street pays homage to the residents killed in 1779 in the Cherry Valley Massacre, a British-backed Iroquois raid during the Revolutionary War.

Cherry Valley also holds a more recent landmark: The Tepee (7632 E. US-20, 607/264-3987), a 50-foot-tall tepee-shaped attraction, which has lured souvenir-starved travelers since 1950 with its array of Native American trinkets, famous TePee Taffy, and “Grand Panoramic View” telescope. A snack bar, a.k.a. TePee Pete’s Chow Wagon, has hot dogs and good chili.