Mid-Lakes Navigation (315/685-8500 or 800/545-4318, www.midlakesnav.com ) offers excursion and dinner cruises on the Erie Canal . The boats leave from Dutchman’s Landing off Route 370 north of Liverpool. The company also offers three-day cruises and has boats available for weekly rental.
Take in a Syracuse University football, basketball, or lacrosse game at the 50,000-seat Carrier Dome (900 Irving Ave., 315/443-4634).
This serene 560-acre nature preserve (8477 East Mud Lake Rd., off Rte. 370, Baldwinsville, 315/638-2519, 7:30 a.m.–dusk daily, $3 per car) 18 miles northwest of Syracuse  offers 10 miles of well-marked trails and boardwalks, along with a 200-acre lake that’s a favorite resting spot for migrating duck and geese. A visitors center displays exhibits on local flora and fauna.
Onondaga County’s largest and oldest park is the 2,700-acre Highland Forest (off Rte. 80, 315/683-5550, dawn–dusk daily, free admission), in Fabius, about a 30-minute drive southeast of Syracuse. Spread out atop Arab Hill, the park offers great views of the surrounding countryside.
Adirondack-like in appearance, the forest is laced with four hiking trails ranging in length from less than a mile to eight miles. One-hour guided trail rides on horseback are offered April–November, while hay and sleigh rides are offered on fall and winter weekends.
About 10 miles due east of Syracuse, the 2,000-acre Green Lakes State Park (7900 Green Lakes Rd., off Rte. 290, Fayetteville, 315/637-6111, dawn–dusk daily, $6–8 parking) contains two aquamarine glacial lakes. Facilities include a swimming beach, hiking and biking trails, playground, campground, and 18-hole golf course. Boats can also be rented. For campground reservations, call 800/456-CAMP.