Chemung County, Elmira New York
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Elmira and Chemung County, New York

ELMIRA, NY - FINGER LAKES - CHEMUNG COUNTY

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Located in the Southern Tier of Central New York State, Chemung County has a long and rich history. The name itself dates back to 1779 when pioneers named the area after a Native American village that was destroyed at the Battle of Newtown, during the American Revolution. In the Delaware dialect of the Algonquin language, the word Chemung means "Place of the big horn". This harkens back to a time when Native Americans discovered large mammoth tusks along what is now the Chemung River. Chemung County began being settled in earnest by 1784.

Many signs posted along roads in Chemung County refer to the area as "Mark Twain Country" because of the many years the author lived and wrote in Elmira.

Because of its strategic location at the southern end of the Finger Lakes Region, Chemung County is known as the "Gateway to the Finger Lakes". The County Seat, Elmira, is known as the "Soaring Capital of America", due to the fact that nearby Harris Hill has been hosting national soaring (sailplane) competitions since 1930. Harris Hill is the site of the National Soaring Museum and is now recognized as a National Landmark of Soaring.


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Explore the possibilities Two counties, one destination: Outdoor recreation lives here! 10 state parks, two federal parks and over 400,000 acres of state forest land offer hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, cross country skiing, star gazing, and so much more.


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