This area of central New York state gets its name from a native American tradition saying that God had laid his hand upon the land and left the imprint of his fingers. Geologically the explanation is connected to glaciers, and the valleys that the ancient ice created were once the stomping grounds of the native American tribes that made up the Iroquois Confederacy.
A tremendous amount of colonial and early US history took place here. Its tourism focuses on this history as well as the award winning wine vineyards and the growing cheese production industry. There are great year-round activities but the colorful fall is when the natural beauty is at its most stunning.