We all want to soak up the best nature trips as possible in our warm weather, so we have a list here of our favorites, linked to their websites for more detailed information. I wanted to personally advocate for any waterfall in the Finger Lakes region, if you can fit them in. Included here is Watkins Glen State Park, but there are at least six more in that area. Enjoy your hike and fresh air.
~Rebecca Conroy, Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn
“If you’re the kind of person who likes a good waterfall and you haven’t visited Kaaterskill Falls yet, you really should get in the car right now and just start driving toward the trailhead. This is one of the most popular hikes in the area, in part because everyone likes waterfalls, and in part because it’s a relatively short hike to a huge, 260-foot payoff, divided over two drops.”
“Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Campers and day-visitors can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, picnic facilities and excellent fishing in nearby Seneca Lake or Catherine Creek, which is renowned for its annual spring run of rainbow trout.”
“Goodnow Mountain is one not to be missed by anyone who is in the area. Reached in just under two miles of generally easy going, the summit has a restored fire tower and a sweeping view that includes 23 of the High Peaks. The trail is in the Huntington Forest owned by the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. No hunting, camping, or fires; and the area is closed during the hours of darkness.”
“Nine Corner Lake is a popular destination as you will notice by the large pull off parking areas on both sides of NY 29A, as well as the amount of vehicles parked at the trailhead at certain times. When we drove by the pull off on a nice Sunday late afternoon in August, both pull offs were almost full. When we arrived on a beautiful Tuesday in August, just before 8am, there was one car in the pull off. We passed a young couple hiking back from the lake and then passed a couple of people hiking in on our way back from the lake. The lake looks like it is a popular swimming hole.”
“Bash Bish Falls is located next to the 4,169 acre Mount Washington State Forest which offers 30 miles of trails, including the South Taconic Trail and wilderness camping. They both adjoin New York’s 5,000 acre Taconic State Park, which offers full service camping, amenities and access to Bash Bish Falls by a moderate difficulty uphill foot trail. Nearby 1,356 acre Mount Everett State Forest offers informal picnicking at Guilder Pond. From the top of Mount Everett visitors may take in a view spanning the three states.”