Summer is finally here! While the lake scene is the primary activity in the Finger Lakes, there are plenty of other ways to beat the heat in nature. Waterfall hikes are abundant around here, and are great for getting outside and away from the crowds. We’ve compiled a list of the top waterfall hikes, from short and leisurely strolls, to ones that require a bit more distance. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to experience both picturesque views and refreshing water to jump into.
Grimes Glen is a short hike but with great reward. The 1.1-mile out and back trail features two waterfalls. After starting the hike, you will quickly run into the first falls that’s slightly hidden in a canopy of trees. Once you continue, the trail will disappear into a small creek which is the only way to the second falls. Water shoes are recommended, however, the trail can be completed without them. The second waterfall is much larger in comparison to the first. Admire the 60-foot cascading falls, and maybe take a dip in the shallow pool beneath. For a waterfall that won’t disappoint, Grimes Glen is an excellent hike to tackle while in the Finger Lakes.
Barnes Creek is a lovely little oasis near Canandaigua, NY. The 1.1-mile out and back trail goes along a creek before reaching the falls. Once at the waterfall, there is a rope that allows you to climb up. However, this should only be attempted by those with higher skill levels. The falls are quite gentle, so it’s a great place to wade in the water underneath. Barnes Creek would be the perfect hike if you want to enjoy a relaxing, beautiful destination.
This is a 2.1-mile out and back trail fantastic for the summer months. Enter the trail from the Corbett’s Glen neighborhood in Penfield, NY, where you’ll go through a tunnel under a railroad before continuing the hike. Along the way you will see remnants of glacial moraines left from the last ice age. The first of the falls cascades down from a stone tunnel under the railroad, and the two other falls follow soon after. This is a very refreshing hike as it’s not far from civilization, but it makes you feel as if you’re miles away from all the hustle and bustle of normal life. Corbett’s Glen is a true gem and should be at the top of your list this season.
This 2.1-mile out and back trail offers a quick and easy hike with views of a small waterfall. The hike starts right off highway 96, and follows a creek before reaching the falls. It’s common to ditch the trail completely in the warmer months and trek through the creek to stay cool. Swimming is also a popular activity beneath the falls. While on your hike, make sure to keep an eye out for local birds, including the great blue heron. For a simple yet pretty hike, Ontario County Pathway trail is a must during your summer visit.
This is the longest of the hikes mentioned here, but is definitely one for the books. As it is relatively flat, the 5.4-mile out and back Seneca Mill and Cascade Mill Falls trail is a fairly easy one to take on. Follow along the creek most of the way, and stop occasionally to step into the water. Wildlife, such as box turtles, are frequently spotted, and sometimes even a snapping turtle. While on your way to the falls, look out for structures from the old mill, which is a fun addition to the hike. After reaching the falls, use caution as they can be very powerful depending on water levels. For a unique hike with an industrial flair, Seneca Mill and Cascade Mill Falls is a great place to escape to.
After trekking through the trails, head back to Sutherland House Bed and Breakfast. Here you will find alluring gardens and an outdoor patio to soak in the setting summer sun. Wake up in the morning to a delicious three-course hot breakfast with options of seasonal fruit, homemade scones, Italian eggs benedict, and much more. Indulge in a true delight before you set out on your day. When visiting the Finger Lakes, Sutherland House Bed and Breakfast will exceed all of your expectations.