August 20, 2018
Our 6 Favorite Hikes in the Finger Lakes
By: Donafaye Zoll
There are many different ways to explore the Finger Lakes, from boat to bike, but our favorite way is on two feet. Hiking allows you to discover the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the region while also getting some nice and invigorating exercise along the way. There are many trails of all lengths and skill levels located near the Sutherland House. Here are just a few of our favorites.
1. Ontario County Park Loop
Ontario County Park encompasses 400-acres of beautiful woods and open space as well as 12 excellent multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The Ontario Country Park Loop is a 3.9 mile trail that will take you to the highest scenic point in all of Western NY, offering stunning view of Ontario County and the Finger Lakes region. Keep your eyes out for wildflowers and birds along the way. At Ontario County Park, you can also hook up with part of the Bristol Hills Trail, a challenging 50+ mile trail that stretches throughout the Finger Lakes region and ends in the park.
2. Letchworth State Park
Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchwork State Park is one of the most stunning state parks in the Eastern United States. Come here to marvel at the Genesee River flowing over three striking waterfalls, some as high as 600 feet tall. Twisting through lush forests and tranquil riverbanks, Letchwork is home to over 60 miles of gorgeous hiking trails. Trail 1 leads to Upper Falls from the Upper-Middle Falls Parking Area.
3. Uplands Hiking Trail
The Uplands Hiking Trail is a short 1.2-mile trail located in Onanda Park near Canandaigua. This peaceful, pleasant walk offers unbeatable views of the rolling hills, gorge, and waterfalls. This is another great wildlife viewing trail. You may encounter deer and many different species of birds. If you like to explore more of Onanda Park, head down to the lakeside version for charming beaches and water access.
4. Wesley Hill Nature Preserve Loop
Wesley Hill Nature Preserve is a 90-acre slice of paradise in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The 2.4 mile Wesley Hill Nature Preserve Loop will take you along the northern rim of Briggs Gully, one of the largest gorges in the region. The preserve’s gullies are thick with white and red pine, hemlock, and majestic oaks. While you’re here, keep a look out for deer, fox, and woodchuck as well as a variety of birds, including yellow-throats, bluebirds, and song sparrows. The nature preserve is also great for snowshoeing in the winter.
5. Grimes Glen
Grimes Glen is a short one-mile, out-and-back hike offering amazing views and small but fun challenges along the way. It is recommended that all hikers bring water-friendly shoes or a change of socks, because you will most likely be walking through water (and maybe mud) at some point. The hike may also involve climbing over boulders or fallen trees. But it is well worth the effort. The finale of the hike is a magnificent, 60-foot tall water wall with a refreshing swimming pool at the bottom.
6. Conkin Gully 12 Falls Trail
Conkin Gully 12 Falls Trail is the most challenging hike on the list. Though only 3.4 miles long, you’ll be navigating lots of loose, wet rocks, uneven creek beds, and perhaps even passing through a few waterfalls. It is completely worth the challenge though. This hike is grueling but rewarding. Like Grimes Glen, we recommend bringing a change of socks or water-friendly shoes. Your feet will be getting wet on this hike.
Planning a hiking adventure through the Finger Lakes? Book a stay at the Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Canandaigua for a welcoming & rejuvenating experience near the region’s major shops, restaurants, wineries, and outdoor activities.