The Best Wildflower Hikes Near the Finger Lakes

There’s something about the spring that makes us want to head outside. The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the trails are calling. After a long, cold winter indoors in the Finger Lakes, there’s nothing more tempting than conquering a sunny hike with beautiful wildflower views. Whether you’re interested in a more strenuous hike or a casual garden stroll, the Finger Lakes in the spring and summer have it covered. If you’re looking to do some research on native blooms, check out the Finger Lakes National Plant Society’s guide. The sun is shining, so lace up your boots and hit the trails!

No-Tan-Takto Trail

This trail in the Finger Lakes National Forest is the ultimate hidden gem for hikers wanting to spot native blossoms. In the spring, summer, and even into fall, the pastures and fields that line the trail are bursting with colorful, unique wildflowers. The trek is 9 miles out-and-back, but you can make it as short or long as you desire. This helpful guide provides directions on how to access this vibrant trail.

Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

This 13.3-mile out-and-back trail near Seneca Lake features waterfalls, wildflowers, and old abandoned mills. The trail is popular with both hikers and cyclists due to its wide path and mostly flat terrain. In the spring and summer, you will find beautiful purple and white wildflowers blooming where you least expect them. If you’re not looking for a long hike, you can walk to the first waterfall 2.5 miles in and turn around there.

Stid Hill Multiple Use Area Trails

This 3.7-mile loop trail is located west of Canandaigua Lake. From the trailhead, follow the blue trail markers to stay on track. In the spring and summer, the trail leads you through green trees with pops of pretty wildflowers sprinkled in along the way. This uphill trek can get pretty muddy after it rains, so try to head out after some sunshine.

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Located north of Cayuga Lake, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve popular with birdwatchers. The area features miles of walking trails and a wildlife drive, if you’d rather stay in the car. If you’re up for a walk, take one of the trails from the Visitor Center parking area. Check out the 28 species of wildflowers that pop up during the spring and summer. Don’t forget to look up from the flowers to see the bald eagles that live on the refuge.

Taughannock Falls Gorge Trail

The gorgeous waterfall draws most visitors to this trail, but, if you ask us, the wildflowers are just as good. In the spring, gorgeous red flowers bloom in the most unexpected places along the trail. This 1.9-mile out-and-back hike is very popular in the warmer months. As a result, head out early in the morning to be able to admire the blooms in a calmer environment.

Not up for a hike today? Head to Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park to stroll through a variety of stunning blossoms in every color imaginable. Check out their blooming schedule to see what flowers might be blossoming during your visit.

All of the hikes featured on this list are within an hour’s drive of the luxurious Sutherland House Victorian Bed and Breakfast. After a long day of hiking, there’s nothing better than returning to your room, taking a hot shower, and snacking on a homemade cookie. In fact, you may not want to leave after relaxing on the patio overlooking the beautiful gardens. With gourmet breakfasts and hot coffee each morning, Sutherland House is the perfect home base for all your Finger Lakes adventures.

Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast

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