The Best Winter Hikes in the Finger Lakes

You don’t have to wait until summer to get outside and enjoy your favorite Finger Lakes hiking trails. With four seasons of fun, you can always find something fun to do. Shake off the winter doldrums and venture out on one of these incredible winter hikes. 


Bare Hill Unique Area

On the eastern side of Canandaigua Lake lies the Bare Hill Unique Area and one of the most popular Finger Lakes hikes. At just under 2 miles round trip, this is the perfect short hike for a chilly day. A gradual climb leads you to the top of Bare Hill where you’ll have a great view of Canandaigua Lake from the meadow on top. There’s another shorter trail that spurs to the right with another great view of the lake. 


Keuka Lake Outlet Trail

Stretching from the quaint town on Penn Yan to the small community of Dresden, the Keuka Outlet Trail feels like a local secret. The trail follows along the outlet connecting Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake. Along the way you’ll find waterfalls and pieces of Finger Lakes history. Explore the abandoned old mill and manufacturing plant next to Cascade Mill Falls. If you start in Dresden, the hike to the falls and old mill are just over 2 miles. 

The Best Winter Hikes in the Finger Lakes

Letchworth State Park

Even if you’ve experienced Letchworth State Park in the blooming spring, sunny summer months, or during the annual fall foliage change, you should plan a visit in the heart of winter. This park turns into a winter wonderland with frozen falls, an ice volcano, and free admission! The trail to Upper Falls is far enough from the falls that the path shouldn’t be iced over but you can still enjoy great views. 


Moody Hiking Trail

This backyard gem follows a path in between two country roads. During the winter, the community of Rushville is known to get a good dusting of snow, but the path is rarely iced over or deep enough to warrant snowshoes. Follow the trail along a gentle stream with a few bridge crossings along the way. 

The Best Winter Hikes in the Finger Lakes

Taughannock Falls State Park

The Gorge Trail along Taughannock Falls State Park stays open year round for those looking to recreate in the heart of winter. This popular spot turns into a peaceful retreat in the winter as few people make the trek. Enjoy expansive views of Cayuga Lake and have one of the Finger Lakes most popular waterfalls all to yourself. 


Cummings Nature Center 

Discreetly tucked behind Bristol Mountain, the Cummings Nature Center is a true gem in the Finger Lakes. When snow is abundant, this is a popular spot for nordic skiing as there are over 15 miles of groomed trails plus a separate 3 mile snowshoeing loop. During the lighter snow months there are numerous hiking trails curving through the forest. Do matter the weather, you can always enjoy an afternoon in nature at Cummings Nature Center.


Finger Lakes National Forest

New York may have a seemingly endless amount of forest, but the Finger Lakes National Forest is the only public forest preserved by the federal government. Nestled in between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, there are numerous trails for your choosing. Caywood Point holds a piece of Finger Lake and Women’s Rights history with an old cabin named the ‘Queen’s Castle’. The South Slope Trail offers an easy 1.5 mile round trip excursion through the forests. 


Harriet Hollister Spencer Recreation Area

Hike to a scenic viewpoint above Honeoye Lake. The park is divided into snowmobile trails, groomed cross country skiing trails, and snowshoe & hiking trails. Because of the higher elevation, it may be smart to bring a pair of snowshoes along for the trek, but in the shoulder season you can enjoy the trails with a pair of sturdy boots. 


Head out for a serene winter hike and return to your luxurious accommodations at Sutherland House Victorian B&B. No matter how chilly it is outside, our inn is always warm and welcoming with fresh baked treats, toasty fireplaces, and relaxing hot tubs. 


Ready to experience the best winter hikes in the Finger Lakes? Book a stay at Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast, a historic inn located in the heart of beautiful Canandaigua, New York.

Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast

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