By Kyra Mancine
Looking for an adventure? Spring is the perfect season to savor spectacular views and get some exercise at the same time. Before you go, be sure to check the weather. A substantial rainfall can make for trickier conditions. As always, wear appropriate footwear (hiking or water shoes), leave no trace (carry in/carry out what you bring), and don’t forget water, a snack and your mask.
1. Sandy Bottom Park & Nature Trails, Honeoye
This hidden gem is located on Country Road 36 off Route 20A on the north end of Honeoye Lake. You’ll find a 1.5-mile loop boardwalk that winds though wetlands. You can also follow a grassland trail along an agricultural area. The lake view in the park is spectacular, and you can also relax under a pavilion, go fishing and even swimming.
2. Stoney Creek, Warsaw
To find this trail, head to Warsaw Village Park. You’ll see a sledding hill within the park. Climb that hill and then take a left onto the trail into the gorge. At the end of the trail, enter the creek bed and head right. Your reward at the end of this hike through Stony Creek is an 80-foot waterfall. The falls are less than a mile up the creek bed.
3. Great Gully, Springport
This creek walk leads to the tributary to Cayuga Lake. You’ll see two waterfalls with deep clear pools as well as smaller cascades along the way. The smaller 8-foot falls is a quick walk from the parking area. Head further along the creek into the gorge and you’ll reach the 18-foot falls. These falls feature a cavern underneath. In the summer, you’ll find many people swimming here.
4. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail, Penn Yan
This partially paved, partially gravel trail offers seven miles of hiking. Located between Penn Yan and Dresden, it follows a railroad corridor that used to be a part of the canal that drained into Keuka Lake. This scenic hike includes a mill site, old lock sites and numerous waterfalls (Seneca Mills Falls, Cascade Mills Falls).
5. Conklin Gully, Naples
This spot is not as well-known as the nearby Grimes Glen, but just as beautiful. Located in the High Tor Wildlife Management area on Parrish Road, there are two different hikes you can take. The challenging creek bed walk brings you into a gorge where you can see numerous falls. The trek can be tricky as you are maneuvering over slippery shale and rocks as well as fallen trees. To the right of the creek, you’ll see a steep trail you can take to the top for a stunning view of Canandaigua Lake. Be careful, as this sheer cliff top view features a substantial drop.
6. Reynolds Gully, Springwater
Looking for a short hike? This spot features a half mile out and back trail. This area is part of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. Be cautious, as the trail involves walking through a creek bed. There are waterfalls here, but you will only be able to see three (ranging from three to nine-feet high) out of the six, since the others are located on private property. Located at the south end of Hemlock Lake, park in the small parking area past Johnson Hill Road.
7. Wiscoy Falls, Wiscoy
This hidden gem destination — eight miles past Letchworth State Park — features two main falls, 15 and 25 feet high, as well as smaller cascades along the way. You can see the falls from a bridge on the roadway, but if you hike the creek, it will lead you closer. There is also an old mill and dam above the falls. There is a small parking area by the bridge that accommodates a few vehicles. The trail can be a bit tricky to maneuver in parts, so be sure to take it slow.