Explore NY - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

NY Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Great trail for locals to appreciate fall!

hiking
12 days ago

Do NOT hike this trail after it rains or without very waterproof hiking boots- you have to cross several streams that are pretty deep. We tried to build up the rocks to cross over but we ended up getting so wet that we could only finish the bottom loop of the “8”. We are going to try again on a drier day:) Beautiful trail, cow pasture towards the beginning, very quiet and peaceful throughout entire trail.

Very doable. Did it ccw and the way up (red) was rockier and the way down (red to blue) was muddier. Pretty easy otherwise. Views from the tower, one view spot on the way down. Good hike for a half day activity (drive from 17 included).

This is a great trail! We started at Cass Park and biked to the falls. The slight uphill grade on the way to the falls makes for an easy ride back. Several really lovely spots along the way.

Hiked this trail while visiting NY from Baltimore with my husband and 9 y/o son. We all loved the terrain - very different from what we are used to hiking. We hiked up the creek until we got to the bridge and hiked back down on the steep dirt trail. We absolutely loved climbing the waterfalls. I definitely recommend this one! Wear waterproof shoes with a good grip and take bug spray!

My Route: Took the right trail up to the top of the gorge, looped around and back down. so the gully was on our left at all times. THEN walked the water into the gully, up the rope and back down.

My Review: 9/10. Map at the parking lot is confusing and trails are not marked other than blue. It's also difficult to start as it's straight up immediately. However, the water/creek trail is beautiful and there are many photo ops. Also, minimal garbage along trails!

My Advice: Your feet & butt will get wet, plan accordingly. If you have difficulty climbing over logs, rocks, etc. this isn't for you. Don't forget to stop and look up from time to time. The feeling of being g wrapped up in a gully is awe-inspiring.

nice walk in the woods and a beautiful view from the fire tower.

Walked the trail first. It was a workout. Went as far as the meadow at the top and came back down. Then walked the creek bed & up to multiple waterfalls. Did not go too far as the water became too deep. It was beautiful & challenging.
Bug spray is a must!

great trail...lush, maintained, quiet. not too hard. but is hilly!

challenging and awesome. Will be back

Great sneaker creeking! We walked up the creek, which was flowing but not too fast, with 4 children (ages 4 to 9). We made it to the boy scout bridge. Some challenges of course! We then walked down the trail that looped around and didn't go near the water. Felt good about that choice as going down through the water could have been a bit treacherous! overall a great hike!

Amazing hiking trail! It rained for the whole time we were on the trail but it was worth it. There are alot of elevation changes, just when you think you're at the top, you're not. We ended up missing a trail marker (our own fault) and hiking along the Finger Lakes Trail for a couple miles. Beautiful scenery though.

I’ve never climbed a mountain and I chose to do Balsam Lake Mountain because of the fire tower for my birthday. M

Does the trail have spectacular views? No, but it’s well marked which is exactly what I was looking for.

The last 3/4 miles were brutal, but in a good way. Once I got to the summit it all became worth it.

The weather was great, the views were breathtaking, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

10/10, would recommend.

We hiked in the gorge up to the top. It was a hard hike, couple hard waterfall climbs. Luckily the water was low and not moving fast. Your feet will get wet.
You can climb up one side, cross and go down the other side. It’s a steep climb and descent but doable and fun!!

backpacking
2 months ago

I arrived at the Northern terminus at around 6 on a Friday (mid July) and parked there overnight. I headed South to Foster pond to camp overnight. There were a few campsites near the pond and they were all free, although it looked like they filled up by around noon on Saturday. Saturday I hiked to the Southern end of the trail and then back to the northern terminus where I parked. I started around 9am and I was in the car around 230.

The terrain was relatively flat. There were parts where the trail wasn't well maintained, there were some spots where downed trees blocked the trail.

I didn't see any streams that had running water, they were all dried up. I filled up my water at Foster pond.

Moderate physical difficulty, but the creek bed makes for a treacherous hike — lots of loose and wet rock, so make sure you are confident with your balance and footing before taking the creek bed trail. Impressive views of the rock faces really gave a unique hiking experience. Bring a change of socks for after the hike because your feet will get wet.

Back down, I took the trail on the right ridge of the gorge, which was a safer and faster option. Easy to follow and also provided excellent views of the gorge. Access it as you pass the bridge — you can see it on the map as the black dotted line on the northern side, paralleling the gorge. I enjoyed doing this ‘loop’ and would highly recommend doing both trails to get a change of scenery.

Great trail for families. I'd hike it again!

A very nice hike! The view is best from the firetower, the tree cover at the top prevents most horizon viewing. We did the loop with our dog and ate a packed lunch at the picnic table at the summit. There were two very nice stewards on duty and the ranger cabin was open to the public, with displays and information. However, we did see quite a bit of what looked like giant hogweed on the trail. The most was on the climb up, especially as we neared the spring location, and there was some on the way down. If that is indeed what it was, be careful. I didn’t want to examine it too closely and risk getting sap on my skin. Edit: I heard back from the DEC, they’ve checked the area after a few calls and it is cow parsnip, not giant hogweed, so that’s good news!

mountain biking
3 months ago

Great trail! Started in Cass park, grade change to Taughannock Falls was hardly noticeable. 9.1 miles to the overlook 18.2 round trip.

Great trail with a lot of informational plaques throughout. One of my local favorites!

This is a beautiful trail with various entry points making it easy to walk if you are going in and out. We discovered the falls after talking to some locals and it was an awesome way to end the day. The trail is very long, so we selected some points of interest and then drove to where waterfalls were. We liked it so much, we took the kids the next weekend.

Beautiful hike but didn't make it all the way. The bugs became horrendous. We followed the creek up past the bridge then turned around and took trail from bridge back to parking lot. I would start earlier in the day when it's cooler.

My favorite hike in the Finger Lakes. Plenty challenging with great views.

For some reason I thought I had entered the trail based off of the signs, and previous photos but based on the map I was to the left of it. Not sure if it was the trail or if I made a wrong turn, but my recommendation would be to check on the app to ensure you’re on the right path. Other than that, it was overall a nice 5 mile hike.

I've hiked it many times. Trail maintanance has noticeably declined over the years

beautiful hike, lovely preserve, plenty of wildlife and gorgeous views

The trail was well marked. We weren't as observant as we should have been. Recording our hike on all trails saved us from going too far afield. I would recommend deet bug spray for mosquitoes and hitch hiking tics. Found one on my husband. Otherwise wonderful hike. Perfect for us. Would do it again.

backpacking
4 months ago

We had a great 3 day trip on this trail. It was well marked through enjoyable terrain. We traveled south 5.85 miles to Foster pond. This was the best camp site with a close by water source. We then traveled to the southern end of the trail, had lunch at the leanto and returned to Foster pond. It was a great 12 mile treck with a variety of trail and not much elevation change. We hiked out to our car on day 3. It was a fun challenge for fairly new backpackers. Thanks to those who maintain the trail. Your efforts are obvious!

Load More