10 summer hikes to take with the family in central and western New York State
By Sue Freeman, Footprint Press, author of Take a Hike, Take Your Bike!, and many other guides to the natural beauty of western New York State
Maps, directions to find the trailheads, information on length and difficulty, and everything you need to know about these trails to have a fun family adventure can be found in the various Footprint Press guidebooks. These books can be found in all local area bookstores, or from the Footprint Press online catalog.
Summer Hikes for Families with Kids: Trails, Waterfalls, Creeks, Rivers, and Greenways!
1. Bike the Genesee Valley Greenway from Rochester to Avon for a tree-shaded adventure on an abandoned canal towpath parallel to the Genesee River. (Take Your Bike - Rochester, pages 54 & 202 and Snow Trails, page 102)
2. Bike Keuka Lake Outlet Trail from Penn Yan to Dresden on the towpath of the old Crooked Lake Canal, passing remains of mills, factories, an old railroad, and two beautiful waterfalls. (Take A Hike - Finger Lakes, page 128 and Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes, page 129 and Snow Trails, page 126)
3. Creekwalk up Grimes Glen in Naples. Wear old sneakers and walk in the water to view spectacular waterfalls. (200 Waterfalls, page 155)
4. Hike Camillus Forest Unique Area in Camillus to learn what a botanist sees when they walk through an old-growth forest. (Take A Hike - Finger Lakes, page 211)
5. Hike and creekwalk in beautiful Zoar Valley in Gowanda where you'll find old growth forests and a wealth of waterfalls in a valley where two creeks meet. (200 Waterfalls, page 170)
6. Hike or bike Erie Canal Park in Camillus to see 3 versions of the historic Erie Canal, including the original Clinton's Ditch. (A free map is available at Footprintpress.com under Hiking Books, Take A Hike - Family Walks in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region.) (Take A Hike - Finger Lakes, page 217 and Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes, page 208)
7. Hike or bike the woods trails in Bear Swamp State Forest southwest of Skaneateles Lake and see if you can locate the highest point in Cayuga County. (Take A Hike - Finger Lakes, page 182 and Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes, page 181 and Snow Trails, page 174)
8. Hike up the Gorge Trail in Watkins Glen State Park to experience the power of water. (200 Waterfalls, page 287)
9. Go "au naturel" with a creekwalk in Chautauqua Creek to play in the water below Skinny Dip Falls in Westfield. (200 Waterfalls, page 164)
10. Touch pitcher plants and sphagnum moss on a hike at Moss Lake in Houghton. (Take A Hike - Finger Lakes, page 60)
© 2007, Sue Freeman