Right around the corner from the flower farm is a hidden gem of a state park. Chimney Bluffs State Park is a landscape on the south shores of Lake Ontario carved out by years of water and wind chipping away at the cliffs edge. The Park is right between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse with about an hour drive either direction, and located in the town of Huron.
The Park is open year-round dawn to dusk, but Lake Ontario is pretty scary place to be around in the winter, so I suggest visiting during one of the other three seasons if you are looking to hike the trail. The wintertime is nice for a snowshoe or cross-country ski.
There are five trails to chose from to hike on, but essentially, they all form to create one large loop that takes you through the woods, up to the cliff’s edge and then back along the rocky shoreline. There is a great area to picnic with excellent views of the lake right near the parking area.
The best way to get to the beach area is to go to the second parking lot located at 8009 E Bay Road, Wolcott, NY 14590. There are no lifeguards on duty, so swim at your own risk. If you plan to hike back to the main parking lot, be warned there is a very step hill to climb, you will want shoes with good tread on them!
The fee to park is $5 collected April 1- October 31.
Another great way to see the cliffs is by water. You can take a boat or kayak onto the lake to see the cliffs in all their glory. Lake Ontario’s weather and conditions can change quickly, so I do not suggest going out unless you are experienced on the water and know your way around. If you can swing getting out into the water to see the cliffs, it is a great panoramic view. Boats can be rented at most docks around Sodus Bay.
Have you ever hiked Chimney Bluffs? If so, tell me about it in the comments!