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Exploring the Finger Lakes Trail
Paradise Garden Lean To
in Mariposa State Forest
Date: March 25, 2010
Mileage: 1.8 miles to Lean To & back
Location: Mariposa State Forest near DeRuyter, NY
Trailhead: Along the side of Madsion County Route 53
Trailhead Coordinates: N42 43.623 W75 52.795
Name of Trail: Finger Lakes Trail
Hike Difficulty: Moderate.
Trail Conditions: Muddy at times, well marked, easy to follow.
Features: Winter views, scenic streams and a new lean to.
Links: Finger Lakes Trail - Mariposa State Forest
Our plan today was to hike to Paradise Garden Lean To for our featured video hike and then continue on to gps the reroute of the Finger Lakes Trail in Mariposa State Forest that was done last year, so we could up date our maps on the website. All this before the rains came. We got back to the car as it began to sprinkle.
Stream crossing along the Finger Lakes Trail
This 1.8 mile round trip hike begins off Madison County Route 53 and follows the Finger Lakes Trail to the new Paradise Garden Lean To built in 2008. The trailhead is 0.2 miles north of the Chenango-Madison County line. Park along the east side of the road, however beware of the steep ditch. There is room for 2-3 cars along the side of the road. You'll see the familiar yellow Finger Lakes Trail sign at the start of the trail. The trail follows an old woods road before turning left into a new growth forest. Follow the white blazes.
Finger Lakes Trail sign at the start of this hike
You're hiking in Mariposa State Forest. As you ascend and if your hiking while the leaves are off the trees, look behind you for some winter views of the surrounding hills. The trail levels, enters a pine forest and ascends to a trail register at 0.35 miles, then soon after passes a spring to your right,. You'll briefly ascend before beginning a descent for the next 0.2 miles to a stream crossing. There are a few switchbacks as you descend to the stream, making the descent gentler and easier to manage.
At 0.7 miles cross the stream. The Finger Lakes Trail turns right soon after crossing the stream. This is a reroute from 2009, as the trail formally had turned left. The old blazes have been blackened out and the old trail is no longer used. The rerouted Finger Lakes Trail now follows close to the stream before turning toward the lean to. You'll reach Paradise Garden Lean To at 0.9 miles. There is a picnic table. There are numerous small streams near the lean to. This really is "Paradise Garden" as you relax and enjoy the scenery.
Approaching Paradise Garden Lean To on the Finger Lakes Trail
The white blazed Finger Lakes Trail continues around the side of the lean to and in just under another mile will reach the old trail. From the lean to it's 1.4 miles to the trail crossing Paradise Hill Road. We hiked to Paradise Hill Road and back for a total round trip of 4.6 miles. You choice on how far you want to hike along this great trail. For more information on this section of the FLT, use the link above.
The 0.9 mile hike to Paradise Garden Lean To is moderate with an elevation gain of 189 feet. You may get your feet wet for the stream crossing or do what we did; make your own "rock hop" across. Bring a lunch and enjoy yourself at Paradise Garden Lean To along the Finger Lakes Trail in Mariposa State Forest. Look below for a video and map of this great short hike along the Finger Lakes Trail.
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