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The 16,212 acre Finger Lakes National Forest is located between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. This National Forest has over 30 miles of interconnecting trails that traverse gorges, ravines, pastures and woodlands. It is a hidden, somewhat unknown gem located here in Central New York. While hiking through pastures you may see cows grazing at times as the National Forest rents out the pastures to local farms. Be sure to close the gates behind you!
With the thirty miles of interconnecting trails there are numerous hiking opportunities within the National Forest, including numerous loop hike options. Our favorite loop hike in Finger Lakes National Forest is the 3.8 mile Burnt Hill Loop because of its diversity from views to forests to cow pastures. The white blazed Finger Lakes Trail / North Country National Scenic Trail travels through the National Forest. The Interloken Trail is a popular trail in the National Forest and is marked with orange blazes.
You'll find signs at trail intersections in Finger Lakes National Forest
There is primitive campsites located throughout the National Forest (where you can camp for free) or you can camp at the Blueberry Patch Campground for $10 per night. For those looking for a rustic backpacking experience, the Dunham Shelter is located just off the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country National Scenic Trail in the southern part of the National Forest.
Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton are all within a two hour drive of the National Forest, which is easily accessed from I-90 and I-81 and I-86. The Finger Lakes National Forest is worth exploring. Use the links above and below to find more information on the trails located in this National Forest.
Primitive campsite off Burnt Hill Road near Gorge Trail parking area
From the South, take NY 14 North (Exit 52 off State Route 17) to Watkins Glen, NY. In Watkins Glen, turn right at the Fourth St intersection onto NY 414 North. Go approximately 9 miles north, past the Hector Ranger Station of the Finger Lakes National Forest. 0.5 miles past the Ranger Station, turn right on Schuyler County Route 2. Follow CR 2 for 4.0 miles until you reach the Blueberry Patch Campground and parking area.
From the North, take NY 414 South to Hector, NY (Exit 41 off I-90). In Hector, 0.5 miles past Wickham’s Plaza, turn left onto County Route 2, the second asphalt road on the left. Follow CR 2 for 4.0 miles until you reach the Blueberry Patch Campground and parking area.
Finger Lakes National Forest maintains a system of trails to provide you with a better opportunity to see and enjoy the Forest at close range. Hiking is just one of the numerous recreational opportunities available to you on the National Forest. See the links below and above for information plus maps for hiking. There is also a map below that can be used to plan your hikes in Finger Lakes National Forest.
Hiking Trails in Finger Lakes National Forest
FLT/NCT in FLNF Southslope Trail Chicken Coop Trail
Loop Hikes in Finger Lakes National Forest
Burnt Hill Loop Southslope Loop Ravine Loop Chicken Coop Loop Butcher Hill Loop Backbone Loop
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