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Hiking in Madison County
The Link Trail was originally created to connect the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) with the Old Erie Canal Trail. The Link Trail goes north-south in Madison County, east of Syracuse, NY. The Link Trail is currently 40.4 miles long with sections still under construction. This number does include some road walks. The Link Trail is blazed with yellow blazes.
Part of the Link Trail coincides with the North Country National Scenic Trail. The NCT reaches the Link Trail in Tioughnioga Wildlife Management Area at the junction/terminus of the 41 mile Onondaga Trail. The North Country Trail, once completed, will travel 4600 miles from North Dakota to Crown Point, NY. There are blue as well as yellow blazes on the section that coincides with the North Country Trail.
Guide to Hiking the Link Trail (2nd Edition - 2010) - ONLY $3.97
The Guide to Hiking the Link Trail is a 25 page guide book dedicated to all the information you need to hike the Link Trail in Madison County. However this guide book is "green" as you'll receive this guide book in pdf form in an e-mail not an actual book in regular mail. This means you can print the pages you want from the book. Print only what you need for your hike, not a whole book. No worries on the book getting wet, as you'll always have it on your computer when you get back from your hike.
This guide has maps, pictures, descriptions and everything you need to explore the Link Trail. Use the buy now button below and we'll send you an e-mail with your file within 24 hours after receiving your payment. Be sure to check out our other guides available here on the website.
The Link Trail northern terminus is in the village of Canastota at the junction of Canal Street and the Old Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The Link Trail has a brief road walk in the village heading south, before turning right off Main Street onto a paved path. As the paved path nears the end of Port Street, there are great views behind you. The trail again makes its way on roads and to Main Street to cross NY 5 near Aldi's. The trail reaches Mount Pleasant Street and veers right off the road but staying parallel to the road.
At Mount Pleasant Cemetery the trail veers right into the woods and private property. There is parking at the trailhead in the cemetery. The trail winds toward Canastota Ravine and enters the ravine following a fantastic wooden stairway which includes a bench. You are now in Scheid Park, a new state park. Once at the bottom of the stairway the trail follows the ravine to Canastota Creek. The trail crosses the creek on a well built footbridge.
Now the trail ascends up to and then follows the old Lehigh Valley railroad bed. The trail crosses Nelson Rd, Harp Road and then Cottons Road. The railroad bed crosses through private yards, a cow pasture and close to homes as it crosses Quarry Road, then skirts an old quarry. The trail veers away from the old railroad bed and reaches Quarry Road at the corner of Ingalls Corners Road. Another road walk follows before the trail starts up again off Freber Road along the old Lehigh Valley Railroad.
The trail reaches the village of Cazenovia and passes an old railroad depot before reaching a hardware store parking lot and US 20. The trail now follows roads in the scenic village of Cazenovia, turns off US 20 at the Linklaen House and follows Chenango Street for 0.6 miles before turning left off the road at a parking area with a Kiosk. There have been recent trail relocation in this area.
The trail winds through woods and skirts a field before entering the woods again for its ascent up Stone Quarry Hill. After a climb the trail reaches Stone Quarry Art Part with its unique sculptures. Before leaving the park there is a spectacular view to the south and east toward Kinney Hill, Highland Forest & Morgan Hill.
Now you have another road walk before the trail turns left at the parking area and kiosk at Nelson Swamp Unique Area. The trail follows an old railroad bed through the swamp and crosses Chittenango Creek on a footbridge. The trail crosses a stile and enters private property again, veers off the old railroad bed before reaching Hardscrabble Road and another road walk.
The trail leaves Irish Hill Road at a bend in the road with parking and enters Tioughnioga WMA. After passing a trail register the trail turns left onto the abandoned section of Holmes Road. Shortly on your right you will see the newly blue blazed Onondaga Trail. The North Country Trail now leaves the Link Trail and follows the Onondaga Trail on its journey to the Finger Lakes Trail, then eventually North Dakota.
The Link Trail continues to follow the abandoned road, crossing Damon Road before reaching seasonal dirt Corkinsville Road and turning left past a DEC gate along a grassy lane. The trail turns right off the DEC road and makes its way to Dugway Road. At Dugway Road, while the trail continues across the road, it dead ends in 2 miles due to the loss of permission of a private landowner.
To continue on the Link Trail you must do a road walk of 4.6 miles along Dugway Road and NY 80. The trail turns off NY 80 and ascends into private property toward Muller Hill State Forest. The trail leaves Muller Hill State Forest along Wood Road. Another road walk to Crumb Hill Road and then the trail turns right into Maripossa State Forest.
The trail reaches its southern terminus in 1.5 miles at the junction of the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail. Turning left will take you to Bucks Brook State Forest and eventually to the Catskills, The Long Path and if you wanted to, the Appalachian Trail. Turning right will take you to Cuyler Hill State Forest, the junction of the North Country Trail, to Pennsylvania and eventually if you wanted to, all the way to North Dakota.
One could create a long backpacking loop hike of over 100 miles by utilizing the Link Trail, Onondaga Trail and the Finger Lakes Trail. We are calling this the Onondaga Finger Link Loop.
Look below for a map and description of the Link Trail. For a closer look at sections of the Link Trail use the links above to choose the section your interested in. There is also a complete map and description of the entire trail below.
Turn left on Stroud Street.
Turn right on Rasbach Street.
Turn right on Main Street.
Cross NY 5 & NY 13. Road now becomes Mount Pleasant Street.
Trail veers right off the road.
Reach Mount Pleasant Cemetery. (Parking) Trail turns right into woods.
Trail Register. Soon reach stairs to descend into "Canastota Ravine".
Cross Canastota Creek on footbridge.
Reach old railroad bed and turn right, following the old railroad bed.
Cross Nelson Road. (Parking)
Cross Harp Road.
Cross Cottons Road. (Parking)
Cross Quarry Road.
Trail veers away from old railroad bed
Trail reaches Quarry Road. Turn right and follow road.
Turn right on Perryville Road then left on Seibenbaum Road
Turn right on Irish Ridge Road, then left on Freber Road.
Trail turns left off Freber Road. (Parking) The trail begins again along old railroad bed.
Cross Carry Hill Road.
Cross Emhoff Rd. (Parking)
Cross Bingley Rd, ascend up stairs.
Cross Clark Street. (Parking) Now in village of Cazenovia.
Cross Williams Street. (parking)
Pass by hardware store. Reach US 20 and turn right following US 20. ROAD WALK for next 0.8 mile.
Turn left on Chenango Street at light.
Turn left at trailhead parking area. Trail Register & Kiosk. Follow blue and yellow blazes into woods. (parking)
View to the right.
Trail register, entering Stone Quarry Art Park.
Turn right and follow dirt park exit road.
Turn right on Stone Quarry Rd.
Four corners, stay straight. Road now called Constine Bridge Rd.
Reach Nelson Swamp Unique Area trailhead. (parking) Turn left following yellow and blue blazes. Kiosk & Trail register.
Cross Chittenango Creek on footbridge. Soon enter PRIVATE PROPERTY.
Reach Hardscabble Rd. Turn right on road. ROAD WALK for next 0.2 miles.
Turn left on Irish Hill Road.
Trail leaves road at bend. (parking) Enter Tioughnioga WMA.
Reach old dirt/abandoned Holmes Rd. Turn left and follow old road.
Junction of blue blazed Onondaga Trail on your right. The North Country Trail now follows the Onondaga Trail. Link Trail continues straight. Now following just yellow blazes.
Cross Damon Road. (shoulder parking)
Reach Corkinsville Rd (seasonal/dirt) (parking). Turn left past gate following old DEC road.
Turn right off old DEC Road, following yellow blazes.
Reach Dugway Road. Parking. The Link Trail across the street will dead end in 2 miles. To continue, turn right on Dugway Road
Reach stop sign and NY 80. Turn left on NY 80.
Trail veers right off NY 80. Then trail turns right and heads uphill. Shoulder parking.
Reach an area recently cleared and turn right. Following old logging road.
High point along main continuous trail.
Trail turns left. Follow yellow boundary paint on trees.
Reach Muller Hill State Forest Boundary.
Junction of spur trail to Carpenter Rd (0.6 mi). Turn left for main Link Trail.
Reach seasonal dirt Chapman Road. Turn left on road, then turn right off road in 100 feet. Then cross Tioughnioga Creek.
Reach dirt Muller Hill Road.(parking) Turn left, then quick right onto dirt Wood Road (Bundy Road).
Seasonal dirt Wood Road (Bundy Rd) becomes an abandoned road, follow old road.
Reach drivable Wood Road. (Parking) Continue down Wood Road.
Reach Crumb Hill Road. Turn left and follow road.
Turn right off road into woods following yellow blazes. Now in Mariposa State Forest
Reach junction of white blazed Finger Lakes Trail. Turning left will take you to Bucks Brook State Forest and eventually to the Catskills, The Long Path and if you wanted to, the Appalachian Trail. Turning right will take you to Cuyler Hill State Forest, the junction of the North Country Trail, to Pennsylvania and eventually if you wanted to, all the way to North Dakota.
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