CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Our 2010 Hikes Hiking in Chenango County FLT - Bainbridge

Finger Lakes Trail

Our 2010 Hikes - September 14

Finger Lakes Trail
New Bainbridge Section
Chenango Valley State Park


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On September 14th we headed toward Bainbridge to hike a new section of the Finger Lakes Trail that was completed just a short time ago.  This 1.7 mile new section of trail eliminates part of the dangerous road walk along busy NY 206.  Although part of the road walk remains, this new section removes about one mile of the walk along the busy highway with narrow shoulders.

It's very easy to find this new section as the trailhead on NY 206 is located at the "Welcome to Bainbridge" sign on the highway.  There is good parking available at the sign, off the road.  The GPS coordinates for the sign are N42 18.023 W75 29.473 for those who have a devise in their vehicle.  The trail for the most part follows old woods roads on private property. Stay on the trail and follow the white blazes!

Trailhead on NY 206 is located here

From the sign on NY 206 the trail descends steeply toward Newton Brook and crosses the brook at 0.1 mile.  You may notice a few campsites nearby. There is no camping allowed here or anywhere along the trail on this section private property. This crossing of Newton Brook can be dangerous during times of high water, however it is an easy crossing at other times.  This is a very scenic spot.

The trail now ascends steeply toward an old woods road and at 0.2 miles you turn left onto the woods road. In a few hundred feet pass by an old car and come to an intersection.  Ignore the yellow tape and follow the washed out old road as you continue to ascend. At 0.4 miles the washed out road reaches the woods road again.  Continue straight and pass under the yellow tape.

At 0.7 miles the trail reaches the edge of an open field of goldenrod (in bloom on 9/14/10) and the trail turns left off the woods road, past two fence posts along a mowed path.  At 0.8 miles the trail follows another old woods road and descends to cross a small stream at 1.0 miles, then ascends steeply.

The trail continues to follow old woods road until turning left off the woods road and descending toward Case Road.  At 1.7 miles reach Case Road and the end of this new off road section of the Finger Lakes Trail.  To reach the continuation of the FLT turn left and follow Case Road 0.2 miles.  To return to your vehicle, simply turn around and retrace your steps for a 3.4 roundtrip hike from Case Road. This moderate section of the FLT has an overall elevation gain of 623 feet and is located entirely on private property.


From Bainbridge we decided to drive over to Chenango Valley State Park to explore the state park.  The park charges an admission fee of $6 on weekends only.  Since it was a weekday we entered the park for free.  There were only a few people that we saw at the park on a nice Tuesday in September.  We first hiked the Lily Lake Loop from the Tween Lakes Picnic Area.  From the picnic area take the service road and then turn left on another service road that descends toward the lake.  You'll see the well worn path at the edge of the lake.  We turned right and went counter clockwise around the scenic lake.

There were a couple of tricky parts of this hike, the first being where the trail meets the golf course.  Turn left following the paved cart path and just prior to climbing to the tee area, turn left back on the trail.  The second is along the lake near the Tween Lakes Picnic Area.  There are two trails that lead steeply back up to the picnic pavilion.  Stay on the trail next to the lake.  Take the service road back up to the parking area.  It's much easier.  This loop hike was 1.8 miles.

Our second hike at the park was a loop around Chenango Lake from the beach parking area.  We took the counter clockwise trip around the lake from the beach area.  We walked the paved service road that becomes a dirt road.  Just past the "bat home" there is a trail that goes left over a bridge.  Continue straight as the trail over the bridge dead ends.

At 0.7 miles the trail reaches an unmarked junction.  Veer left here and follow the herd path toward the lake at a couple of grills.  Cross the stream over a bridge and continue to follow the trail near the lake.  The rest of the trail is easy to follow and the trail ends up at the boat rental area.  This easy loop hike is 2.1 miles for a total of 3.9 miles if you decide to do both lake loop hikes.

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