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Hiking in Cayuga County
Bear Swamp State Forest

Yellow Loop


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This loop hike within Bear Swamp State Forest utilizes different "Yellow Trails" to create a pleasant four mile loop.  This hike has an overall elevation gain/loss of 370 feet and is fairly easy.  There are sections of this hike that can become quite muddy, especially after heavy rains.  We noticed the following trails were worse than others:  Y6 along Ridge Road and Y5 up to the B2/Y4 junction.

Park in the "Yellow Trailhead" parking area on Bear Swamp Road, about 0.2 miles north of Iowa Road.  Bear Swamp Road is a seasonal dirt road.  Look below for a few pictures, a video, map and description of this hike.

Mile Elevation Trail Description of Bear Swamp Yellow Loop
0.0 1578 feet

From the large parking area head toward the Kiosk, then enter woods following the wide trail.  You are on Y1 (yellow discs with a "Trail 1" written).  There are brochures (sometimes) in black mailbox next to kiosk.

0.1 1587 feet

Continue straight on Y1 at the Y2 junction.  Soon the trail veers sharply right.

0.25 1614 feet

Turn left on the Y7 trail.

0.4 1653 feet

Turn (veer) right onto the Y6 trail (Y8 trail gores left - end Y7 trail).  Y6 can be hard to see here.

0.55 1691 feet

Guidepost 12.  Descend.

0.75 1626 feet

Trail veers left and begin to ascend.  Some views through the trees on your right (when leaves are off).

1.5 1812 feet

Cross bridge.

1.7 1823 feet

Cross seasonal dirt Ridge Road and then turn left.  Trail runs parallel to road and then along road before veering into woods.

1.9 1849 feet

Turn right onto Y5 (hard to see and Y6 during this section is hard to follow).  Y5 is usually wet & muddy.

1.95 1857 feet

Highest point along this loop.  The highest point in Cayuga County at 1860 feet is off trail Y9).

2.1 1850 feet

Junction of B2 & Y4 trails.  Continue straight on Y4.

2.4 1763 feet

Junction of B3 & Y3 trails.  Turn left on Y3.

3.1 1681 feet

Cross seasonal dirt Bear Swamp Road.  You are now on Y2 trail.

3.7 1552 feet

Lowest point along this loop hike.

3.9 1583 feet

Cross seasonal dirt Bear Swamp Road and then turn right on Y1 trail.  heading back to parking area.

4.0 1578 feet

Arrive at parking area.  End of this loop hike.

Start of the hike on Yellow Trail #1

Yellow Trail #6 follows the old Ridge Road

Extremely wet section of Yellow Trail #5


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