One of the stops on our 2600 Mile road trip last year was Chimney Bluffs State Park on Lake Ontario. Located about an hour between Syracuse and Rochester, NY right on the Great Lake, this state park is worth the extra time to leave the interstate and go exploring.
Chimney Bluffs State Park: Lake Ontario
There is a nice parking area and bathroom before you walk down an easy path through the picnic area to the edge of Lake Ontario. Though it was off the beaten path, there were more cars than we expected. Many times when we find a new place like this people want to know what kind of hiking trail it is and whether it is suitable for people with different levels of hiking abilities and skill level.
The beginning part of the trail is fairly flat and easily accessible to any level of skills although it would not be wheelchair or stroller compatible. Once you get along the cliff edge, the trail is fairly steep at times with some significant drop off areas. It is easy to follow the trail since you are just walking along the edge of the cliffs above the water.
At one point on the trail, there is a sign that warns you of unstable ground. When hiking this trail with the kids we were very focused and made sure that everyone kept a close eye on where they were walking. We did not walk to the end of the trail because of lack of time. I have a feeling that had we kept going we would have been amazed as much or more at every bend of the trail.
To the right of the picnic areas, you will see a simple path leading off into the woods along the coast. It starts out as a simple grassy path then turns into more of a trail.
After a few minutes of walking through the woods you start to get a glimpse of the chimney rock type formations to the left along the coast. We met one couple coming back from their hike and asked them where the best overlook was. Their response was spot on. “Everytime you come around another bend it gets more beautiful and spectacular!” They were right!
It’s a bit hard to get perspective of how impressive these spike formations are. But if you look closely at the next image, you’ll see the people who had climbed over to one of the other sides of the chimney bluffs. This was definitely an impressive display of the beauty along the shore of Lake Ontario and a testament to God’s handiwork!
Land and water clash at Chimney Bluffs, sculpting the most dramatic landscape on the Lake Ontario shore. You can experience massive earthen spires from above or along the lakeshore on nature trails. Day-use services include picnic areas, nature trails and restrooms.
On the way back we took a small detour down from the cliffs and walked along the shore. There were several sailboats that were anchored off the shore and enjoying the gorgeous water of Lake Ontario.
Chimney Bluffs State Park is a 597-acre state park in the town of Huron in Wayne County, New York. The park is situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, east of Sodus Bay.
Lake Michigan has its amazing dunes; Lake Erie the beautiful sunsets but Lake Ontario definitely sticks out as one of our most memorable stops on our Epic Road Trip 2016 and will definitely make the list of “50 Things all Students Need to Experience Before they Graduate”.
Visit Chimney Bluffs State Park
7700 Garner Road
Wolcott, NY 14590
Have you ever been to Lake Ontario? Have you hiked here at Chimney Bluffs State Park? After reading this post, are you putting Chimney Bluffs on your next vacation plans?