I had NO IDEA where I was going when I woke up on Saturday. After a stressful week, I just knew I needed a trail with spectacular views.
So, I pulled up my AllTrails app and used the search filters to find places with waterfalls near me. It’s no surprise that there were a plethora — I mean, I am in western New York.
I settled on Stony Brook State Park, mainly because it’s a change of scenery. I have been traveling south to the Allegheny National Forest for the past few weekends and Stony Brook is about an hour north from me.
Stony Brook has been one of my favorite hikes so far.
Here are the quick facts:
Distance: There are three hiking trails at Stony Brook… East Rim Trail (1.5 miles), West Rim Trail (0.85 miles) and Gorge Trail (0.75 miles). I hiked East Rim and then used West Rim to get back to the parking lot (2.35 miles). Gorge trail was closed due to slippery conditions.
Location: Arkport, New York
Parking: There are several spacious parking lots throughout the park. Be advised that in the winter and early spring, bathrooms and picnic areas are closed.
Views: GORGEous view! There are several waterfalls, lots of interesting trees, and the remains of an old train bridge.
Dogs: If your dog can handle stairs and inclines well, this trail is great.
Difficulty: For this trail, difficulty depends on how you look at it. It is a well-manicured trail and the distance is short. However, it is basically stairs the whole way… see what I mean?
Trail markers: Well-marked trails. You couldn’t lose your way if you tried.
This park has so much to offer: spacious picnic shelters/grills, an awesome playground (yes, you bet I played on it), campsites and a swimming area. It is an ideal family park.
The trails are short, but do not be deceived — they are tough and provide amazing views.
I was a little disappointed that the Gorge Trail was not open — but it is a good excuse to go back! I highly recommend making the East and West Rim Trails a loop. They both go along a different side of the gorge and give a different perspective of the falls.
This is a great park to visit — even if you can’t hike it. You can easily drive to the upper park entrance to see some of the falls!
I will definitely be back in the summer with my roommates to swim :).
- Have you ever been to Stony Brook State Park?
- Are you a fan of falls? Definitely.
- What makes a great playground? High swings and anything that spins!