Hiking can be a great way to supplement your fitness, if it is a challenging hike with climbing and varying surfaces. Adding a hike to a day when you run or to a day you don’t, can be a great way to help core strength and burn some calories while seeing some of the best nature around.
Here are 5 Great Hikes to put on your calendar this summer or fall.
1) Robert H. Treman State Park
Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. Winding trails follow the gorge past 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls, to where visitors can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge as it winds its way to the lower park. Treman State Park is near Ithaca in Tompkins County. An added bonus, bring swimming attire and take advantage of the public swimming area.
2) Fairchild Hill and Burlingame Trail
Fairchild Hill and Burlingame Trail I have mentioned before for running and visited it again this weekend. In addition, this is absolutely a great place for a nearby hike that can use as little as 30 minutes of your time or up to over 2 hours. Beautiful views of Cazenovia Lake from above, meadows and many wooded and covered single track and carriage trails make this spot a gem when it is warm and you need a break from the sun. Enter the trail head near the corner of Route 92 and 20 in Cazenovia or off of Burlingame Road in Cazenovia.
3) Keuka Outlet Trail
Keuka Outlet Trail is another running/hiking trail that you just have to visit. In the heart of New York's Finger Lakes Region is a rail-trail that is part natural wonder and part industrial archaeology. The 7-mile trail Keuka Outlet Trail has a unique heritage. Technically a stream, the 8-mile Keuka Lake outlet physically connects Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake in the east, the only two Finger Lakes in New York connected by a natural waterway. The outlet also connects the historic lakeside village of Penn Yan on Keuka Lake with Dresden on Seneca Lake. A beautiful hike with wildlife, streams and protection from all traffic courtesy of the old rail bed. Extra bonus, there is an ice cream shop near the Dresden trail head. To reach the trailhead in Penn Yan: From Main Street, turn west onto Elm Street (Route 54A) and follow to the community ball field on the left. The trail access is behind the vendor booth, to your left, as you are looking at the field. To reach the Dresden Trailhead: Follow Route 54 east to Dresden. After crossing Route 14, bear right onto Seneca Street. The trailhead and parking lot are on the right.
4) Morgan Hill State Forest
Morgan Hill State Forest is in Southern Onondaga County and features miles of trails and connectivity to other popular upstate trails. There are 11.2 miles of marked foot trails, which connect the western part of the forest with the Labrador Hollow Area and then continue east as part of the Finger Lakes Trail. It also is part of the North Country National Scenic Trail System. In addition, there are 11.5 miles of Public Forest Access Roads that run through the forest. These are best accessed during the summer and the fall. From NY 80 or NY 91, Morgan Hill State Forest may be accessed from Shackham Road.
5) Highland Forest
Highland Forest is hiking central in Onondaga County and for good reason, there are over 50 miles of trails available and some of the surfaces can be described as rugged. However if you are new to hiking, try the Nature Trail or 4.2 Mile Arab Hill Route. The main park loop is nearly 9 miles and may take between 4-5 hours to complete this difficult hike, so come prepared with water and snacks. Free maps are available at the Skyline Lodge or download maps from the Highland Forest website.