Perched high on the hills between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, the Finger Lakes National Forest offers several beautifully maintained and well-marked trails. There are a variety of hiking levels, with high meadows, views, hardwood forest and a gorge.
Fall is an especially beautiful time to see the leaf colors, especially on the drive north on Route 414. Stop in at the Forest service office in Hector for a map of the park. In winter, the trails are a favorite of cross-country skiers and snow-shoers, since the snow stays longer into spring.
Run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hammond Dam in Tioga, PA, offers trails around the lake and its wetlands. In spring and summer, look for bald eagles, a variety of water fowl, bluebirds and osprey. There is a small wildlife museum at the office which kids will enjoy. There are some level trails, as well as two challenging hikes up the hills over the lake.
The Mid State trail links Hammond Lake with Cowanesque Lake and will, in future, span the entire state from Maryland to New York.
Run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cowanesque Lake in Lawrenceville, PA, is just a 15 minute drive from Corning. The moccasin trail goes around the lake for wildlife-watching.
The Mid State trail links Cowanesque Lake with Hammond Lake and will, in future, span the entire state from Maryland to New York.