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Finger Lakes Trail

North Country Trail

Rock City State Forest

 

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This 4.35 mile section of the Finger Lakes Trail - North Country Trail travels through the unique 2905 acre Rock City State Forest.  This state forest has a picnic area off Little Rock City Road (seasonal dirt road) and has the remains of the old Seneca CCC camp near Hungry Hollow Road.  This state forest also has many miles of mountain bike trails.

Rock City State Forest received its name due to the massive boulders the size of houses which are naturally arranged so that they resemble a city with “streets” running between them. This unique “city” is formed by many factors including a massive resistant conglomerate bed, erosion of the weak shale base and soil creep. The conglomerate bed actually has its own geological designation known as Devonian Salamanca conglomerate. A conglomerate is a rock consisting of individual stones that have become cemented together.

With nothing to prevent this bed of rock from sliding down slope, the conglomerate has been carried slowly downhill by soil creep which has been going on for thousands of years. This downhill slide has caused the conglomerate bed to break into huge blocks to form the “buildings” and “roads” of the “city”. As these blocks lean against each other they form caves, tunnels and passageways.

FLT/NCT traveling into Little Rock City

Tornado damage area in Rock City State Forest

This 4.35 mile section of the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail begins on the corner of NY 353 and Stone Chimney Road.  The Elkdale Country Club is a highly recommended restaurant.  The FLT/NCT follows Stone Chimney Road and enters Rock City State Forest, where the drivable part of the road soon ends.

You'll soon follow the old Salamanca Road briefly until the trail veers off the road near a gate.  The trail crosses Little Rock City Road.  Turning right on the road will lead you 0.2 miles to "Little Rock City" and the picnic/camping area (no water).  The 0.7 mile Little Rock City Trail begins here and winds it way through an amazing maze of many giant crevices between the huge rocks and hanging fern gardens.  This is an area worth exploring.

The FLT/NCT follows state forest nature trails over the next couple of miles.  Be sure to watch for white blazes.  This section ends at Hungry Hollow Road near the old CCC Camp Seneca with picnic pavilion plus camping area. Look below for a map and trail description of this section of the trail.  This section of the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail is also part of the Conservation Trail.  This stretch of the FLT/NCT is featured on map M3 from the FLTC.

Mile Elevation Description
0.0 1457 feet

This section begins at the corner of NY 353 and Stone Chimney Road.  There is a golf course and restaurant here (Elkdale Country Club).  Parking.  Follow Stone Chimney Road.

0.8 1573 feet

Entering Rock City State Forest.

1.0 1612 feet

End of drivable section of road, continue to follow track and white blazes.  Ascend.

1.9 2151 feet

Turn left on old Salamanca Road.

2.2 2260 feet

Highest point of trail in Rock City State Forest.

2.3 2219 feet

Cross Little Rock City Road. Parking. Right on road leads 0.2 miles to Little Rock City Picnic/Camping Area and the yellow blazed 0.7 mile Little Rock City Loop Trail.

2.4 2181 feet Reach the return of the Little Rock City Loop Trail, FLT/NCT winds through rocky area; descent is at first gradual, then much steeper. 
3.7 2039 feet

Enter area devastated by a tornado in 2010. Soon right and more steeply downhill.

4.3 1713 feet

Leave tornado damage area. Trail soon turns right, however straight ahead leads to old Seneca CCC Camp camping area and pavilion with picnic tables.  Parking.

4.35 1688 feet

 Reach Hungry Hollow Road and the end of this section.  Parking.  For a continuation see McCarty Hill State Forest

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