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Hiking in Cortland County
Griggs Gulf State Forest


Hidden Falls
Hunt Falls

 

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This hike is to an unpublicized 30-foot waterfall which has been referred to as "Hidden Falls" as well as Hunt Falls by the locals. The waterfall is located within Griggs Gulf State Forest, in the Town of Lapeer section, Cortland County, NY.

To get to my suggested starting point for the hike to the falls, first place yourself at the intersection of NY 79 and NY 38 in "downtown" Richford, NY. Then take NY 38 north about four miles, and hang a right (easterly) onto NY 200 through the lovely hamlet of Harford Mills. Or from Dryden take NY 38 south to Harford Mills and then a left on NY 200.

Just as NY 200 starts winding north alongside the propane storage field, look for Griggs Gulf Road on the right. After a bridge or two, and the last few mailboxes, this becomes a seasonal use road running upstream along the watery spine of Griggs Gulf State Forest -- and also touching some private in-holdings along the way. The total distance is about 2.8 miles to the end of the line for vehicles, which is labeled on my maps as a parking cul-de-sac.

Hidden Falls or Hunt Falls slows to a somewhat disappointing trickle once the warm weather kicks in. Best time to enjoy this waterfall is in the spring or after a good rain storm.

Thanks to Andy Leahy for the description above, map and picture below as well as sharing this hike for all to enjoy. 

Here is more info on the waterfall from another hiker:

To the locals, Hidden Falls is known as Hunt Falls.  The Hunt family were early settlers in the area and until recently members of the Hunt family resided in Hunts Corners.  The cul-de-sac actually has two names used by the locals: Round Top and Monkey Circle.  The latter name is very appropriate because this is where the teens sometimes go have underage beer parties or just to "monkey" around.

To really appreciate the beauty of Griggs Gulf Road, one should park at the bridge right before the road becomes a forest truck trail and turns sharply to the left and begins the climb up into the forest.  This truck trail runs along a delightful creek that is the unlikely home to a Blue Heron. However, if you decide to drive to the top, you may park along the cul-de-sac (Round Top) at the end. The Round Top area has been logged this past year and has lost its forest beauty. You will need to climb over the tree tops on the ground and wade through the ruts of mud.  I am hopeful that the State will demand that the loggers clean up their mess. 
From Round Top there is a nice trail that leads to Hunts Falls. The trick is to chose the correct trail at Round Top as there are 4 trails leading out into the forest from Round Top.  As you enter the circle, bear to the right.  The trail to the falls is the first trail on your right as you enter the circle.  You will need to look beyond the logging debris.  Clue: This will be the only trail heading uphill from the circle. SSE  Once you get over the knoll, it's all downhill.  You will be at Hunt's Falls within the hour if you stay on the main trail.  You will not see the forest creeks that feed the falls from this side of the falls.  You will come to a double set of pink ribbons (the kind that snowmobilers use) on each side of the trail.  On your left will be large pinkish blazes on a line of trees which will lead you to the falls. (Less than 100 yards.)  Caution.  There are many pink trails leading off the main trail the entire length, however this is the only place where you will see the double pink ribbons on either side of the trail.
I visited Hunt's Falls on 05/09/14 and there was plenty of water splashing down over the falls. Sat on a log overlooking the falls, had lunch and enjoyed the beauty.  If you go, pay attention to the rock outcropping on the uphill bank just beyond the falls and you might spy the creature that is at home there.
The DEC has written "DEN" here and there on some of the trees...one near Round Top and at least 3 times along this particular trail. I've been told that this is identifying near-by bear dens.  I haven't verified this yet, but will attempt to do so.  In any case, we were very quiet around these particular parts.  I can verify that there are bears in the Griggs Gulf Forest, but I didn't see any today.  

If anyone would like to add more info on this hike or some pictures to share and has the gps tracks, please send the info to contact@cnyhiking.com

http://cnyhiking.com/HiddenFalls001.jpg

Picture courtesy of Andy Leahy 4/26/2009

Map of Griggs Gulf State Forest

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