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Hiking in Cortland County
Finger Lakes Trail System
includes Cristina Creek Falls Trail
This is a very popular family hike that is on private land. Stay on the trails on the PRIVATE LAND. Not doing this could cause the loss of rights from the generous land owners who have allowed this trail on their land. This area is also heavily hunted during hunting season. Please take precautions or avoid hiking during hunting season. This loop utilizes the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail, Spanish Loop Trail and Irvin Trail.
Start from the main trailhead on Daisy Hollow Road and hiked a short distance along the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail to the bank of Rowland Creek. This is where the Spanish Loop Trail begins at the triple orange blazes. Follow the orange blazes back toward Daisy Hollow Road and cross the road at 0.1 miles. Begin to ascend and soon reach the triple blue blaze junction of the Irvin Trail.
Turn right onto the Irvin Trail. Soon you'll reach Cristina Creek at 0.25 miles. The trail follows and then crosses the creek at the junction of Eric's Path. Take this yellow blaze trail to a small camping area with a fire ring and bench. A few feet further up the trail to a couple of green chairs with a view of the lower falls of Cristina Creek. Return to the blue blazed Irvin Trail.
The Irvin Trail crosses the creek again and reaches the yellow blazed junction of the Cristina Creek Falls Trail at 0.45 miles. Follow this short 0.1 mile pleasant trail to a view point of the Upper Falls of Cristina Creek. Return back to the Irvin Trail and begin your main ascent of the hike. The ascent follows numerous switchbacks that bring you close to the edge of the gorge with the sounds of Cristina Creek below you.
At 0.8 miles you reach a trail register and cross the orange blazed Spanish Loop Trail. Continue on the blue blazed Irvin Trail. At 0.9 miles reach power lines with a nice view of Rowland Ridge across the way (see panorama above). The trail returns back into the woods and at 1.0 miles you reach the highest point of this hike at 1722 feet. At 1.1 miles you'll reach the end of the Irvin Trail at the junction of the Spanish Loop Trail. Turn right and follow the orange blazed Spanish Loop Trail. Soon you'll cross a gas pipeline ROW and cross under power lines before entering back into the woods.
At 1.35 miles reach the trail register and the Irvin Trail. Continue your descent on the orange blazed Spanish Loop Trail. At 1.8 miles you'll cross Daisy Hollow Road and you should see your vehicle up the road. Shortly you'll reach Rowland Creek and the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail for your last few feet to the trailhead on your right.
We have a video of this hike below. This hike is featured in the book Take A Hike - Family Walks in New York's Finger Lakes Region.
Upper Falls of Cristina Creek
Directions: From Dryden take NY 392 East and right on W Meeting House Rd, then right on Daisy Hollow Rd. From Virgil take NY 392 West then left on W Meeting House Rd, then right on Daisy Hollow Rd.There is parking along the west side of the road at the FLT sign. The GPS coordinates are N42 27.792 W76 13.944.
Mile Elevation Description 0.0 1401 ft
Parking area on Daisy Hollow Rd. Follow the white blazed Finger Lakes/North Country Trail to the bank of Rowland Creek. Turn left at the triple orange blazes & trail sign, following the Spanish Loop Trail and the orange blazes.
0.1 1389 ft
Cross Daisy Hollow Road and enter tree farm. Junction with blue blazed Irvin Trail on right. Turn right and follow the blue blazes/Irvin Trail.
0.25 1422 ft
Trail runs along Cristina Creek
0.35 1454 ft
Junction with yellow blazed Eric's Path on left that leads to a camping area, a view of the lower falls & Spanish Loop Trail in 350 feet.
0.45 1516 ft
Junction with yellow blazed Cristina Creek Falls Spur Trail on right. Trail leads 0.1 up the gorge to a view of the upper falls. Head up gorge and return and the continue on blue blazed Irvin Trail.
0.8 1649 ft
Trail register and junction of orange blazed Spanish Loop Trail. Continue on Irvin Trail & follow blue blazes
0.9 1655 ft
Power lines and view
1.1 1712 ft
Junction with orange blazed Spanish Loop Trail. End of Irvin Trail. Turn right and follow Spanish Loop Trail & orange blazes. Soon cross under power lines and across gas line ROW.
1.35 1649 ft
Trail register and junction of blue blazed Irvin Trail. Continue on Spanish Loop Trail & follow orange blazes
1.8 1389 ft
Cross Daisy Hollow Rd, head to bank of Rowland Creek. Soon junction with white blazed Finger Lakes/North Country Trail. Turn right and follow white blazes to parking area and the end of this loop hike.
1.9 1401 ft
Parking area on Daisy Hollow Rd.
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