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New York State Parks
There are numerous hiking options to explore Robert Treman State Park. Here are a couple of hikes we suggest if you'd like to explore Robert Treman. Both feature the spectacular view of Lucifer Falls from the Lucifer Falls Overlook (see panorama above). The first is the longer Rim & Gorge Trail Loop that you'll need to enter the park and pay the entrance fee.
This loop includes a view of the swimming area from above that is very nice as well as a impressive stone staircase built by the CCC and the view (above) from Lucifer Falls Overlook. The hike continues on the Gorge Trail, where you'll see many other visitors enjoying the views. By the time you reach the cross over trail, many of the visitors disappear and you'll explore Treman, where many don't go.
The second hike won't cost you an entrance fee, unless you want to start in the upper park area. This hike begins from Woodard Road at the crossing of the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail. This hike features the FLT/NCT as well as the CCC Trail. We call this the CCC Loop.
This hike features remains of the old CCC camp that was once here and areas of the park most visitors never see. You'll hike part of the South Rim Trail to visit the Lucifer Falls Overlook, before heading back toward the FLT/NCT.
There is a creek crossing that can be dangerous during high water and you can expect to get your feet wet. Look below for more information on both these great hikes in beautiful Robert Treman State Park. Why not try one or both when your at this state park located near Ithaca, NY?
RIM & GORGE TRAIL LOOP (4.5 miles in yellow on map below)
From the parking area near the swimming area, head across the pedestrian bridge over Enfield Creek. Turn right onto the camping road and head toward the cabins. At either Cabin 8 or 9 (can't remember) there is a sign on the cabin "Rim Trail". Turn here and head steeply up the stairs. Soon there is a nice view of the swimming area that's worth stopping to enjoy as you take a short break.
View of the swimming area from the Rim Trail
Follow the Rim Trail until the end at the upper parking area and then turn right onto the Gorge Trail. Take a break at one of the picnic tables in the area. There is an old mill in the parking lot area with bathrooms and a view of waterfalls from Fish Kill Creek worth checking out.
Follow the Gorge Trail all the way back to the parking area. Once you pass the "cross over trail", the crowds with thin and you might be all by yourself as you make your way back to the lower park's parking area.
There are a lot of up and downs on this moderate hike, including some very steep sections (especially the Cliffside Stairs on the Rim Trail). Total elevation change is over 500 feet. See the map below.
DIRECTIONS: NY 13, 5 miles south of Ithaca, on NY 327. Lower park entrance is first and upper park entrance is further along NY 327.
IDEA: First stop at the upper park and leave you picnic supplies. Drive to the lower park parking area to start your hike. That way your stuff will be waiting for you and you can enjoy a nice picnic at the mid point of your hike. Once you pay, you can enter either side of park all day long.
CCC LOOP with side trip to Lucifer Falls Overlook (2.4 mile hike)
This hike starts where the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail (FLT/NCT) crosses Woodard Road. Park along the side of the road. Look below for directions. There are no park entrance fees here. Head past the gate along the old park road which is now nothing more than a grassy lane. Your following white blazes of the FLT/NCT.
At 0.2 miles reach the CCC boulder plaque and the junction of the orange blazed CCC Trail (which is also the blue blazed High Water Bypass Trail). You'll see the old bridge that has been closed (was open when we hiked on 6/4/10). We suggest that you take the short walk to the bridge to check the water level (or if the bridge is closed). Although you'll cross further up stream, this will give you an idea of the water level before you go any further.
At the CCC boulder follow the orange and blue blazes. You'll also see a yellow Finger Lakes Trail sign. This is where you will come out later on during this hike (after fording Fish Kill Creek). Follow the orange/blue blazed CCC Trail thru the field. Soon the trail goes into the woods.
The orange & blue blazed CCC Trail
At 0.3 miles the trail comes close to Fish Kill Creek. A nice spot to sit next to the creek and take a break. The water is surprisingly deep at some points here! The trail passes remains of the old CCC camp while winding in the woods, thru open fields and next to the creek. You might get see some small waterfalls at some points along the trail.
Approaching upper park parking area and the old mill on the CCC Trail
The trail comes close to a private home on your left and you might notice a wooden fence from an old road. There once was a bridge over the creek here. The trail winds down toward the upper park parking area along CCC built stone stairs and reaching the old mill at 0.6 miles. Take the time to check out the old mill. There are restrooms available here as well as potable water.
Waterfall on Fish Kill Creek behind the old mill
Behind the mill is a nice waterfall along Fish Kill Creek worth checking out. Follow the parking area and cross the stone footbridge over Fish Kill Creek. Turn right and ascend on the South Rim Trail. Your following blue blazes. At 0.9 miles reach the FLT access trail. Continue straight on the South Rim Trail, first to an overlook with stone stairs at 1.0 miles and to Lucifer Falls Overlook at 1.1 miles.
Footbridge over Fish Kill Creek
Take a break and enjoy the view from this spectacular overlook. Now retrace your steps back to the blue blazed FLT access at 1.3 miles. Turn left onto the short access trail and almost immediately reach the white blazes of the Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail. Turn right and ascend steeply on the FLT/NCT. Soon the trail levels off. and will turn right on an old park road.
Stone steps lead to first overlook along Rim Trail
Reach the end of Thomas Road at 1.6 miles and the trail will quickly turn right back into the woods. The main trail will veer left as a well worn unmarked trail will take you to the Fish Kill Overlook at 1.8 miles. This is also the highest point along this whole hike at 1049 feet. Continue on the unmarked trail (watch your step with the huge drop off) and you'll meet up with the white blazes of the FLT/NCT.
Fish Kill Overlook
Watch the blazes closely as the FLT/NCT will veer right off the well worn path, which is an old woods road. Look for the double blazes for the right turn. The trail will start a steep descent using log steps and switchbacks as you wind down toward the edge of Fish Kill Creek.
You'll pass the old condemned bridge (open when we hiked on 6/4/10). Follow the white blazes into woods to where the trail fords Fish Kill Creek. There are numerous side trails in this section that lead to the creek. Watch the white blazes carefully. The trail crosses the creek diagonally and you should see the white blazes on the other side of the creek. The rocks are slippery! Be careful!
Spot where FLT/NCT crosses Fish Kill Creek
Follow the new trail and white blazes to the CCC boulder. Remember the spot? Turn left here to return to your vehicle. There are many options you can do with these trails. Look below for a video of this hike as well as a map.
Try using the Gorge Trail to the cross over trail and then the Rim Trail back to the FLT access for a longer loop.
Directions: From Ithaca take NY 13 south to NY 327. Use the upper park entrance to Robert Treman State Park. Prior to arriving to the pay gate, turn right on dirt Woodard Road. The FLT/NCT crosses the road in about 0.2 miles.
There are other hiking options to explore Robert Treman. Make your own plan and enjoy this great place!
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