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Hiking in Onondaga County
New York State Parks
Loop Hike #1
From the parking area, head to the left corner of the parking area. There is a saw horse with a sign "Service Road, Do Not Enter". This is the start of your hike. Walk up the service road, past a baseball field & volleyball court. Soon cross a small creek on a bridge, then veer right continuing down service road. This is the Mildred Faust Trail. Continue straight at the first trail junction. At the second trail junction turn left (this is still the Mildred Faust Trail) and pass a bench on your left at 0.5 miles. This is a good place for a rest if you need to. Continue on the trail until you come to the junction of the Long Trail. Turn left on the Long Trail and follow the red blazes. The trail begins to get rockier.
Bridge over small stream along service road
Continue on the Long Trail until the next trail jct. Straight ahead is Long Trail Extention, you are turning right and continuing on the Long Trail. At the next trail jct stay straight to the Pulpit Rock trail and follow the yellow blazes. Soon you will reach Pulpit Rock and it will look like the trail ends, but head steeply down Pulpit Rock to follow the trail. You will come to a bend (watch for unauthorized trails) and continue to follow the yellow blazes. At your next trail jct turn left onto the red blazed Saddle Back Trail. At the next trail jct turn left onto the Lower Basin Trail (blue tape on trees for blazes) and quickly ascend. You will veer right and come to your next trail jct, which is the Cliff Trail.
First take a quick left to the power lines for a nice view to the southeast at 1.75 miles. There is a rock outcrop and a nice place to take a break. Then turn around and begin to follow the Cliff Trail (blue blazes/tape). Lake views begin at 2.0 miles and there are numerous rock outcrops to sit and enjoy the partial views. The trail veers to the right (as an unauthorized trail goes straight) near the Big Buck Trail. Head steeply down the trail and then you will be climbing back up rocks to the jct of the Table Rock Trail. Continue straight and follow the black fence. There is a "unmarked" trail jct along the fence of a paved trail to your right. Take the paved trail up past the restrooms and back to the parking area. Total elevation change is 184 feet.
NOTE: There are numerous "unauthorized" trails in the State Park. Most authorized trails have signs at every trail junction & blazes. The unauthorized trails lead to private property.
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