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Hiking in Tompkins County
NY State Lands
|Western Section of NCT in Danby State Forest (up to Danby Road)||Eastern Section of NCT on Danby State Forest (includes Eastman Hill)|
The 7337 acre Danby State Forest is located almost entirely in the Town of Danby in Tompkins County with a small southerly portion in the Town of Spencer in Tioga County. This state forest is located off NY 96B south of Ithaca, NY.
The forest was formed in the 1930s when New York State bought a number of homesteads and farms. Some of the displaced families moved away while others stayed in the town. Old stone foundations can still be found in among the trees as can the old hand-dug wells. These old wells can be very dangerous, so be very careful.
Hiking is very popular in the forest, which features a stretch of the Finger Lakes Trail. The white blazed Finger Lakes Trail coincides with the North Country National Scenic Trail as it travels through the forest. There are two lean-tos, Chestnut and Tamarak along the trail to provide overnight backpacking opportunities. The orange blazed Abbott Loop Trail is a very popular eight mile loop hike which includes spectacular views from Thatchers Pinnacles. In the winter when snow is on the ground, the forest is a great place to cross-country ski and snowshoe.
Thatchers Pinnacle view along Abbott Loop Trail in Danby State Forest.
The forest is easy to access as many roads run through it. There are no designated parking places, but some of the better ones are listed below.
Popular Parking Locations in Danby State Forest
On South Danby Road where the Finger Lakes Trail crosses the road. GPS N42 18.492 W76 26.596
On Bald Hill Road at the intersection of Comfort Rd. GPS N42 19.573 W76 29.887
On Michigan Hollow Road where the Finger Lakes Trail crosses the road. GPS N42 19.036 W76 28.658
On Michigan Hollow Road where the Abbott Loop Trail crosses the road. GPS N42 17.783 W76 29.147
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