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Chimney Bluffs State Park

Chimney Bluffs State Park

Chimney Bluffs State Park is on Lake Ontario, just past Sodus in the town of Huron. The bluffs, rising 175 feet above Lake Ontario, are fragile drumlins, like all of the truncated drumlins along this section of shoreline.

Chimney Bluffs State Park

Getting to Chimney Bluffs

If your primary goal is to see the bluffs and access the lake, park at the end of East Bay Road. This isn’t an easy stroll by any means. It’s not difficult, but it does require navigating wave-torn pathways and around fallen trees to get to the lakeside.

Chimney Bluffs State Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park

The beach is covered in flat stones of varying sizes

Having water shoes to stand in the lake is a great idea, though I have found a good pair of sneakers will do your ankles a favor walking along the shoreline under the bluffs! You won’t regret having both.

Chimney Bluffs State Park


Looking at the Chimney Bluffs from the water is like looking through a window into our geologic history.

According to ScienceDirect, this area of New York State “contains one of the largest drumlin fields (12,000 km2) on the North America continent consisting of some 10,000 drumlins located between Lake Ontario in the north and the Finger Lakes.”

Chimney Bluffs State Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Chimney Bluffs State Park

If you want to learn more about the land, dig into the New York State Geological Association Guidebook, 2000. Estimates say the bluff retreats 5-feet every year from natural weathering.

stairs to the trail

Trails through Chimney Bluffs State Park

Most folks take a combination of trails to make a loop: the Bluff Trail (1.25 miles), East-West Trail (1.74 miles), and the Drumlin Trail (0.75 mile). However, due to erosion, the Bluff Trail remains closed this year.

Since viewing the bluffs from above is not a safe option, the best place to view them is from the shore.

There is also access to the park trails from East Bay Rd., though it requires a combination of stairs and a hill-climb that’s taken my breath away on several occasions! So if you’d like to hike the trails, my advice is to park at the State Park where the trail-heads are level.

picnic tables
Lake Ontario

The park has tables for picnicking, though they are in complete sun. There is a beautiful view of Lake Ontario and the Bluffs from afar, but you cannot access the water from here.

Chimney Bluffs State Park

More information about Chimney Bluffs State Park

Cost: $5 vehicle fee, paid for using a kiosk, collected April 1 – October 31

Located in Huron, roughly 60 minutes / 50 miles from Rochester (directions to the State Park or to the parking lot at the end of East Bay Rd.)

More information:

Geologic History of the Rochester Area

These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history, filled with drumlins, fossils, house-sized boulders and a meromictic lake, will leave you awe-struck!

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a two hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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71 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

Here are a few less populated, rustic, or unusual trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail-trails, waterside trails, and inland trails.

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9 Lighthouses Along Lake Ontario

These lighthouses along Lake Ontario in New York are all within a two-hour drive of Rochester. And where there is a lighthouse there is a sweeping view!

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The Darkest Sky Near Rochester

Locations northeast of Rochester close to Lake Ontario, or south of US-20 in the Finger Lakes will offer the darkest sky near Rochester.

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The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail

The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail is the portion that runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego.

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Where is your favorite spot in Chimney Bluffs State Park?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home.

The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly and locally—seek solitude!