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.

Getting to Chimney Bluffs

Chimney Bluffs State Park

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.

The beach is covered in
flat stones of varying sizes

Chimney Bluffs State Park

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

Drumlins

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.”

If you want to learn more about the land, dig into the New York State Geological Association Guidebook [72nd NYSGA 2000 PDF, 116]. Estimates say the bluff retreats 5-feet every year from natural weathering.

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

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.

stairs to the trail

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.

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.

picnic tables
Lake Ontario
tree

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: nysparks.com

Chimney Bluffs State Park

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!

Read more

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

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

Read more

77 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.

Read more

Where is your favorite spot in Chimney Bluffs State Park?

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

447 Shares

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *