Stony Brook State Park cover

Stony Brook State Park

The 3/4 mile long walkway through Stony Brook State Park is a combination of shale, gravel, and stairs. Stony Brook has a similar feeling to the other Finger Lakes gorge parks while being a bit more manageable.

My favorite time to visit is on a mild November day, once the crowds and heat of summer have slipped away. There have been times where we have had the park nearly to ourselves in Autumn!

Alternatively, early mornings before 10am are great for quiet walks in the gorge.

The Gorge Trail

Stony Brook State Park gorge trail stairs

Stony Brook is less challenging than Watkins Glen State Park, though not as awe-inspiring. It is similar to Buttermilk Falls State Park on a smaller scale.

I feel it’s also much less crowded, especially with Letchworth State Park being so close by, and Sugar Creek Glen Campground right down the street. Sugar Creek Glen is less developed with no formal trails, though you are able to wade in the water. You can pay a small fee to enter even if you are not camping.

Stony Brook State Park shallow brook
Stony Brook State Park small waterfall
gorge trail

Magnificent Stone & Wooden Foot Bridges

Stony Brook State Park bridge
Stony Brook State Park second bridge stairs
Stony Brook State Park walk across bridge
Stony Brook State Park second bridge
Stony Brook State Park first bridge

The First Waterfall

Stony Brook State Park first waterfall
Stony Brook State Park early morning waterfall
Stony Brook State Park people first waterfall

The Second Waterfall

Stony Brook State Park 2nd waterfall
Stony Brook State Park second waterfall
Stony Brook State Park natural swimming pool

The Natural Swimming Pool

This is the only section of the park where swimming in the brook is allowed, when a lifeguard is on duty. Be advised,  wading into the water in the gorge is not allowed and there could be fines issued for doing so.


From the NYS Parks website

“The terrain comprises hilly woodlands, a deep gorge with rugged cliffs overlooking three waterfalls and fascinating rock formations. Visitors can hike rim, gorge or nature trails, play tennis on park courts, or picnic. Some winter hiking is allowed, but not on the gorge or rim trails.”

bench morning sun rays

More information about Stony Brook State Park

Cost: $7 per vehicle, free off-season (roughly Oct-May)

Located in Dansville, roughly 1 hour / 57 miles from Rochester (get directions)

More information:

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39 Natural Swimming Holes

On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.

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When is your favorite time to visit Stony Brook State Park?

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


2 thoughts on “Stony Brook State Park”

    1. Truth be told, Dion, it’s been so many years since I’ve been I don’t have pictures since the enforcement of that rule went into full effect. Because you’ve mentioned it, I’ll pull those images off and make it a point to get back there post haste! Thank you!

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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.