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, less crowded walks in the gorge.

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Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

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.

Stony Brook State Park
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
Stony Brook State Park people first waterfall
Stony Brook State Park

The Second Waterfall

Stony Brook State Park
Stony Brook State Park second fall
Stony Brook State Park second fall
Stony Brook State Park 2nd waterfall

The Natural Swimming Pool

Stony Brook State Park natural swimming pool
Stony Brook State Park
Stony Brook State Park
Stony Brook State Park

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.

The pool may be closed due to weather at any time so please call ahead if swimming is an important part of your visit.

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
Stony Brook State Park

More information about Stony Brook State Park

Cost: There is a vehicle entry fee. Free off-season (roughly Oct-May)

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

More information:

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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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Explore Dansville

Take a free audio walking tour of historic downtown Dansville. There are ten stops within three blocks surrounding Main Street.

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

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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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