© 2000 Jon Binder
Ratings (ratings explained)
Ease of Access: 7/10 (for upper falls) - 10/10 (for lower falls)
Fillmore Glen State Park is located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The park contains a long, narrow gorge with five beautiful waterfalls.
The Lower Falls
A small falls in the middle of the gorge
The Upper Falls
Fillmore Glen State Park is located on NYS route 38, 1 mile south of the village of Moravia and Owasco Lake.
From Cortland and I-81
From Exit 12 of I-81, follow NYS route 281 north to NYS route 90. Turn west onto 90, and continue about 15 minutes to NYS route 38 in Locke. Turn north onto 38 and follow it a few miles to Fillmore Glen State Park on your right. An admission fee is charged in season.
From Ithaca and Points South and West
Follow NYS route 79 east to NYS route 366. Continue east on 366 to its end at NYS route 38 in Freeville. Turn north onto route 38 and drive for another 20 minutes or so to Fillmore Glen State Park on your right. An admission fee is charged in season.
Fillmore Glen is one of the many beautiful gorges in the Finger Lakes region. Of all the major Finger Lakes area state parks that contain gorges, including Buttermilk Falls, Treman, and Watkins Glen state parks, Fillmore Glen is probably the closest to its natural state. In other words, the bridges, staircases, and railings developed by New York State manage to exist without taking much away from the natural beauty of the falls and gorge. It really is a wonderful place that is worth the trip off the beaten path.
There are five major waterfalls within the gorge, as well as many other smaller cascades. The lower waterfall is very easy to reach. It is about 30 feet high and quite beautiful. The rock formations around this falls are particularly interesting, creating an ampitheater like surrounding. From the pavillion at the main parking area, cross the stone arch bridge and follow the trail to the base of the falls. It takes less than two minutes to reach this falls. A visit to Fillmore Glen is worthwhile even if this is the only falls you are able to visit.
However, the other falls in the park are definitely worth the walk if you have the time and energy. In fact, some of the other falls are even nicer than the lower falls. All of the other waterfalls are passed along the Gorge Trail, which does have some fairly steep parts to it. Along its course through the gorge, the trail crosses many bridges and passes many beautiful scenes. One small falls, pictured on this page, creates an especially pleasant setting. The ultimate reward for the approximately 2.5 mile hike is the upper falls, which is the highest yet least visited of all the falls in the park. While the trail does become less used and therefore harder to travel towards the end, it is definitely well worth walking in order to see the wonderful upper falls.
In the summer, a swimming area is created at the western end of the park. While it is not under one of the falls, it is a nice and popular location.
Be aware that the trails in the park are closed in the winter, usually from December to as late as May, due to potentiallly dangerous icy conditions.
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Page Last Revised: February 18, 2002