When Is the Best Time
The best time to visit Chimney Bluffs State Park is during the summer, if you are hiking the trail along the bluffs you’ll be in and out of shaded areas. The bugs won’t be too bad because of the breeze off the lake.
Opening Hours and Fee
Chimney Bluffs State Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk. There is no entrance fee. However, from April 1 – October 31, a vehicle fee (5 USD) is being collected.
Can You Swim at Chimney Bluffs?
Swimming is officially prohibited at Chimney Bluffs State Park. However, there is an area at the edge of the park where you can get into the water and wade or swim. It can get busy there in the summer as it’s a known swimming spot for locals.
In Chimney Bluffs State Park, the summers are pleasant and often cloudy. The winters are freezing, snowy, windy, and mostly cloudy.
The average high temperatures in the park and the rainy/snowy days by month:
- January: 33°F (11 days of rain/snow)
- February: 36°F (11 days of rain/snow)
- March: 44°F (7 days of rain)
- April: 57°F (9 days of rain)
- May: 70°F (9 days of rain)
- June: 78°F (9 days of rain)
- July: 83°F (7 days of rain)
- August: 81°F (8 days of rain)
- September: 74°F (8 days of rain)
- October: 61°F (8 days of rain)
- November: 50°F (11 days of rain/snow)
- December: 38°F (11 days of rain/snow)
Wolcott, New York
Nearby Tip: Visit Watkins Glen State Park in New York as well. It’s 68 miles from here and a 1.25 hours drive (Google Maps Route).
Tips and Hiking Trails
These massive earthen spires are what they call the Chimney Bluffs. The views of the dramatic landscape make every bend in the trail more interesting than the one before. There are two main trails, one that takes you along the lakeshore, and the other, winding through gorgeous and varied woods above the bluffs that have outcroppings where you can sit and take in the scenery.
- Bluff Trail (1.25 miles) — A trail where you will find yourself along the edge of the Bluffs at times. Don’t get too close to the edge! This trail can be reached by strolling along the grass toward the lake from the main parking lot, the Drumlins Trail, the Garner Point Trail, or the end of East Bay Road.
- Drumlin Trail (0.75 miles) — It ascends from Garner Road, passing by the East-West Trail, climbing the drumlin, and ending at the Bluff Trail.
- Garner Point Trail (0.5 miles) — This trail connects the East-West Trail to Lake Ontario’s Garner Point.
- East-West Trail (1.75 miles) — This trail is parallel to Garner Road and part of it is a mowed path. It crosses the main picnic area path and ends at East Bay Road.
- Picnic Area Path — It leads from the parking lot through the picnic area toward Lake Ontario. A branch trail gives you access to Bluff Trail and Garner Point Trail
- Suggested loop hike (2.48 miles) — From the parking area, walk down the picnic area path to the crossing of the East-West Trail. This trail is a mowed path taking you to the right. Follow the East-West Trail to the Drumlin Trail. Next turn left and ascend on the Drumlin Trail in an evergreen forest.