Explore the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail!
Updated: Nov 8
What if I told you that the photo below was taken in the finger lakes region.. would you believe me?
When I think of the finger lakes I think of wine country and beautiful lakeside life. Well the Keuka Outlet Trail is neither and falls under it's own unique category.
The 7 mile trail follows along side the outlet stream that runs from Keuka Lake all the way to Seneca Lake. It's filled with beautiful trails, abandoned buildings, and waterfalls. The trail is also well design for all types of leizure activies, so keep an eye out for cyclist, cross country skiers, runners, and maybe even some horses.
I got a little confused when I was originally looking up where to park, but once I arrived it made more sense. My advice would be to figure out what you want to see and how far you are willing to explore and decided your best parking area off that.
The map below has two gold X markings which represent the two parking areas I came across. The X closest to the Outlet Trail Campground is the parking lot that is about .5 miles from the abandoned town & Cascade Falls. The other X is the parking lot that I parked at and is .3 miles from Seneca Falls.
Where I parked there is a sign (shown below) that breaks down the trail and the distances for you.
Seneca Mills Falls- is a great location to have a picnic and hang out with the family along side a beautiful waterfall
Cascade Falls- is along side the abandoned town area
Dresden - is the county if you are starting near Senecca Lake
Penn Yan- is the county if you are starting at Keuka Lake
Our adventure started with heading torwards Seneca Mills Falls which was only .3 miles from the parking lot. The walk was super quick and before we knew it we reach the 3 layered falls and all its glory.
Even the area surrounding the falls was BEAUTIFUL!
After spending some time here and figuring out the lay of the land, we continued on the path headed torwards Penn Yan.
My favorite part about this adventure was the trails themselves!
Along the way you can find yourself breaking off the main path to explore sections where you will find benches, picnic tables and little waterfalls. You may also find yourself turtle watching at turtle pond ....keep an eye out on the logs.
We didn't venture down the whole path to Penn Yan but we probally went about 1 mile until we reached Milo Mill Road and turned back around. Note: there's another parking lot at this location right beside some ruins.
This time instead of going right at the main sign we went left torwards Cascade Falls & Dresden. The trail looked pretty similar to the one we just took until rounding a bend where an abandoned town appeared. * Que the Ghost Story *
Why is the town here? .... well to be honest history really isn't my favorite subject so I'm going to avoid the history lesson and instead I'm going to do what I do best and show you photos. ** But know that the background story is out there on the internet waiting to be searched by you @ https://www.keukaoutlettrail.org/the-trail-1
Some of the buildings featured above like the Outlet Tires and Welcome Center had signs that told you exactly what they were. When it comes to the Welcome center ... I'm not sure how much of a "welcome"it was .... it basically was a building that wasn't open and only had an empty registration box on the side under the Outlet Park sign.
Also at this location you will find Cascade falls
There is two viewing options:
1) Take the Blue path marked in the adjacent photo and this will take you right next to the falls.
2) Take either of the White paths marked and eventually you will reach a view of the falls from a far.
Note: I did see a rope swing on one of the trees up at the top of the waterfall. I believe people tend to go for a nice dip at these falls so if you do please be careful.
After taking the above photo we walked the trail for another half mile before turning back and heading to the car.
All in all the Keuka Outlet Trail has much to offer for all ages and is only a 2 hr drive from Buffalo, NY.
Also, can't forget it's a great spot for photo opportunities :)
Reminder, further details on this location can be found at https://www.keukaoutlettrail.org/the-trail-1