Onondaga County Parks

General Trail Information

Trails & Hiking 

Central New Yorkers have spoken and have said that the “Loop the Lake” trail initiative and the Erie Canalway Development tops the list of recreation projects. At the center of this project is Onondaga Lake Park which features 7 miles of paved trails. Explore forests, meadows and wetlands on nine miles of winding trails and boardwalks at Beaver Lake Nature Center. Escape to a special world of tall trees and over 20 miles of year-round trails ideal for cross country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking at Highland Forest. Scenic trails leading to a 137’ cascading waterfall beckon visitors to enjoy an invigorating walk or romantic picnic at Pratt’s Falls. Whether it’s access to water trails in the summer or snowmobile trails in the winter, Onondaga County Parks is the starting place for year round fun. For more information on trails in the Finger Lakes Region visit www.fingerlakestrail.org.

Water Trails 

The Nine Mile Creek Water Trail from Marcellus to Onondaga Lake is a volunteer maintained route for canoes and kayaks. Similar routes are being charted along the Seneca River from Liverpool to Baldwinsville. Canoe and kayak access to Onondaga Lake and the Seneca River is provided by Onondaga County Parks and the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club adjacent to the Syracuse University Boat House near the Cold Springs section of Onondaga Lake Park.

Snowmobile Trails & Snowmobiling 

Onondaga County Parks, in cooperation with the New York State Snowmobile Association and Onondaga County Snowmobile Association, administers the local NYS Snowmobile Grant-in-Aid Program. The following opportunities for riding and gaining access to the rural trails of America's Snowiest City are available:

Oneida Shores Park - Beach Section Only

Brewerton • (315) 676-7366
Great access to 25 mile Oneida Lake, famous for ice fishing for perch, panfish and walleye pike. Open daily. Ample parking in boat launch area. Free.

Highland Forest Park - Trail #S-51C Access Only

Fabius • (315) 683-5550
"Adirondacks of Central New York" offers access to Trail #S-51C of the Onondaga County Trail System. This southeastern spur leads to Fabius and Tully and is under the jurisdiction of the Lafayette Trail Riders. Parking near trail intersection. Open daily. $3/vehicle.

Erie Canalway / Jordan Level Trail

5 miles of Erie Canal towpath from Jordan to Memphis, maintained by local clubs. Parking available at highway intersections.

Snowmobiles and unlicensed, motorized off-road recreation vehicles are NOT allowed in most Onondaga County Parks, including the following areas:

  • Beaver Lake Nature Center
  • Highland Forest - Internal trails
  • Jamesville Beach Park
  • Oneida Shores Park - McKinley Ridge Reserved Section
  • Onondaga Lake Park
  • Pratt's Falls Park

All Onondaga County Park properties close before sunset. Please respect the cross-country skiers, hikers and other visitors who have been given priority access to these areas.

For further information on snowmobile options & policies:



During your visit to Onondaga County Parks, you may be photographed, videotaped, or filmed by Onondaga County Parks or authorized parties. Your attendance/admission serves as permission for use of these images by Onondaga County Parks. Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without permission of Onondaga County Parks.