Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail

Whetstone Gulf State Park

Tug Hill Plateau, New York

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Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail


  • The parking area for the Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • The trail actually follows a summer-only access road.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • Whetstone Creek.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • Winding through the gorge.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • Looking back at recently broken trail.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • The creek has recently changed its course, washing out the road.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • A landslide on the southern side of the gorge is tempting to backcountry skiers.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • The end of the maintained trail.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • Beginning the return.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • Whetstone Creek comes very close to the trail at times.- Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
  • - Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail
Overview + Weather
Beautiful gorge. Easy access. Level trail.
Tug Hill Plateau, NY
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
79.00 ft (24.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,332.00 ft (405.99 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


The Whetstone Gulf Gorge Trail is located within Whetstone Gulf State Park, a campground and picnic area with access to multiple hiking trails. The facilities are closed in the winter, but the hiking trails are still accessible, without the summer entry fee. They make great cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails. The Gorge Trail is a mostly level route through the bottom of the shale gorge that winds through the unplowed picnic area. It's perfect for beginners, while the steeper and more exposed Whetstone Gulf Rim Trail  is appropriate for experts.

Whetstone Creek parallels the trail, while the gorge's steep walls climb ever higher. Motivated backcountry skiers and snowboarders will notice several short but steep lines through the trees and even a couple open landslides. The trail rises almost imperceptibly, and it once continued all the way up the gorge to a series of waterfalls. Sadly, the trail is only maintained for the first mile, as frequent flooding and erosion repeatedly washed out the footbridges deeper in the gorge. It's still possible to reach the waterfalls and the steeper gorge walls, but this requires consistent cold temperatures to freeze the creek for crossings. The return will feel much quicker, aided by the gentle downhill grade.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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