The highlight of Chittenango Falls State Park is a 167-foot waterfall that can be viewed from the top, halfway down, and from the bottom. The falls were created 12,500 years ago after the retreat of a continental glacier. The surrounding rocks contain many fossils from extinct sea-dwelling creatures that used to live in the area.
The falls are also home to the rare Chittenango ovate amber snail. Discovered in 1905, it is not found anywhere else on earth. Because the survival of this rare snail is questionable, you will find many fences and signs restricting your access around the falls.
There is a paved pathway from the parking area to the top of the falls with plenty of picnic tables and barbecue grills in a grassy lawn. For additional views of the falls you can hike the 0.36-mile Gorge Trail, which will bring you down steep steps, past a viewpoint about halfway down, and finally to a bridge that crosses the river at the bottom of the falls.
Continue on and you will climb up the other side of the falls for a totally different view. Finally, you can follow the trail to the road and bridge that cross the river and bring you back to the parking area. While there are five short hiking trails in the park, the Gorge Trail is the most popular and definitely the most beautiful. The other trails in the park are very quiet, even when the Gorge Trail is crowded. While there are no stunning natural features along these paths, they are lovely trails and worth checking out.