Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.69 mi (4.33 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Chimney Bluffs Loop is the best way to get the most out of your stay at Chimney Bluff State Park. The 2.7-mile trail passes through lush forest, offers great views of Lake Ontario, and traverses the tops of the iconic bluffs themselves. The trail can be quite muddy in the spring, but early wildflowers can blanket the forest floor as early as the beginning of May.

Starting from the Garner Road parking area, follow the paved path toward the picnic area and lake overlook. Once at the shore, follow the obvious Bluff Trail into the forest on the right. A wooden footbridge spans a particularly muddy portion of trail. Spring beauties (Claytonia virginia) and white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) bloom on the forest floor, while the trail winds its way along the lakeshore. It climbs slowly, passing through another especially muddy patch before arriving at the first clear view of the bluffs.

The bluffs are made up of sand, clay, rocks, and boulders that were deposited by retreating glaciers in the last ice age. The crashing waves from Lake Ontario, coupled with the wind, rain, and melting snow, have eroded the hillside, leaving dramatic ridges and spires. As you continue along the path, the bluffs open up even more, revealing the true extent of these erosive forces. 

Bypass the Drumlin Trail, continuing east as the Bluff Trail begins to slowly slope downward. At the bottom of some steps, the East Bay Road parking area can be found, as well as access to the lakeshore.

To complete the loop, return up the steps, back to the Drumlin Trail. Follow the Drumlin Trail south through the woods, making note of even more wildflowers along the way. About half a mile inland, the East-West Trail intersects with the Drumlin Trail. Turn right to follow the East-West Trail for another half mile back to the picnic area and your car.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Sometimes

Pros

Great views of the lake. Wildflowers. Dramatic bluffs.

Cons

Can be muddy.

Trailhead Elevation

285.00 ft (86.87 m)

Net Elevation Gain

128.00 ft (39.01 m)

Features

Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Location

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