Spring is a great time to venture outside and explore. In beautiful Broome County there is no shortage of great places to get away from it all, right in your backyard. Here is a list of some great hiking spots in Broome County all open for anyone to enjoy. Many might be new to you. We love them all and couldn’t even attempt to rank them, so these are just in alphabetical order. There are so many more spots too so be sure to let us know your favorites that aren’t on the list!
If you are looking for the experts on local hiking or someone to hike with make sure you check out the Triple Cities Hiking Club. They even organize regular group hikes for beginners and experts alike. And as always you can check out all the hiking trails on our interactive map via www.goalloutbroome.com/hiking.
Psst….If you go check these spots out, don’t forget to share and tag us #GoAllOutBroome
This Broome County Park has a pretty interesting history. It was formerly Innsbrook Ski Area! As a result there is a distinctive trail network up the hill reminiscent of it’s roots. The park is 466 acres of rustic natural area with a 6 acre pond. The park is located on both sides of Maxian Road for two very different experiences. Visit the south side for a more challenging hike up the hill or visit the north side for an easier flatter hike near the pond.
Check out more info about Aqua Terra here: http://www.gobroomecounty.com/parks/aquaterra
And check out this site for some interesting info about the history: http://www.nelsap.org/ny/innsbruckusa.html
Binghamton University Nature Preserve
The BU Nature Preserve is 182 acres of woods, hills, pond and wetlands located behind the BU Campus. It features 14 diverse trails along slopes and hilltops, and through woods and meadows. One of the most popular routes is the Pond Trail that takes you over a beautiful wooden bridge through the pond and marshlands. This is a great spot for wildlife viewing especially the beavers that call the pond home.
For more info about the BU Nature Preserve: https://www.binghamton.edu/nature-preserve
Chenango Valley State Park
CV State Park has a really great history. The Park features 2 kettle lakes formed during the last ice age when chunks of ice left over by glaciers melted to form the lakes. The lakes are a haven for many species of birds so make sure to bring your camera. Along the shores of the Chenango River, parts of the park were part of the Chenango Canal, connecting the Susquehanna and the Erie Canal from Binghamton to Utica. Remnants of the canal can still be found in the park. With so much to explore you definitely can visit this park over and over and have a different experience each time, and with a nice campground, you can make a weekend of it.
Details about the trails and other activities at the Park can be found here: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/41/details.aspx
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Hawkins Pond is a 24 acre pond located in the Town of Windsor. This area provides one of the more secluded hiking experiences in the County. The pond itself is located within a County Natural Area with 4 miles of trails. But that isn’t all there is to enjoy. The trail system connects to the neighboring Hawkins Pond State Forest for an even more rustic hike.
The Glen in the Town of Union was formerly part of the IBM Country Club site. In the 1940’s Thomas and Jeanette Watson of IBM directed the construction of beautiful stone bridges and hiking trails surrounding the creeks and waterfalls as a special amenity on the club grounds. After the club closed down, the site was put into the care of Waterman Center who manages it today. As you explore the trails you can still see many of the remaining features like stone steps, fireplaces and picnic tables. A special spot in the site is a waterfall that can be viewed from a beautiful stone arch bridge. The site is also home to some of the oldest trees in Broome County adding to the uniqueness of the area. The IBM Glen truly makes you feel transported to another world, just a hop, skip and a jump from the more bustling areas of the County.
Find out more about the IBM Glen here: https://www.watermancenter.org/copy-of-history-1
This 304 acre park lies in the Town of Vestal close to the Pennsylvania border. It features 4 miles of well maintained trails that range from easy, flat loops to steep climbs. The main trail sections meander around and through a beautiful creek. There are several spots where the trail crosses right over. This makes hiking here a lot of fun but be sure to watch out if the water is flowing steadily. If you keep your eyes peels you might find remnants of days past throughout the park. One of the cool sightings is the old fireplace that we hear is leftover from an cabin fire a while back.
Find out more on the Town’s website: http://www.vestalny.com/departments/parks/town_parks.php
SUNY Broome Natural Area
One of the newer hiking spots in the area is the SUNY Broome Natural Area. Through hard work by students and faculty this trail system keeps improving. The school looks at it as a living laboratory for students, but it is also open to the public. Some of the hilly trails can be tough, but there are great valley views when you get to a clearing near the top.
More info can be found here: http://news.sunybroome.edu/buzz/campus-natural-areas-map-and-walks/
This spot was donated to the Town of Chenango in the 70’s to be used as a public park. In the 80’s and 90’s the trail system was developed and expanded by the Youth Conservation Corps and Boy Scouts. Following the trails you will traverse forests, open fields, hills, creeks and ridgetops, making it a great place to explore. The Park is home to a beautiful gorge and waterfall that are a must see on your hike.
Find out more here: http://townofchenango.com/?page_id=97