hike #5

Monkey Run Natural Area, Starting from the north side of Fall Creek – Two Hikes

Both of these hikes start from the same location

Meet-up:  Corner of Hanshaw Road and Lower Creek Road, a little south of Route 13.

Click here for the Google Maps page showing the corner and the quickest route from Wegmans.

Click here to see a map of the natural area that shows its full extent, which isn’t that easy to visualize when you’re on the ground.

Click here to see a printable PDF map of the natural area, although the features on the map are not well identified, making it less user-friendly.

Physical and digital maps for this trail system are available through the Finger Lakes Trail Conference at:

About Finger Lakes Trail Maps and GPS data

The map sheet available there for this system of trails is labelled ” The Cayuga Trail”

A Youtube video on part of the Monkey Run/ Cayuga Trail system

(26) Ithaca Trails: The Cayuga Trail and Monkey Run – YouTube

Hike #5-1

This is one of our best hikes.  It has everything – high steep bluffs, two beautiful beaches, a lively bramble patch to slither through, one very steep uphill, many ups and downs, several big fields, ravines, and plenty of pine trees.  All extremely picturesque.

It’s also possible to bail out using a short cut on the return leg that saves a lot of time.  Overall, it’s a moderately strenuous walk.

Hike #5-2

Monkey Run Natural Area also from the north side  —  both sides of Fall Creek east of Monkey Run Rd

This hike takes us onto trails and into areas that the other Monkey Run area hikes don’t cover.  After you’ve done all of these hikes, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this beautiful and extensive area has to offer.

For this hike we walk south and then southeast on the abandoned Monkey Run road bed until we’re almost at Fall Creek  — then we swing east and walk along a bluff and then along the creek bank until we reach Route 13.  We cross the creek on the highway and then immediately head back into the woods, going south to the railroad right of way.  We walk west on this ROW until we’re almost at the west end of the natural area.  Then it’s into the woods for a long forested trail back to the creek bank and then back to Route 13.

It may sound convoluted but it makes sense once you know the area.  The segment of the walk on the south side of the creek makes a big loop, which is always fun  —  the stretch along the railroad right of way runs behind the houses along Route 366 and it’s very pleasant and different from our usual trails  –  the parts of the trail in the woods and along the creek are lovely.  This hike doesn’t match the other two for drama, but it’s definitely a good one.

Revised 01-2023 JFR