Monkey Run Natural Area, south side of Fall Creek, Varna
Meet-up: Dead end of Monkey Run Road, a little north of Route 366 in Varna
Click here to see the location of the meet-up
Click here to see the Google Maps page showing details of the entrance into Monkey Run Road off Route 366. Once you’ve turned in, drive north on Monkey Run Road to the dead end. You need to watch carefully for the road sign. Confusingly, the road on the other side of Route 366 is named “Turkey Hill Road.”
Digital and paper copies of this trail system are available for purchase at:
The map sheet for this trail system is labeled “The Cayuga Trail.”
The trails we hike in this area are part of the Cayuga Trail, initially built in the 1960s by the Cayuga Trails Club and maintained by that organization to the current day.
The entire Cayuga Trail is over 10 miles long and extends from downtown Ithaca through the Cornell campus to the Town of Dryden, where it links with the Dryden Rail Trail.
This walk can’t match the other side of Fall Creek (hike #5) for drama and excitement, but it’s a great one in its own way. We go through extensive, beautiful woods, cross several big fields, and encounter some amazing high bluffs with undercut trees leaning over the precipice and the creek far below. Several stretches hug the edge of the creek. There are some junglelike flood-plain areas, pine woods, and several picturesque small beach spots good for standing around and admiring the creek.
The exertion level for this hike is easy to moderate.
This is one of our more reliable winter hikes, because the trail is usually clear of significant snow. Some points along the hike route can be hazardous in the winter, due to slippery trail conditions from heavy use, so foot traction and poles are recommended for winter hikes.
Parking at the trailhead is limited. Be prepared to park along the shoulder of Monkey Run Rd.
If you need to leave early, it’s possible to bail out of this hike at several points along the route.
Last edit 07/2022 JFR