Chimney Bluffs State Park

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Chimney Bluffs, New York
A 1907 postcard of Chimney Bluffs
Hiking Trails at Chimney Bluffs State Park

Chimney Bluffs State Park is a state park in the town of Huron in Wayne County, New York on Lake Ontario, on the eastern shore of Sodus Bay. Using its hiking trails, the intrepid visitor can enjoy unique views of large clay rock formations at the water’s edge.

The park has approximately four miles of hiking trails, including a mile-long trail along the Bluffs from the West entrance to the East entrance.

Geology[edit]

The Bluffs were formed from drumlins, which in turn were created by glaciers in the last ice age. The erosive power of wind, rain, snow, and waves—both from above and below—has formed the landscape into razor-sharp pinnacles. Although the impressive pinnacles and cliffs, some of which rise up to 150 feet from the lake shore, have existed throughout recorded history, they present a changing panorama: the average erosion of bluffs is 1 to 5 feet per year.

The Lake Ontario shoreline from Sodus Bay to Oswego has many bluffs, of which Chimney Bluffs is the most visited.[citation needed]

From some vantage points in the State Park, visitors can see Nine Mile Point nuclear power station, 25 miles to the northeast and the coal smokestacks located in Oswego.

Park history[edit]

The Chimney Bluffs area has been a landmark for many years. According to the pamphlet given by the park, smugglers used the area as a landing point while transporting liquor from Canada during Prohibition. Operated informally as a privately owned recreation area for years, the area was acquired by the state of New York in 1963 and soon named a state park. It lay undeveloped until 1999 when a parking lot, service building with heated restrooms, picnic areas with grills, and hiking trails throughout the park were added. It is considered a year round park for hikers, biking and picnicking in the summer. Winter activities include cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and there is a trailhead for snowmobiling.

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Coordinates: 43°17′N 76°55′W / 43.28°N 76.92°W / 43.28; -76.92