Adventuring to Pratt's Falls Park

A waterfall formed by glacial retreat is a beautiful place to spend some time hiking, or just relaxing and taking in the view.

If you have a couple of hours to spare and access to a car, drive to Manlius, N.Y. and take in the 137-foot Pratt's Falls. There are several trails to hike, some as short as half a mile, some as long as three miles. There are picnic tables scattered throughout, a playground, meadows, an archery field and some beautiful old trees to sit in or climb. 

At the very entryway of the park is a lookout over the gorge. With the leaves just starting to turn, the view is pretty spectacular. To see the falls from another angle, take the half-mile loop down. Be prepared for some steep and somewhat mossy stone steps. At the bottom you'll be able to view the entire falls. It's surprising to see the cascade in the middle of the woods. There are so many trees with roots walking down the cliffs, that the falls, which was created by glacial retreat, seems tucked into the foliage. If you keep going up the loop, you'll pass the park's rustic lodge, Camp Brockway. Do not be surprised if a wedding or family reunion is taking place there. Back at the top of the loop is a pond, the source of the falls.   

There are a few other trails to check out. Don't be afraid to off-road it a little. The park was the site of the first mill operation in Onondaga County back in 1796, and scattered throughout are some of its remnants. There are lots of streams, culverts, footbridges and stonewalls to explore. It's a great place for taking pictures!

Pratt's Falls Park is open all year round.  There is a recommended $1 donation per vehicle. 

Happy adventuring!


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