This route takes you up through Buttermilk State Park then along the Finger Lake Trails to Robert Treman State Park. It offers challenging ascents and fast descents, while providing numerous views of waterfalls, gorges, and panoramic views along the way.
You'll need $7 to park in each state park. You can find parking where the trail starts in Buttermilk State Park, and then where the trail ends in Robert Treman State Park.
The only areas with potable water are at the start and ending points of the trail.
Starting from Buttermilk Falls State Park, follow the Gorge Trail
up all the way to the Bear Trail
and then to Treman Lake. Once at Treman Lake, continue along the left trail that leads up to the right side of the lake. You'll want to start looking for orange trail markers and FLT markers along this trail, and this is the set of trails that you'll take. It's pretty much singletrack trails from here on out.
Continue following the trail markers; once you reach South Hill Cider, enjoy the nice view that looks out into the valley. Shortly after the trail continues into the woods, you'll notice two trail markings, and you'll want to follow the white trail markings. You'll quickly come up to an information board for the Sweedler and Thayer Preserves, and here you'll want to follow the path that goes downhill.
From here on for the next mile and a half, it's all fun hiking downhill, though make sure to enjoy the view of the gorge after you've crossed the road. The trail then branches out into a nice set of meadows and eventually a creek crossing. After the creek crossing, you'll enter Robert Treman State Park and from here you'll have a few nice climbs before the trail returns back to a few gentle climbs. The trail eventually joins with the Rim Trail
and from there it's a short downhill to the back of the park's parking area.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike this as an out and back, just be ready for a challenging climb back to Buttermilk Falls State Park. Otherwise, leave a car at the Robert Treman State Park for a shuttle back to the start.