Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Paved, flat, easy terrain, accessible parking, very stroller accessible
Extremely accessible, wide, paved, inclines are gradual. Closed for concerts at the amphitheater, check schedule online.
Need to Know
No bathrooms accessible. There are buildings and signs for bathrooms, but they are not open for the vast majority of the time. They are open only for amphitheater events, which generally means this section of trail is closed.
Parking is very accessible. Take state fair boulevard southeast away from the fair grounds, and turn left toward the Boat Launch & Orange Lot, under 690. Take a left at the light and keep right as you pass the initial Restoration Way parking lot. Continue all the way to the end of the orange lot, park near the Handicap parking for concerts.
A railing prevents you from wandering off the path - the area to either side of the trail is a delicate ecosystem still in the process of recovery and visitors are asked to stay on the paved paths.
There is an overlook stop looking over the west shore of Onondaga Lake, from which (depending on the season) you may see Bald Eagles and Osprey hunting, tree swallows, gold finches, red wing blackbirds, and perhaps even an oriole.
Continue walking as the trail turns left and heads to the amphitheater. This is a public park, so you can look around, but unless there is an event (in which case this section of the trail would be closed) the bathrooms will most likely be locked.
Continue around the amphitheater coming to the lake shore again. Keep an eye out for killdeer (birds that pretend to be injured to lure predators away from their nests) and Canada Geese. As you come to the end of the amphitheater area, turning to leave through another set of gates, keep eyed peeled for a mated pair of Bald Eagles who seem to hunt and live at the nine mile creek outlet.
After crossing the creek on a bridge, this path runs close to 690 (there's a fence, though, so it's safe) and bends away from the lake shore through some woods. You'll see wild flowers and even some blackberry bushes.
You can, if you want to, continue on the west shore trail all the way to long branch park at the north west end of Onondaga lake, or you can turn around here and head back to the Orange lot for a nice 3 mile round trip in & out hike.
Flora & Fauna
Heads up for ticks and mosquitos - bug spray recommended. Deer are in this area but rarely seen. As for birds, tree swallows, gold finches, red wing blackbirds, several kinds of ducks, canada geese, and if you are lucky (depending on the season) Bald eagles and Osprey hunting on the lake.
Shared By: Kate Eich