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Rim Trail/Gorge Trail Loop

Robert H. Treman State Park, New York

Enfield Glen, also known as Treman Gorge, features a spectacular wooded ravine that is home to twelve distinct cascades, including two impressive named falls—the 115-foot drop of Lucifer Falls and the 70 foot rounded curtain of water known as Lower Falls.

Treman Gorge and Enfield Creek epitomize the topography of the glacially carved Finger Lakes Region—layer upon layer of limestone, sandstone, and shale create ripples in the streambed and cross-bedding throughout the steep walls of the glen.

Hikers that visit Robert H. Treman State Park will be impressed by the numerous plunges, pools, and multi-tiered cascades of Enfield Creek—by beginning our hike through the gorge along the Rim Trail (from the trailhead located adjacent to the Old Mill) and returning on the Gorge Trail (for a roundtrip of 5.3 miles) we maximized our time exploring the rugged beauty of the landscape.

Setting off on the Rim Trail, we began climbing through the Upper Gorge, far from the sights and sounds of the creek far below—our first view of the creek, granted by an overlook , provided an expansive look at the upper cascade of Lucifer Falls.

From the overlook, the trail levels out for a brief time before beginning a steep, knee-jarring descent down a set of stone steps known as the Cliff Staircase—the arrangement of the steps offers a great chance to snap a wide-angle group shot.

Continue hiking from the bottom of the steps towards the bank of Enfield Creek, soon the trail reaches an intersection with the Gorge Trail—turn right to continue hiking the Rim Trail through the lush green landscape of the bottomland gully.

Once again the Rim Trail (Rim Trail and Gorge Trail are misnomers as both descend to the water and climb to the rim of the gorge) climbs in earnest to a high vantage point along the south rim—next is a long, gradual downhill trek, followed by a steeper descent and a lofty view of Lower Falls.

Descending further into the glen, the Rim Trail finally ends amid the state park cabin area—continue straight through the cabins to the edge of Enfield Creek, past a 4-foot crescent shaped cascade, across the bridge that dams the swimming area in summer, to the base of Lower Falls.

Lower Falls, similar to nearby Buttermilk Falls, allows visitors to swim in the plunge pool and play under the power of the falling water—summer crowds can often diminish the beauty of the surroundings, but unseasonably cool temperatures on the day of our visit kept swimmers at bay.

After admiring Lower Falls, we continued our journey through Treman Gorge by climbing to the north rim along the Gorge Trail—several steps and a steep strenuous climb towards Lucifer Falls await hikers on this section of the trail.

As you climb you will hear the waterfalls far below but just out of sight—don’t despair, the trail will again descend to the creek, passing through fields of vinca and day lilies. A narrow dirt path twists and turns through bright orange blossoms and lush green ground cover, leading to a set of steps to a rock-walled section of trail that parallels the creek and a 10-feet high waterfall—natural joints and fissures in the bedrock have created a cascade where one half is free-falling and the other is multi-tiered, the perfect place to cool off and play!

Post dip in the creek, make your way along the stone walkway—dwarfed by the towering limestone cliff, hikers contour the creek, pass the intersection with the Red Pine Trail and reenter the forest of interwoven hardwoods, wildflowers, and colorful fungi.

The hike continues through the post-glacial gorge, passing several other unnamed waterfalls as you climb, but the best is yet to come—a beautiful stone pathway and steps skirt the edge of 115-feet high Lucifer Falls, the highest in the park and the feature attraction.

Leaving Lucifer Falls behind, the Gorge Trail continues to climb more steps to cross the gorge on a stone bridge high above the whitewater of a narrow chute—impressive views of the narrow upper glen, towering cliffs, and cascading Enfield Creek prevail for the remainder of your hike back to the parking area and the Old Mill.


 
 
 
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