Summary: Spruce Pond is popular with fishermen and picnickers. On the other side of the dam you will find a sign marking the beginning of this trail. The orange and blue-blazed trail follows the shore of Spruce Pond for a couple hundred yards and then begins a short, but steep, uphill climb. In the next mile the trail will cross several old road beds and deeply rutted wagon tracks. Areas where smallish trees and saplings dominate indicate abandoned fields. After crossing a small stream at .76 miles, the trail climbs to the summit of Jones Hill and then turns south. Shortly after the summit, the trail reaches a clearing providing fantastic views of Labrador Hollow, bearing the distinctive U-shaped mark of a glacier carved valley. From here the trail takes several turns which can be easy to miss. Follow the orange blazes. The last section is a steep drop to the top of Tinker Falls. Extreme caution should be used around the falls, especially with children. Return the way you came.
Trailhead: From the Tully exit on I-81, head east on NY 80. Just past the village of Apulia, locate Herlihy Road on the right. Turn onto Herlihy Road and follow 2 miles to a fork. Take the right hand fork and follow 0.1 mile. Park in parking area by the earthen dam for Spruce Pond. The trailhead is across the dam. (Lat:42.79915 Lon:-76.02584)
Trail Guides for Tinker Falls:
50 Hikes in Central New York
by William P. Ehling (The Countryman Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (518) 474-2121
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brad Phillips
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by kjg on 7/4/2011
We headed in the wrong direction from the beginning, but enjoyed the hike. The old tombstones are fascinating. May take a fishing pole and fish just beyond the tombstones for a nice shorter relaxing hike. Sunny summer day with mid 80 degrees and slight breeze. Beautiful day!
Reviewed by SN on 4/10/2011
Best hike I've been on in a long time, we went with a large group and it was amazing! The view from the stop was totally worth the hiuke. I can't wait to go back.
Reviewed by ws on 3/30/2011
I just love this place its great for myself and even my children.
Reviewed by Matt on 11/10/2010
Great hike through Morgan Hill State Forest. Best in my experience is starting from Shackham Pond and hiking to Spruce Pond, then Hanglider Point near the Jones Hill summit, then down to the top of the falls. From there, you can follow the blue trail back to the North Country Trail, or the orange trail down into the gorge. The latter is a good day hike.
Reviewed by Jay on 7/21/2010
KB, your assumption is correct. At the kiosk beyond the dam, bear right and begin ascending up the hill. For those hikers who feel 5 miles is too demanding, a jaunt to the top of Jones Hill with its accompanying superb view of Labrador Pond is an option. The total distance (round trip) is approximately 3 miles. Whatever route you choose, this is a great area to explore the outdoors without having to travel far from the Syracuse area.
Reviewed by KB on 8/24/2009
I am assuming we took the wrong trail. After crossing the dam we went left and took a beautiful trail that crossed a few roads, passed a nice lake with a two old tombstones at the edge and finally turned around when we didn't find the falls. Please note that I think you should go right and follow the lake shore at the beginning of the hike. Still a wonderful day!
Reviewed by Keith on 4/19/2009
4/19/09, great hike! Amazing view of the valley around the half-way point, the falls were great as well. Also, it might me important to mention that the orange blazes have been replaced with blue ones.
Reviewed by hawk on 1/6/2009
1/3/09 snowshooed to the falls from Rt-91, then back out to 91 and took the upper trail to the top of the falls. Great workout but snowshooes definitely required. 7deg and the stream was frozen over in many spots but flowing underneath. Nice ice formations at the falls themselves.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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