Brook State Park
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Dansville, Steuben County
N 42.61588/ W 77.41920
Directions - Take I-390 to Rt. 36 (exit 4)
Dansville/Hornell. Turn right onto Rt. 36 and follow the
Number of falls:
9 (3 large falls)
Size/Types: Ranging from 1 to 40 feet high.
Including classic cascades, narrow channels, staircases,
chutes, overhanging and newborn falls.
Best time to visit: Spring, summer, fall. Gets
crowded on hot weekends and holidays.
Flow: Consistent medium to high flow.
Waterway: Stony Brook
Time: 2 hours
Park open all year. Gorge trail open spring through
Parking lots for over 50 cars.
Admission: $7 vehicle fee.
Handicap accessibility: not for the gorge trail.
Pets: Allowed on leash.
Accommodations: Restrooms, changing rooms, showers,
snack bar, gift shop, swimming, life guards,
picnic tables, playground, activity fields, grills. 125 tent
and trailer sites.
Although often crowded and
loud, Stony Brook State Park is a gem of a park. With a
history of private resorts and a natural playground for many
generations, its current incarnation is an adventurous creek
walk with towering waterfalls, refreshingly cool water and
remnants of its historic past.
Civilian Conservation Corps build the stone trails and
bridges that carry you over the creek and up the falls, but
you'll find most visitors leave the trail to wade in the
cool waters. Unfortunately this isn't very healthy for the
natural state of the creek. Often you will find floating
trash, and the constant activity disrupts the natural fauna,
as well as kicking up sediment that is then carried
The main attractions are three falls,
Lower, Middle and Upper Falls, each with notable plunge
pools. Lower falls, the first large fall you will come
across, is a picturesque 40' sparkling cascade that seems to
fan out as it falls. The Middle Falls drops only 20', but is
large at the crest and drops in more gradual steps. The
Upper Falls is the largest cascade, at 45', and seems to
have the deepest plunge pool.
Speaking of pools, bring your suit. The
park sports a natural swimming area created by damming the
creek in two areas. The pools are filled every morning and
are constantly fed by the creek. The water is cool,
sparkling and a great way to end a hike.
Along the way you'll see plenty more small
falls, as well as many people. Get there early to beat the
Difficulty: Medium (lots of steps).
Markings: Dirt and stone trails with steps. Brown
wooden posts with yellow numbers.
official gorge trails are clearly defined as a dirt and
stone trail with steps and bridges, but most wet their shoes
and walk the creek using the trail steps to get above the
falls. The trails ends just short of the campground area.
The East Rim
trail is 1 1/4 miles
The West Rim trail is 1 mile
A walk up the gorge is about a mile.
pools at the base of the larger falls are deep enough for a
If you can fit, some of the narrow channels can be slid
mark the location of an old railroad that brought tourists
into the park during the late 1800s. The station was located
where the campground office is today.
In the lower park
bubbles can often be seen coming up from the water. These
are natural gas bubbles. The gas was used for lighting and
The park offers a
swimming area by damming off the creek bed near the snack
bar and changing rooms. This is the site of a colonial saw
Thank the great
depression for the masonry work and a seemingly endless
stairs you climb on the trail. During the 1930's The
Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress
Administration took hundreds of unemployed men to work
building the park facilities, bridges and trails.
▪ Bring a dry bag to keep your camera
from getting wet, since you have to creek walk in order to
get to most of the falls.
on getting wet as some of the best shots to be taken from
the plunge pools of the falls.
▪ In order to get photos without park visitors, get there
The Upper Falls sports a small ledge on the right side. A
perfect spot for someone to stand for an intimate portrait
in front of the falls.
▪ See the Articles section
for more waterfall photography tips.
New York State Festival of Balloons
A great time to visit Dansville is Labor Day weekend
for the New
York State Festival of Balloons.
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Book a campsite at this park
Stony Brook State Park
10820 State Route 36
Dansville, NY 14437
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