Reynolds Gully – Hemlock Lake Watershed

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Location / Directions / Maps

Location: On the southeast end of Hemlock Lake; In the town of Springwater, Livingston County New York.

Maps: Google MapBing MapMulti-map (Topo); Interactive.

GPS/Locations: Waterfall: (N 42.66758 / W 77.58907)
Parking: (N 42.66833 / W 77.59166)

Directions: Located on the south-east end of Hemlock Lake, on the east side of Rt. 15A. Take I-390 south to Rush and follow 15A south along Hemlock Lake. After passing Johnson Hill Road, Reynold’s Gully will be a mile down on your left.

Parking: Park in the small dirt area near the gully. Space for a few cars.

Information / Accessibility / Accommodations

The large Reynolds Gully waterfalls are on private property. The landowner has informed us that trespassers will be prosecuted. Private property is clearly marked. Do not trespass.

Latest Springwater, New York, weather conditions and forecast

Number of falls:  6 falls (3 on private property – no access – do not trespass)

Size/Types: Cascades (3, 6 and 9ft high on public property).

Best time to visit: Spring through fall.

Flow: Medium-low. Will dry in summer.

Waterway: Tributary to Hemlock Lake.

Time: 30 minutes to an hour.

Seasons/Hours: Anytime.
Admission: Free.

Handicap accessibility: No.

Pets: Not allowed (this creek empties into a public water supply).

Accommodations: None.

Contact Information


Although not the only gully leading into Hemlock Lake, this is by far the most beautiful and prominent. It’s a shame that much of the gully is on private property, not accessible to the public and there is no “ASK” usage policy. Hopefully through land purchases and property easements in the future these lands will once again open up to the public. Currently trespassing is a serious problem in the gully and encourages you to stop and turn around when you reach a posted area.

Reynolds Gully stretches for about 3 miles from the hilly landscape between Canadice and Hemlock to empty into the marshland south of Hemlock. The gully is actually split into 2 small gullies; the first mile most inland. Since development of the surrounding land is kept to a minimum, and this gully is not maintained by any park standards, it is in a very natural state: littered with trees, fallen rocks and debris and with cool, clear water. Best of all, man-made trash is hard to come by as the visitors generally respect this gully (and we’d like to keep it that way).

Candice Lake Rd. crosses the gully at about its midpoint and many still believe that the upper portion is best accessible from this area. Currently is looks like that area is under private ownership and it is not recommended that you risk trespassing. Reynolds Gully Rd. extends from Candice Lake Road traveling along the gully for about a mile and you may be able to catch a view or two from the roadside when the leaves are off the trees.

Reynolds Gully near Hemlock Lake

Reynolds Gully Videos

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Hiking / Walking Trails

The large waterfalls are off limits. No trespassing.

Hike the DEC portion of Reynolds Gully

Difficulty: Moderate.

Markings: Sign denoting the end of public property and of this hike.

Distance: Less than 100 feet before you have to turn back.

Description: In times of high flow, creek-walking the 800 or so feet of public property can be a challenge. This gully is completely wild, with no trails or development. Along the way you will pass small cascades, as well as 2 small waterfalls on your way to the end of the public land, at a 9 ft cascade in two segments. At this point you will have to turn around.

Map: Interactive.

Raynolds Gully & County Line Falls Interactive Map

Drag the map or click the arrows to move around and use the +/- to zoom in or out. Click on the icons for more information. This map is not accurate. Caution and common sense should be used when hiking.


The first settler in Springwater Valley, then known as Hemlock Valley was Seth Knowles, from Connecticut, who arrived here in 1807. He built a log cabin on the cliff above the lake not far from here.

Around 1816, Benjamin Reynolds and his brother-in-law, Hill, purchased the Clarke W. Stuart farm around the gully. They built a sawmill and gristmill in the gully.

Hemlock Lake has a rich history of tourism and family cottages. Once frequented by Rochester city residents looking to get away, it was lined with cottages and country roads.  The growing needs of the city demanded a reliable source of clean water, and Monroe County began buying up and demolishing the cottage properties to create a buffer zone in the watershed to protect Hemlock and Canadice lakes.

Interesting Stuff

Hemlock Lake Park

The best view of the Hemlock Lake, a great place to picnic, and fish. Head up Rt-15A to the north end of the lake to get to the park.

County Line Falls

Just to the north are two steep falls in this narrow 85 ft tall gorge. Walk up the road from here to see the lower section, or go on a short drive, then hike, to see the upper part. More details on on the map.

Photography Tips

Proper creek-walk footwear

  • Wear the proper footwear for creek walking and climbing. Not only can a quality pair of water shoes prevent blisters and infection, they will help you stick better to the ground and reduce your risk of falling, hurting your self, or your camera gear.

Overcast skies

  • Daylight will cast uneven shadows through the canopy and cause sunspots in your shots. It is best to wait for an overcast sky for this one.

Silky water effect

  • To get that smooth cotton-candy look to the falls, you need to use a Neutral Density (ND) filter on your lens. The ND filter will block some of the light from entering the lens without altering the color, and thus allow your shutter to stay open longer. This blurs the water and creates a soft white gloss to the foamy areas of the falls. You can pick up a Neutral Density (ND) filter relatively cheap on Amazon.
  • Cut down on reflections and help reduce the light entering the lens by utilizing a Circular Polarizer filter. Most of the waterfall scenes shown on this website are captured with this type of filter. It reduces glare and helps us obtain more even exposures.You can pick up a Circular Polarizer filter relatively cheap on Amazon.
  • When shooting slow shutter speeds a sturdy Tripod is a must. Don’t settle for a cheap tripod that wobbles in the wind or can be vibrated by water currents. Amazon has a nice selection of quality Tripods.

More tips

Related Links

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