GPS/Locations: Campground entrance: (42.48666 / W 77.73771)
Directions: Take I-390 to Exit 4, Dansville and head south. Take the first right onto Poags Hole Rd. Follow it to the end which is the entrance to Sugar Creek Glen, a private campground. Alternate access to the top of the glen from County Rt.17 just south of where it meets Rt. 49, but it is unknown who owns this end of the glen. There is a dirt pull-off area where Rt.17 meets the glen.
Parking: A small parking area near the campground office just after the entrance.
Number of falls: 2 large waterfalls and about 7 smaller ones.
Size/Types: Ranging from 2 to 50 feet high. All cascades with the ones closest to the campground sometimes illuminated at night.
Best time to visit: Spring, summer, fall. Gets crowded on hot weekends and holidays.
Flow: Low to medium flow.
Waterway: Sugar Creek, which begins miles northwest in the Town of Nunda, flows southeast through this glen, and shortly after joins with Canaseraga Creek. Canaseraga Creek is a major tributary to the Genesee River. It meets the Genesee just north of Mount Morris.
Time: 1 hour.
Seasons/Hours: Closed in winter.
Admission: $4 adult visitor fee. $2 for children. Camping fees vary.
Handicap accessibility: Not for the gorge trail.
Pets: Allowed on leash in campgrounds. Not allowed on glen trails or water.
Camping: A fully-equipped campground with over 100 sites (some with water/electric) and community facilities. Check here for rates.
Accommodations: Restrooms; recreation area; general store; wifi; fishing.
Sugar Creek Glen!
Sugar Creek Glen offers a lush and beautiful creek-walk through a largely undeveloped gorge with one large cascade to begin with and an even larger one as your reward at the end. Very similar in make-up to nearby Stony Brook, it features several small cascades and single drops as well as a few large waterfalls, each of which have irregular character, and large plunge pools for wading.
This is private property operated as a campground for over 30 years, but accessible to campers and day-visitors alike. The campground is operated by friendly staff who welcome day visitors to enjoy the glen for a nominal fee. If you are in the Dansville area and have time after visiting Stony Brook State Park, this is an excellent second stop that takes only an hour or two.
Difficulty: Moderate. It’s a creek-walk, but not very far.
Distance: Less than a mile to the last falls and back.
Description: From the campground, follow the road north past sites 1-5 and turn left at 6. The glen trail begins at the Memory Garden past sites 15-22. This trail is a third on dirt pathways and two thirds creek-walk. The first falls is 30 ft high and lit up at night. after the first major bend, the trail terminates at a 50 ft tall falls. More falls are above but the steep climb is prohibitive.
Maps: Interactive map.
View Sugar Creek Glen in a larger map
The town of Ossian was one of the first tracts sold by Phelps and Gorham, and one of the furthest west. The first settlers were two bothers from New Jersey, Judge Richard Porter and James Porter, who arrived in 1804 and settled in where is now Ossian Center.
We don’t have very much information about the history of Sugar Creek Glen in particular. We know Sugar Creek was named for the many Sugar Maple trees lining its shores when the area was first colonized. At one time, Sugar Creek powered as many as 10 mills along its run.
An 1872 map shows a saw mill upstream near where Sugar Creek Rd meets McCurdy Rd.
The pools at the base of the larger falls are deep enough for a refreshing dip. These pools were carved by the plunging waters of waterfalls; not primarily by the water itself, but by sand and stones constantly swirling within the pool, grinding away at the bedrock.
Photographing the Falls
Avoid the crowds
Proper creek-walk footwear
Silky water effect
Writing / Photography