Construction has started on a $1.25 million project to improve access at Carpenter Falls Unique Area in the Finger Lakes town of Niles, Cayuga County.
The site will remain closed for the duration of construction, which is expected to be completed in 2022.
The 37-acre Carpenter Falls Unique Area was created for the purposes of recreation and watershed protection. Upper Carpenter Falls is located in the southernmost portion of the property, just off of Appletree Point Road. Lower Carpenter Falls is located in the northernmost portion of the property. The falls are part of Bear Swamp Creek, which flows through the property.
There is a 0.59-mile trail that runs across the length of the property providing scenic views of Bear Swamp Creek and the two sets of waterfalls. The upper falls are located at the southwest end of the trail and the lower falls are located at the northeasterly end of the hiking trail.
This trail also connects with the adjacent Bahar Preserve, which is managed by the Finger Lake Land Trust, and provides access to an additional 1.6 miles of trails and access to a picturesque waterfall.
Phase one improvements include:
- New on-site paved parking lot for 20 single vehicles;
- Bicycle rack;
- Accessible bathroom with screened enclosure near the parking area;
- New elevated boardwalk accessible to visitors of all abilities leading from the parking lot to an accessible platform;
- Accessible observation platform where visitors can enjoy a view of the 90-foot-tall Upper Carpenter Falls; and
- A new trail with stone steps to safely guide hikers down a steep ravine to view Upper Carpenter Falls from a unique vantage point.
More information on the Carpenter Falls Unique Area is available on DEC’s website.