It's time for me to tell you all about a spot in the middle of the woods that is purely sublime. It has everything you need: a firepit a picnic table, a whole lotta nature, and most especially a small little pond filled with fish. Make sure to bring a flashlight so you can see all the fruit bats that hover over the lake at night; and also make sure your eyes are fully dialated before you look outside your tent flap in the morning because the sun rises just over the horizon above the pond, making a very photogenic and inspirational sight. Basically, it's peaceful and out of the way. There's even a little something for you urban decay dwellers: The forest used to be a farming community that turned into a ghost town at the end of the 19th century....during the new deal era, most of the buildings were demolished and the whole park was turned into a reforestation area. But you can still find structural remains along with ancient farming equipment. Right next to the campsite I was referring to (on the opposite side of the trail) you will find, hidden under brush, a brick base to what used to be a house.
More about the park: You can hike from the south end of the park to the north end within 6hours(11 miles) Besides the fact that the trails may, at times, be a little muddy, they are also very moderate. Along the trail you will pass, numerous secluded ponds that are just bursting with life (beavers, turtles and frogs especially). There is also a gorge trail which follows along a small creek....The thing I remember most about this specific trail is that it is swarming with bright orange salamanders such as
Oh and one other thing.....this park is also used for communal grazing in certain fenced off locations. The trails go straight through these grazing lands so be prepared to encounter a few cows/bulls but don't worry....if you just walk around them....they will leave you alone.
How to get to said campsite:
The forest is in between Seneca and Cayuga lake very close to Watkin's Glen....1 and a half hours from rochester....just follow 96 south and fork right onto 136a south. Once on 136a turn left onto picnic bench road....after you pass the blueberry patch (oh did i mention they have lots of naturally growing blueberries for the taking?) take a left onto park road.
Park in the small lot where Chicken Coop Rd. meets Park Rd(on the north end of the park). and hike on the backcountry trail for about 15 mins....after passing by a deadwood marsh land you will find the clearing on your left. The drive down is very scenic as you drive along seneca lake on your right with rural farmland on your left.