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SUBMITTED by Tristan Perry, Furry Tails Children's Books (22-Oct-2009)

When my husband and I were planning our New England Fall Colors Trip for this month, we were looking for an activity to do after cruising the Thousand Islands. After visiting all 50 states and a good part of Canada, our State Farm atlas has become a trusty companion. So, I opened it up to New York and searched for points of interest as indicated in red-colored words next to red-colored boxes. My eyes fell to Chimney Bluffs S.P. It sounded attractive. What is this place? A google search of images took my breath away. “Look here,” I told my husband in surprise. Our family has been to New York before—visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame, Albany, Niagara Falls, and even enjoying a Thanksgiving week in NYC. But could the state really look like this? Other image searches only beckoned us to Sodus Bay. Chimney Bluffs quickly joined our itinerary.

I have to say that I really looked forward to visiting the bluffs. The cute state park sign decorated in the shape of a chimney greeted us. After walking the paved path to the picnic tables, we strolled on the grass to the edge of the cliff. To the right, Chimney Bluffs loomed in the distance. Gorgeous! But we had to get closer! It was about 5:30 pm, and since time was running short on us, we quickly set out on the trail. The initial feeling I had, besides excitement, was one of caution. As hikers, we knew the trail would be unfamiliar to us and darkness could descend fast in the woods. The wind was blowing, causing the waves on Lake Ontario to crash loudly. I had chill bumps for the place seemed to take on a haunting, almost spiritual, undertone. At least the sun would peak out from time to time from behind the clouds. We hustled along the trail, winding our way around trees, yet careful of the drops into the lake. If my mother knew what we were doing, she would have had a conniption! Despite the quick hiking pace, we enjoyed the trail. It was fun and far from boring.

Finally, we arrived! Chimney Bluffs appeared in all its glory! We stood in awe, overtaken by shock that New York had this feature. They are just as dazzling in person as the internet images suggest. As first-timers, it was almost too much for our eyes to take in. We drank in the view—Lake Ontario crashing on the shore, the beach-like clouds framing the sky, and those bluffs . . .

When the sun struck Chimney Bluffs, my husband remarked how they resembled formations seen in Utah. They glowed like the way Bryce Canyon and its hoodoos light up under sunshine. Yet when clouds covered the sun, the bluffs complemented Lake Ontario with a gray hue. It was as if the bluffs assumed various personalities through different colors, and those personalities were revealed to us. Taking a moment to admire God’s handiwork, we breathed in deep breaths, feeling both alive and at peace. After snapping picture after picture, it was time to go. Unfortunately, darkness was closing, but we reluctantly left. Back on the trail we would steal glimpses of Chimney Bluffs from time to time. It is a remarkable place, not easily forgotten.

Chimney Bluffs glowing in the sun

Chimney Bluffs complementing the color of Lake Ontario

After that, we drove to our accommodations for the night—the Peppermint Cottage. The owners, the DeCrackers, welcomed us warmly to the restored schoolhouse where we would sleep. A toasty wood fire burned, keeping that peaceful feeling I had taken away with me from the bluffs. That evening and the next morning (after sleeping well), we not only enjoyed a delicious candlelit breakfast (a first for us!) but also good conversation with our hosts. Being a southern gal, I felt at home with the DeCracker’s for they showed us southern hospitality.

Breathtaking views, cool activities, friendly people—that’s Wayne County New York.

Every time a car with a New York tag passes me on the road, instead of wondering if they come from NYC, I’ll ask, “Are they from Wayne County?” or “Do they know such a stunning area like Chimney Bluffs exists in their state?” Truly, Chimney Bluffs is a hidden gem. It is ranked among the top three sites we experienced on our trip October 2009. My husband took the vacation pictures with him to work, and everyone has been impressed with Chimney Bluffs. I hope they’ll one day take the time to visit the area, and I hope that one day we can return.

Tristan Perry, PhD, RN, writer


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1 Comment to "Virginian's Experience at Chimney Bluffs"

  1. Seth C. Burgess Said,

    Chimney Bluffs is on Travelogged in the 12th Edition of the Anywhere, Everywhere Travel Blog Carnival and the publisher says this of Chimney Bluffs State Park in Huron, New York:

    "I'm a fan of NY's Finger Lakes region, but I've never heard of this before."

    Get the word out about how awesome Chimney Bluffs is by linking to this Wayne County Life story or its mention in the Travelogged travel blog!

    Posted on Tue Nov 24, 12:13:00 AM EST


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