The Backbone Trail begins at the Backbone Horse Campground, and traverses the forest through shrub lands, pastures, old roads and many old homestead sites. It intersects the Interloken and Burnt Hill Trails to the south and the No-Tan-Takto trail to the north. It is a relatively flat primitive trail with natural tread, gravel in wet places and mowed paths through fenced pastures. Please close gates behind you. From the north the Backbone trail can be accessed at the corner of Ball Diamond Road and Wardner Corner Road or at the Foster Pond parking lot. Follow the signs and blaze marks. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.
Hiking the Backbone Trail - Finger Lakes:
No motorized vehicles except snowmobiles when conditions permits
Trails are closed to horse users from March 15th thru May 1st due to muddy conditions.
Be aware Hikers, Mountain Bikers, Skiers and Snowmobilers also use this trail in season.
Specific Hiking and Trail Information for the Backbone Trail - Finger Lakes
Length of Trail: 5 - 10 miles
Estimated Difficulty (Forest Service Estimate): Easy
Length of time needed to hike the trail: 4.5 - 5 hours
This is only an estimate- and it may vary depending
your abilities as well as local conditions
From the South, take State Route 17 (I-86 in some areas) to exit 52 (Watkins Glen exit/State Route 14 North). In Watkins Glen, turn right on State Route 414 North. At the Fourth St. intersection go approximately 9 miles north, past the Hector Ranger Station of the Finger Lakes National Forest on the right. Continue for Ã¯Â¿Â½ mile and turn onto County Route 2, which is the next asphalt road. Travel for 3.5 miles east. Backbone Campground is on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road. Start hiking following the signs and blaze marks.
From the North, take I-90 to exit 41 (414 south to Hector, NY) the second asphalt road on the left, Ã¯Â¿Â½ mile past WickhamÃ¯Â¿Â½s Plaza is County Route 2, turn left and go 3.5 miles east Backbone Campground. It is located on the left, opposite the intersection with Burnt Hill Road. Start hiking following the signs and blaze marks.
For more information on this hike
National Forest: Finger Lakes National Forest
5218 State Route 414
Hector, NY, 14841