Sitts Bluffs, Lake Ontario

September 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Finger lakes Summer

Looking east from top of Sitts Bluffs, towards Sterling Nature Center.

One amazing advantage of living in the Finger Lakes region is that the northern border of the region is Lake Ontario. One of the most amazing geological formations along Lake Ontario are the natural clay bluffs rising over 100’ above the lake’s edge.

Finger Lakes Summer

Trail along the bluff

Finger Lakes Summer

Knife edge

The bluffs are the eroding end of a “wave truncated drumlin field.” Erosion proceeds at up to 3’ per year, with mini-deltas formed at the base of each gully, leaving the skinny cliffs with grassy knolls atop jutting out until they succumb to next fall.

Finger Lakes Summer

Beach of Sterling Nature Center, McIntyre Bluff in the distance.

I was hiking the Sterling Nature Center. The Nature Center is well worth a day’s visit as its volunteers have laid out over 15 miles worth of trails through the varied terrain of 1400 acres. The Nature Center also boasts nearly two miles of Lake Ontario beach to explore and hosts a series of programs throughout the summer and fall at its lakeside year around headquarters facility. Walking the beach, I noticed McIntyre Bluff at the western edge of the Sterling Nature Center. From there you can catch a view of more cliffs westward, much larger and longer. Walk further west along the beach to find Sitt’s Bluffs.

Finger Lakes Summer

View along the top of the bluffs

There are easy-to-follow trails taking you up and along the cliff edge, providing spectacular views west towards Fairhaven, and Little Sodus Bay. Sitts Bluffs can also be accessed by heading east from Fairhaven State Park. Walking the wide beach is easy with spectacular driftwood and irresistibly beautiful rocks. Sterling Nature Center is on the same road as the Sterling Renaissance Fair. Continue past the fair to Jenzvolt Rd.


Entry filed under: Environmental Protection Fund, Finger Lakes, Hiking, Lake Ontario, New York, New York State Parks. Tags: , , , , , .

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