How To Visit Grimes Glen Park In Naples New York



Where Are Those Morgans Grimes Glen Park

Grimes Glen Park in Naples, New York features two beautiful waterfalls along an easy hiking trail. It’s a popular spot for both hikers and families to enjoy nature at its best. We think this is park is a hidden gem in upstate and it makes for a great addition to any Finger Lakes road trip.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to make the most of your hike at Grimes Glen park including tips from a local.

Our Grimes Glen Experience

Three people standing in front of the Grimes Glen waterfall
Mark, Kristen and Kristen’s mom at Grimes Glen Park

Kristen grew up in a small town in the NY Finger Lakes and we also temporarily lived in the region when Mark first immigrated to the US in 2019. We’ve extensively hiked and photographed numerous finger lakes waterfalls so you can trust us with planning your trip to Naples, New York.

The photos in this guide are from a September 2022 visit when we hiked to both waterfalls at Grimes Glen before attending the Naples Grape Festival. It was a beautiful fall day and the leaves were only beginning to change. We aim to provide you with hiking and photography insights for your trip to the park. Read more about us.

What Is Grimes Glen Park?

Brown entrance sign to Grimes Glen Park
The main entrance sign near the parking lot

Located in the village of Naples, Grimes Glen Park is found within the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York state. The park showcases the long deep Grimes Glen Gorge as it joins Naples Creek cutting through numerous layers of shale and limestone before it meets with with the southern inlet of Canandaigua Lake.

Grimes Creek originates near one of the highest point in Naples at Cleveland Hill and by the time the creek reaches the village, it loses over 1,000 feet of elevation with most of this drop occurring within the park limits.

Grimes Glen officially became a public park within the Ontario County system in 2008 due to a large community effort. While this smaller green space is not part of the New York state park system, it’s certainly worth a visit because the Glen is known for its waterfalls and unique topography.

Locally, the glen is famous because it’s home to the oldest fossilized tree ever found in New York which was discovered in 1882 by D. Dana Luther. The tree fossil was a Devonian era ancestor dating back more than 350 million years ago. The incomplete fossil can now be seen at the New York State Museum in Albany, and many locals call it the Naples tree.

READ: Best New York state parks

Directions To The Park

Sign indicating located of the oldest fossil tree found in the state of New York
Historical sign referencing the oldest fossil tree in NY

You’ll find Grimes Glen nestled at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake next to the town of Naples about 70 miles northwest of Ithaca, New York.

  • Address: 4703 Vine St, Naples, NY 14512
  • Location: Google Maps

The easiest way to access the park is to look for Vine Street which is perpendicular to Main Street in downtown Naples. Keep an eye out for a sign that mention Grimes Glen County Park. Once you drive the short distance on Vine Street, the road will terminate in the parking lot for the park.

Let’s take a quick look at driving distances and times from nearby major cities as well as the closest airports for you to consider if visiting from further afield.

Grimes Glen Park distance from nearby major cities:

  • Binghamton, NY – 120 miles (2h 15m)
  • Syracuse, NY – 90 miles (1h 40m)
  • Rochester, NY – 45 miles (1h)
  • Ithaca, NY – 70 miles (1h 30m)
  • Albany, NY – 230 miles (3h 45m)
  • NYC – 315 miles (5h 15m)

Search for your flights using the best search engine, Skyscanner. We love this platform because it compares prices on all flight platforms to find you the best deal. The same goes for renting a car when you arrive to a nearby airport. Get a benchmark price using Rental Cars then see if you can beat it.

Here are the closest airports near Grimes Glen Park:

  • Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (ITH) – 70 miles (1h 30m)
  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) – 90 miles (1h 40m)
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) – 45 miles (1h)

READ: Popular things to do in the Finger Lakes

Entry Fee And Parking

Small cascading waterfalls in a lush green forest
Small cascading waterfalls in Grimes Glen

Unlike many parks in New York, you do not have to pay a vehicle fee to enter Grimes Glen. This small park is completely free for the public to use. However, the parking lot is small with only about 20 parking spots and it can’t accommodate vehicles with trailers or large RV’s.

Because it’s a small parking area, the lot fills up very quickly, especially in summer. And unfortunately, there is also no parking on Vine Street. If you can’t find a parking space in the lot directly next to the park, your next best option is to park in the additional lot found on Mill Street. This lot is about a half a mile from the Grimes Glen trailhead.

The park is open year round between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm daily, but there is no overnight camping allowed on the property. A bathroom facility is located next to the main parking lot and it’s open seasonally from May to October. Dogs are also allowed at Grimes Glen, but must be kept on a leash.


Grimes Glen Park Walkthrough

A person standing underneath large waterfall in upstate New York
Kristen in front of the main waterfall at Grimes Glen

The hiking trail at Grimes Glen is popular because there are two large waterfalls along the hike that are easily accessible. Just by walking along the trail, you’ll pass by both waterfalls.

There is only one trail in the park so it’s relativity easy to access once you’ve parked your vehicle. It’s a short and easy hike with minimal elevation change. According to AllTrails, hiking Grimes Glen takes an average of 25 minutes to complete, but if you want to admire the waterfalls and snap a few photos, we recommend planning for about 60 minutes.

  • Trail distance: 1.10 miles roundtrip out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy

Once you reach a certain point along the trail, you’ll have to wade through the creek or follow the path along the bottom of a steep bank which is often muddy and slippery. We recommend you bring proper hiking shoes or boots. In the winter, you may also want to consider purchasing microspikes.

Without further ado, let’s hike through Grimes Glen:

1. Parking Lot

As you make your way to the trailhead located next to the parking lot, you’ll notice a few large signs with information about the hiking trail as well as geology and history about the park. Look for the only trail leading away from the parking lot. There are a few picnic tables scattered throughout the area which also make for a great lunch spot.

2. Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian bridge located along a hiking trail
Pedestrian bridge at the beginning of the trail

The first point of interest you’ll come to along the trail is the pedestrian bridge. This well-maintained bridge was created from reused highway bridge beams by local artist, Darryl Abraham. After you walk across the bridge over Grimes Creek, the trail to the waterfalls is flat and easy going as it winds upstream for about 0.2 miles.

Travel Tip: The best way to see the artwork is from the side of the bridge.

3. The Picnic Table

Two people walking along a hiking trail in upstate New York
Kristen and her mom walking the hiking trail

After walking on the path for a short while, you’ll come across a picnic table where it looks like the trail ends. But this is where the best part of the trail begins and the next section of the Grimes Glen Trail is meant to be a creek walk. It can be very muddy and slippery, but you can often use the creek banks to find some dry land.

When we hiked in September, the water in the creek overall was very low. However, the water was deep in a few spots so you definitely want to wear waterproof shoes with great traction. Even if you opt to walk along the bank of the creek, it can be very muddy.

READ: Best apps for beginner hikers

4. First Waterfall

Woman standing underneath the first waterfall in Grimes Glen Park
Kristen at the first Grimes Glen waterfall

Shortly after you hike through Grimes Creek, you’ll reach the first waterfall. This is the taller waterfall of the two, but it’s skinner compared to the one further upstream. We like this waterfall because it flows directly down into the creek.

There is no plunge pool underneath and you can walk right up to the face of the falls. However, debris can fall from the top of the waterfall so always be on alert and be careful moving about on the slippery rocks. The waterfall can be very busy and you might have to wait your turn to snap a photo.

5. Second Waterfall

Man standing in front of Grimes Glen waterfall
Mark at the Second Grimes Glen waterfall

After you had your fill at the first waterfall, it’s time to continue hiking up Grimes Creek. If the first waterfall is busy, keep hiking and make it a stop on your return leg. The second waterfall at Grimes Glen will be another 0.5 miles up the creek so you only have a short distance to go.

You’ll probably be able to hear the next waterfall before you see it. And when it finally comes into view, you’ll be rewarded with a 60 ft waterfall flowing directly in front of you.

The Grimes Glen Trail officially ends with a small plunge pool below the second waterfall and there is no swimming for safety reasons. Next to the base of the waterfall on the right side, there is a small cave known as the Devil’s Bedroom. The cave isn’t much and it doesn’t go back very far, but we like it because you can take some cool perspective shots of the waterfall from the cave.

6. Avoid The Ropes

Third waterfall located in the creek of Grimes Glen Park
Indian Falls from years ago

To the immediate left of the second waterfall, there is a small steep dirt path and several ropes hanging from a tree. At the top, you’ll find another 50 ft waterfall known as Indian Falls or Third Falls. The Ontario County Parks department have now labeled this upper section of the trail as private property.

Most hikers turn around at the second waterfall and the plunge pool. Additionally, many hiking guides do not mention the dangers and we recommend you skip climbing up the ropes because it’s technically not park of the trail. Years of erosion have made this section very dangerous and it’s lead to numerous life threatening injuries.

The truth is you’ll see people climbing the ropes, but just because you see others doing it, doesn’t mean you should too. Visiting Grimes Glen Park is a privilege. But enjoying nature always carries risks so all visitors should leave no trace by sticking to the trails and not swimming in the plunge pool.

Best Time To Visit

Dog playing in a creek with other hikers nearby
A dog enjoying a walk through Grimes Creek

Like most places in the Finger Lakes, Grimes Glen will be extremely busy on weekends between April and October, especially on holidays. We recommend avoiding the rush between 11:30am – 2:00pm this time of year unless it’s the only time you can visit. Not only will your photos have loads of people, but the trail is overcrowded and the hike is no longer a fun experience.

Our favorite time to visit is the last week of September and the first week of October because the gorge is filled with vibrant fall foliage. But this time of year, the water in the creek is very low so the waterfalls will be weak.

If you want to see the Grimes Glen waterfalls at their fullest, visit in early spring when the snow is melting. However, it might be difficult to hike through the creek as the water will be flowing heavily and you’ll definitely need waterproof shoes to stay dry.

We also think early morning is the best time of day to hike Grimes Glen Trail. You’ll beat the crowds plus you’ll be able to score a parking spot in the adjacent lot. We started our hike around 8:30 am on a Sunday in September and only saw a few others on the trail.

Where To Eat And Stay

Two cans of Jastaberry Cider in Naples New York
Enjoying a can of delicious Jostaberry Jam Cider after our hike at Naples Neapolitan

If you’re making the effort to visit Grimes Glen, be sure to check out a few of the local business in the area too. Here are some of the top rated options:

Hotels near Grimes Glen:

Restaurants near Grimes Glen:

Travel Tip: If you’re new to the area, stop by Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars for an afternoon of wine tasting.

The Morgan Conclusion

Water running through a small creek in New York State
Grimes Glen creek running low in the fall season

Grimes Glen Park is a hidden gem in upstate, New York not many people know about. It features a short and easy hike along two stunning waterfalls.

But is Grimes Glen worth visiting?

Yes, we think Grimes Glen is worth it because it’s a beautiful waterfall hike in the NY Finger Lakes that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. The park is also free to visit with a nearby parking lot so we highly recommend you start your hike early in the day to secure your spot. After hiking to the waterfalls, you should find a bite to eat or visit the popular wineries in Naples.

Our Grimes Glen Park Photos

We loved visiting this park in September and took many photos. Here are a few of our favorites so you know exactly what to expect:

Woman walking along the Grimes Creek bed in upstate New York
Kristen walking through Grimes Creek
Water flowing through a creek in upstate New York
A smaller waterfall along Grimes Creek
Side profile of a popular waterfall in Grimes Glen Park
Side Profile of the second waterfall
Grimes Glen Waterfall with creek in the foreground
The second waterfall running low in fall
Two women walking through Grimes Glen Creek to get to the second waterfall in the park
Kristen and her mom making their way to the second waterfall
Woman standing in front of a waterfall in Naples, NY
The second Grimes Glen waterfall with Kristen posing for a photo
Woman walking over a large boulder in Grimes Glen Park near Naples NY
Kristen navigating her way through Grimes Creek
No swimming sign at a park in New York state
No swimming sign at Grimes Glen Park
Shallow creek in upstate New York surrounded by lush green trees
Grimes Creek running low in the fall season

Interested in photography? Don’t miss our Photography Guides from around the world.

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Want more New York content? Head over to our New York Travel Guides to explore the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and the best of NYC.

We hope this guide to hiking the Naples Waterfalls helps with planning your visit to upstate New York!

Please let us know if you have any questions planning your visit to Grimes Glen in the comments below.

Happy Hiking,

Mark and Kristen

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