syracuse new york walking trails

6 Walking Trails in Syracuse, NY You Were Born For

The Syracuse region is full of great hiking trails that are perfect for exploring the outdoors. From short and easy loops to longer and more challenging hikes, there are walking trails in Syracuse New York that will be something everyone enjoys.

Whether you are looking for a scenic stroll or a vigorous hike, be sure to check out some of the amazing trails that Syracuse has to offer.

If you’re looking for a walk-in Syracuse, there are several different options for you to explore.

These include:

  • Onondaga Creekwalk
  • Upper Tree Trail, Marcellus Park
  • Loop the Lake Trail

If you’re unfamiliar with any of the options, read on to learn about the different areas in the city and what to expect.

Once you’ve discovered which ones you’d like to check out, it’s time to book your next Syracuse walk.

1. Onondaga Creekwalk

The Onondaga Creekwalk is a paved and off-road one of the best walking trails in Syracuse, New York. It runs along the Onondaga Creek for most of its length, though it sometimes veers off-course.

Onondaga Creekwalk walking trails in Syracuse New York
Photo Credit: Author DASonnenfeld

There are a few sections of the trail that are quite narrow, and cyclists should yield to pedestrians.

This trail is a great place for outdoor exercise, but it is also home to several attractions that are worth seeing.

The first phase of the trail includes twelve all-weather kiosks that feature short local history videos.

These kiosks are linked to one another by smartphone-readable codes.

In addition to the kiosks, there are also two single-page PDFs that detail the trails.

The first, called “Tour Syracuse’s History,” describes the series of kiosks, while the second serves as a traditional trail map.

2. Upper Tree Trail

The Upper Tree Trail is an easy and picturesque walking path in Syracuse, NY.

Located near Webster Pond, this trail was created by local residents to protect the area’s wildlife. Visitors can donate to the organization on the trail by purchasing corn from the bankside.

This will be safer for the local geese. If you want to avoid mud, this trail is flat and easy to navigate.

The trail offers a variety of experiences depending on the time of year and season.

3. Marcellus Park

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to go for a walk or bike ride, Marcellus Park is the perfect place to start.

This park is conveniently located near the Syracuse University campus, Armory Square, and Onondaga Lake Park. You can find several walking trails throughout Marcellus Park, including the popular ‘Moonlight Walk’.

Here, you can take in the city skyline, enjoy nature, and get a great workout.

The Baltimore Woods, located just off Bishop Hill Road in Marcellus, has six miles of hiking trails through primary and secondary forests.

You’ll also find wetlands, a creek, and a pond.

There’s even a devoted wildflower garden.

Hikers can even spend the day at Marcellus Park’s nature center, which contains an interpretive center with stories about the history of the area.

4. Loop the Lake Trail

The Loop the Lake Trail on walking trails in Syracuse features a paved trail around a small body of water. You’ll see both lower and surface levels of Lake Ontario.

The walk is not difficult, but it does gain a bit of elevation. You can hike it any time of year, including winter. It offers stunning views, especially on a clear day.

Look for local birds along the way, too.

Onondaga County is currently designing the next segment of the Loop the Lake Trail, which will begin near Destiny USA near Murphy’s Island.

The path will eventually link up with the City of Syracuse Creekwalk.

The lake itself is a wildlife sanctuary that has been designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society.

Its southern end, which does not freeze, gives migratory birds a vital area to feed.

5. Cliff Trail to Pulpit Rock Trail Loop

The Cliff Mountain hike in Syracuse, New York offers a unique opportunity to experience ice age vistas.

Located in Clark Reservation State Park, the Cliff Trail to Pulpit Rock Trail Loop takes hikers past an ancient forest and juniper trees.

The trail is shaded by yucca, juniper, and pinion pine.

Walking trails in Syracuse New York

You can also spot hawks and rattlesnakes. The hike is relatively easy and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

The trail starts at the zoo and continues past a small pond fed by a crystal clear spring. Hikers will pass by sinkholes and find scenic rock outcroppings.

The trail passes along jagged rocks overlooking a valley.

The scenic trail is easy to navigate and is quite photogenic during the fall. In addition to the zoo, the Cliff Trail to Pulpit Rock Trail Loop is a great place to take a family.

6. Hiawatha Lake Loop

Hiawatha Lake Loop is one of the best urban parks in the world and is located in the heart of Syracuse. It’s a perfect place to get some exercise and enjoy the city’s natural beauty.

The trail is surrounded by trees and vegetation, and it also includes an old industrial building that was recently restored. The surrounding buildings are a mix of new construction and old industrial buildings.

The trail starts at Armory Square and then rises to the level of West Washington Street, which was once the main line of the New York Central railroad.

The Hiawatha Lake Loop walking trail is less than a mile long and takes hikers around the south end of Hiawatha Lake in Syracuse, NY.

The trail begins near the gazebo on the southern end of the lake and is accessible by strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles.

The trail is paved and well-maintained, and it’s a great place to take the family for a stroll on one of the many walking trails in Syracuse, NY

The Best Walking Trails in Syracuse

If you’re looking for a great way to get out and explore the city, you’ve come to the right place!

The Shoreline Walking Trail is a two-mile paved path that begins near the Everson Museum of Art and ends at Onandaga Lake.

While it’s mostly a walk, there’s a great section of the trail that overlooks the city’s Inner Harbor. You can even combine the trail with a tour of Syracuse University’s campus.

The Erie Canal Trailway runs from Buffalo to Albany.

This historic waterway was converted into a walking path for people to enjoy.

This trail has sections that are open to the public for hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking.

While dogs are not allowed on the trail, they are welcome at nearby parks and beaches. Several hotels in Syracuse offer discounted rates for people with pets.

During the summer, Syracuse’s scenic trails offer a stunning backdrop for a picnic or a day trip.

Among the most popular attractions at Green Lakes State Park are the glacial remains from 15,000 years ago.

Green Lakes State Park Walking trails in Syracuse New York


You can also rent rowboats or play 18-hole golf here.

The park also hosts numerous summer activities like astronomy programs to watch Jupiter.

For those with mobility issues, Saratoga Creek Trail offers a paved nine-mile path in Saratoga.

This path is paved with macadam, so it’s accessible to people with various conditions.

A host group is dedicated to improving the trail’s facilities, making it a popular walking trail.

In fact, it’s the only National Recreation Trail in the city.

If you’re looking for a peaceful walk in nature, you should take a stroll along the shoreline walking trail.

The 3.5-mile trail offers spectacular views of Lake Ontario, as well as plenty of scenic vistas.

You can’t take your dog along, though, so you’ll have to be careful with pets.

If you don’t want to miss the festivities, you can also enjoy the Lights on the Lake festival along the trail.

Another great way to enjoy the shoreline is to walk on the Clark Reservation.

It is an excellent place for a day hike.

There are fishing opportunities, birdwatching, and two pavilions.

Located 5.7 miles outside of Syracuse, the Clark Reservation is an ideal choice for outdoor activities.

Located just outside the city, the Onondaga Lake Park also offers numerous walking trails and amenities.

Wrapping Up…

Syracuse is a great place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

With its numerous walking trails, it’s easy to find a trail that suits your fitness level and interests.

And, with the many scenic views and attractions along the way, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience.

So, whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, Syracuse has a trail for you.