Use of the Finger Lakes Trail

The Cayuga Trails Club is responsible for maintenance of about 100 miles of the Finger Lakes Trail System. Many of the club's hikes are on sections of the FLT System.

Who can use the Finger Lakes Trail

The entire FLT System is open for use by the general public with no fees charged for its use.

The trail system is designated as a footpath and is intended for foot travel only - hiking, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Motorized vehicles, bikes, snowmobiles, and horses are not permitted unless specifically approved by the landowner or public authority having jurisdiction. It is recommended that groups be kept as small as possible, particularly for back-packing when the size should not exceed 10 persons.

NewTrail sections on private property

Some sections of the trail are on private property with the kind permission of the landowners. Permission to hike on these sections is granted on the condition that hikers respect the preferences of the landowner. These sections are subject to the following restrictions:

  • All trail sections on private land are closed for 24 hours on the first Monday of February each year.
  • Some sections of the trail on private land are closed during hunting seasons. This may include turkey season in May and deer season in October, November and December. Specific closures are listed on FLTC maps and on the FLTC website under Trail Conditions, and for local sections on the Notices page of this website.
  • Some sections may have specific restrictions posted on the property.

The FLT is allowed to cross private property due entirely to:

  1. the generosity of the landowners who receive no compensation
  2. the hard work of past trails club leaders, who began a working relationship with these landowners.

Please help us maintain a premier hiking trail and do not violate these closings or posted restrictions.

NewVehicle Parking

Areas where vehicles can be parked legally are mentioned in the Guide to Hiking Trails of the Finger Lakes Region and are marked on FLTC maps. Some locations are along road; in this case, be sure to park well off the road surface. If you are going to leave a car for several days it is best to avoid roadside parking. Inquiring locally or through the local sheriff may provide a safe and legal parking location. In any event, do not leave any valuables visible in the vehicle. Winter conditions often make it impossible to use designated parking locations.

How to find the Finger Lakes Trail

Normally, all trailheads and trail road crossings are marked with a one-foot square yellow sign with a green FLT logo. Other locations are marked with 3-inch white or orange disks with the FLT logo. The trail is marked with 2" x 6" vertical paint or plastic blazes on trees, poles, and posts along the entire route, except in the Catskill Forest Preserve where the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) trail disks are used. Blazes are visible when traveling in either direction. Normally, when you are at one blaze, you can see the next blaze further down the trail. On some roads and well-defined trail the blazes may be a little farther apart.

Single blazes are used to identify the route. Double blazes, one above the other, are caution signs for you to look for a turn off from the general direction of travel or other situations for which you should be alert:

Key to trail blazes

Start Beginning of trail Continue Trail continues End End of trail
Turn Look for turn or other change Turn Look for left turn Turn Look for right turn
Start/End Trail start/end (old style) Turn Left turn (old style) Turn Right turn (old style)

Key to trail blaze colors

Trail nameBlazeDisk logo
Main FLTWhiteWhite
White White/green
Orange Orange/white
Letchworth YellowYellow
Bristol HillsOrangeOrange
Queen CatharineOrangeOrange
Abbott LoopOrangeOrange
Indian Trail LoopOrangeOrange
Buttermilk Falls SpurOrangeOrange
Cayuga TrailOrangeOrange
Orange Orange
Other short side-trails, generally blazed with Blueblue, are used for access to major trails, water sources, shelters, outhouses, and campsites.

© Copyright, 2009 Cayuga Trails Club