Finger Lakes Trail

Finger Lakes Trail

The Finger Lakes Trail is a beautiful "trail system", or network of footpaths, which runs continuously from east to west across New York State, spanning 14 counties for the main trail, and an additional 7 for the branch trails. Wallace D. Wood of Rochester, NY, first conceived of the footpath in 1961. He thought NY should have its own trail, after hiking in VT.

In 1962, the Trail system was built, and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC, a not-for-profit corporation) was organized to promote and maintain the FLT System. The main 562-mile Finger Lakes Trail connects the Catskill Mountains in the east with the Allegheny Mountains (at the PA-NY border) in the west, by passing through remote areas of the Southern Tier of New York State. Sixty trail sponsors, coordinated by the FLTC, volunteer to regularly manage and maintain trail segments. Hikers are encouraged by the FLTC (over time), to traverse the entire 562-mile trail from "End-to-End". This hiking 'adventure' appeals to backpackers, hiking clubs, scouts, families, or anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. You need not be a "professional" and anyone who can walk can participate. Trails are free, no toll booths or permits required. For starters, why not begin with the Oxford, NY, section of the trail?

A Footpath Across Oxford: The distance of the Town of Oxford section of the FLT is 13.0 miles. At an average of approx. 2-3 mph., a hiker might plan this trip to be about 5 hours. (Note: This pathway does cross through private lands. Permission has been granted to cross their property, solely for hiking, on the trail. No wandering, hunting, ATV's, horses, bicycles, etc.)

Partial map of Oxford section of Finger Lakes trailMap courtesy of Finger Lakes Trail Conference. (partial map shown here)

Oxford is shown on Map M25 (of the 33 maps) on the main Finger Lakes Trail. The FLT goes through the Town of Oxford, but not the village. It enters the Town of Oxford on the west near the junction of Buckley Hollow and Williams Roads. It goes east through woods and field before crossing NY 12 near the S. Oxford Bridge. It then follows CR 32 south before turning east on Basswood Road. Soon it leaves Basswood Road to meander along a beautiful section of Bear Brook with waterfalls (Bring a camera!) before returning to Basswood Road. It continues west on Basswood, crosses CR 27, continues on what is now called Brook Banks Road, before it takes a southeastern route through the woods, eventually finishing Map 25 at Town Line Road. These 13 miles, in the southern section of Oxford Township are maintained by volunteers from the Triple Cities Hiking Club, of Binghamton, NY.

The complete map M25 map offers hikers info. about how to locate the parking areas, trailheads, and campsites, as well as having a copy of the directions and mileages printed on the reverse side of the map.

In Oxford, and interested in hiking with a group? This area is covered by the FLT Bullthistle Hikers Club, which meets at the YMCA in Norwich, NY, the first Tuesday of every month, at 7:00 PM.
The Bullthistle Club has about 50 members and has been officially recognized by the FLTC. (The FLTC is offering reduced membership dues to Bullthistle Club members.) Ed is also the FLTC End-to-End coordinator. Contact them via or via postal mail: P.O. Box 225, Norwich, NY 13815

We wish to thank the late Ed Sidote, known as Mr. Finger Lakes Trail, who had inspired many hikers to follow in his footsteps. He is End-to-Ender #3 (done at age 73, an accomplishment that has only been achieved by about 500 hikers). We'd also lie to thank Thomas J. Reimers author of "A Brief History of the Finger Lakes Trail", 2nd edition for their generous contributions in providing this information about the Oxford section of the Finger Lakes Trail.